SunValley: Series round five preview

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- SunValley White Looks For Breakout Performance At Home Just about a year ago, Jason White was wondering if he could achieve his goal of running a full NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil...

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- SunValley

White Looks For Breakout Performance At Home

Just about a year ago, Jason White was wondering if he could achieve his goal of running a full NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 schedule while being based on the western side of Canada with about 80 percent of the races being held in the eastern portion of the expansive country.

In the nick of time, White (No. 21 A&W/Zimmer-Wheaton GMC Chevrolet) hooked up with another up-and-comer from the west looking to make inroads in the east -- A&W and their Cruisin' The Dub campaign.

The two British Columbia-based outfits teamed up and each accomplished goals. For A&W, it was an avenue to reach the large brand-sensitive NASCAR fan base. For White, it was an opportunity to continue his quest to become the first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series rookie of the year which he did.

A year later, the duo remains together and White has an even bigger goal in mind -- to put his A&W Chevy in Victory Lane in the A&W Cruisin' The Dub 300 at SunValley Speedway in Vernon, B.C., this Saturday.

"It's a big, big weekend for us," said White. "Both the CEO and CFO of A&W are coming over from Vancouver for the race. We've got some ride-alongs scheduled for them, some new hero cards with coupons and we're trying to cook up some Facebook and Twitter promotions."

In light of all the marketing initiatives, White vows to remain focused for the race at a track that is special to him.

"I love that track. It is a very special place just like anyone's home track," he said. "I've got 25 to 30 feature wins there and it's such a great place to race."

To make it an even more extraordinary event, Marty White, Jason's father, who was the 1976 NASCAR Northwest Modified champion, is serving as the race's grand marshal.

"I got my love of racing from my father, so it's pretty cool that he gets to be involved in this great event along with the team."

It stands to reason that once this Saturday's race is in the books, White and his team can sit back and enjoy the final two races of the western swing -- Rexall Speedway in Edmonton and Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon -- but White says it's not that simple.

"Everyone thinks these western races are a snap for us, but actually they are a little harder. Western Canada is pretty spread out," White said. "Since the car stays back east for those races, it's just not a matter of jumping on an airplane We have to jump the hurdles that everyone else has to on this trip. It doesn't matter. It's all fun."

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The Race A&W Cruisin' the Dub 300
The Place SunValley Speedway, Vernon, B.C.

The Date Saturday, July 18
The Time 8 p.m. PT

TV Schedule TSN, Aug. 2, Noon ET

Track Layout half-mile tri-oval
Race Purse $87,323 CAD

2008 Winner Don Thomson Jr.
2008 Pole Don Thomson Jr.

Schedule Practice 1:30-2:30 p.m.; Qualifying 5 p.m.

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Nuhn Races For Love Of The Game

For many across the United States and Canada, short-track racing is about enjoying the camaraderie and thrill of competition. It's simply about having fun.

Kent Nuhn (No. 18 The Fuel Genie Chevrolet) and his team enjoy their time at the track. Do they want to run well and win the race? Sure, but there's more to it than that.

Nuhn has participated in every NASCAR Canadian Tide Series presented by Mobil 1 race there has ever been and the Williamsford, Ontario-based driver has made continual improvement along the way, despite not being one of the big-budget teams.

"We enjoy our time at the track. It's a time to be together as a team," said Nuhn. "We don't have the (resources) that some of the other teams have, but that doesn't mean that we can't be successful or meet the challenges of getting better each time out."

This season, Nuhn and The Fuel Genie team are running better than ever and currently hold the 10th spot in the points standings.

One of the primary reasons for the improved performance, cited by Nuhn's crew chief and father, Hugh, is the cost effectiveness of the engine and its ability to compete with the custom-built motors in the field.

Racing has always been about gathering, competing hard and gathering again. And that's how it will continue to be for the Nuhns.

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SunValley News & Notes

The Race: This event is the fifth of 13 races on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule. It is the third trip to the track for the series since its inception in 2007.

The Procedure: The starting field is 20 cars, including provisionals. The first 17 cars will be determined from two-lap time trials. The remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 300 laps (150 miles).

The Track: The SunValley Speedway half-mile banked tri-oval is 55 feet wide on the front and back straights, and 60 feet wide in the turns. Banking in Turns 1 and 2 is 11 degrees, while Turns 3 and 4 are banked at 14 degrees. The facility has seating for 7,500 spectators which includes corporate hospitality facilities and VIP suites. The track's first event took place on August 12, 2000.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at the track is 18.299 seconds (98.366 mph), set by Don Thomson Jr. on July 14, 2007. The 300-lap race record is also held by Thomson at 2 hours, 21 minutes, 19 seconds, which was set in last year's race on July 19 for an average speed of 63.687 mph.

