In its second international appearance of 2007, the NASCAR Busch series head to Montreal, Canada for the first time.

Like its trips south of the border to Mexico City, they will again be on a road course.

Like the race earlier in the season at Mexico City, the field will be sprinkled with new names from other nations.

This week in Montreal, 15 drivers will represent seven counties outside the United States. Some drivers will be with independent teams trying to make the race while some new names will be driving for established teams.

Seven Cup regulars will be there, but the most noticeable missing driver will be Juan Pablo Montoya.

After his victory in Mexico City, it would seem a sure bet that the road course ace would be there; however, he is replaced in the #42 car by Michael Valiante of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Other Canadians filling in include Ron Fellows in Kevin Harvick’s #33, John Graham in the Greg Pollex #10 and Patrick Carpentier in the #22 of Armando Fitz.

Matt Kenseth will vacate the #17 car in favor of Michael Jourdain Jr. of Mexico, while JJ Yelley is replaced in the #1 by Max Papis of Italy, Jason Keller in the #27 replaced by Jorge Goeters of Mexico and in the Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Navy car will be Andy Pilgrim of England.

Other foreign nationals include series regular Marcos Ambrose of Tazmania, Austrailia; Canadians JR Fitzpatrick, DJ Kennington, Mike Mckenzie and Trevor Boys, Sweden’s Niclas Jonsson, and Venezuela’s Alex Garcia.

The Nextel Cup teams head back to Pocono for the second time this year as they close in on the end of the 26 race run up to the Chase.

Tony Stewart, on the heels of two back-to-back wins, heads to the track with a full head of steam, while his teammate Denny Hamlin looks forward to the return to the site of two wins for him in 2006.

•Last week's big news was the merger of DEI and Ginn Racing and that overshadowed some other mergers that took place.

Robert Yates Racing merged with the open wheel teams of Newman/Haas and Lanigan forming the Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.

On the Busch side, two mergers were announced, HMS and JR Motorsports merged as well as the RCR and KHI merger.

•On the local racing scene, heavy rains last week forced the cancellation of racing action Friday night at Wartburg Speedway.

Mother nature could not stop the show at Crossville Raceway Saturday night where the winners were Dale Nance (LLM), Michael Asberry (OWM), Jason Todd (SS), John Ross (MS) and Jordon Butler (FWD).

This week's local action begins tonight with action starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Wartburg Speedway and Saturday starting at 7 p.m. CDT at Crossville Raceway.

Both tracks will run their full racing program.

Crossville Raceway announced earlier that they are dropping the Super Late Models from the regular weekly program, but they will still be there for scheduled special events. They also announced the lowering of the regular admission price to $10.

Get off that couch and bring the family out to a local dirt track and support the local racers. You may just see the next Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart on his way up.

Joe Dunn is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears each Friday.

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