Longest Race: The 150-mile race at SunValley Speedway is the longest race, in terms of distance, on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule. The series also runs 300-lap races at Barrie (Ont.) Speedway and Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish, N.S.

Last Time In B.C.: In last season's A&W Cruisin' The Dub 300, Thomson started on the pole and collected the win by leading a race-high 136 laps. Scott Steckly finished second followed by John Gaunt, who logged his first series podium finish.

Fitzpatrick Motorsports Dominance: Both Thomson and JR Fitzpatrick have fared well at SunValley Speedway since the NASCAR era began. Fitzpatrick beat Steckly to the finish line in 2007 by a scant .029 seconds, while Thomson took the checkers last year. Thomson, meanwhile, earned the pole position in both seasons.

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NCATS Notebook: Tide 250 Wrap-Up

He's At It Again: It took four races, but defending series champion Scott Steckly (No. 22 Canadian Tire/Tow Truck in a Box Dodge) found his way to Victory Lane for the first time in 2009. In the process, he extended his own series record for wins by a driver to six. He has now won a race in each of the series' three seasons, joining Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Walmart/Tide Ford) as the only two drivers to accomplish this feat.

Back On Top: With his fourth-place finish in the Tide 250, Ranger took over the top spot in the driver standings. It's the first time since winning the 2007 championship that he has sat atop the leader board. DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge) moved into second place while Ron Beauchamp Jr. (No. 60 Mopar/Mobil 1/Exide Batteries Dodge) slipped from first to third.

Good As New: After a serious accident on June 14 at Mosport, Joey Hanssen (No. 40 Prime Champ Dodge) has been given a clean bill of health and feels fine. For a few days after the accident, the 18-year-old rookie driver out of Holland experienced some lingering side effects, but some minor therapy quickly rectified those problems. In the Tide 250, he posted his first series career top-10 by finishing 10th.

Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race Award: As a reward for his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory at Autodrome St. Eustache, Steckly collects $1,500 from Mobil 1 for his effort.

Mopar Quick Three: This program awards the top three finishing Dodges in the race. In the Dickies 200, the victorious Steckly was the highest-finishing Dodge and thus earned a $2,000 bonus. Second-place finisher Kennington was the second-highest finishing Dodge, which earned him $1,000. Picking up $500 for finishing as the third-highest Dodge was John Gaunt (No. 12 Hy-Tech Drilling Dodge). He finished third overall as Dodge dominated the event by having seven of the top-10 cars.

Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award: Improving his position the most over the course of the race was Hanssen. After qualifying and starting 21st on the grid, he was able to finish 10th. As a result, he earned the $1,000 award from Coca-Cola.

MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award: In a new program for 2009, the driver who compiles the most points in a specialized system involving qualifying, race finish and leading laps collects the $1,000 award. Steckly edged out Kennington by a single point to earn the award.

In Case You Missed It: The Tide 250 will premiere on Sunday, July 19 at 3 p.m. ET. The one-hour recap show will also be broadcast on Friday, July 24 at 1 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET, as well as, 3 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 25.

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Home Tracks Update: Haworth Dominates At SunValley Speedway

Defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track and British Columbia province champion Dave Haworth, once again, is having success in 2009. In fact, he has been downright dominant.

Haworth, out of Winfield, B.C., has seven wins in 10 outings and has top-five finishes in each of those races.

He posted eight wins in his championship season of a year ago in 17 starts.

Les Hein has had a solid season, as well. He has a win to go along with seven top fives and nine top 10s. Hein is second in the standings, but is 78 points off the torrid pace of Haworth.

In third place is Tim Comeau who, with six top-five and seven top-10 finishes, is 125 points out of first place.

Other than Haworth and Hein, the only other driver with a victory this season is Matt Stephenson, with a pair of wins. Stephenson is currently sixth in the points standings.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series serves as the foundation of NASCAR -- grassroots racing across the United States and Canada. Whelen Engineering, a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting, is the series sponsor. More than 10,000 drivers compete at NASCAR-sanctioned short tracks throughout both countries.

The short-track racing program in NASCAR was founded in 1982. Since its inception, the series has been a successful starting point for the careers of many top drivers. NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray and Brian Vickers all began their careers in this series.

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Up Next: Edmonton

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 makes the second of its three western Canada stops next weekend in Edmonton to be a part of the Rexall Edmonton Indy event.

Last year, Alex Tagliani outdistanced his then teammate Andrew Ranger for his first series win. In the two years of this event, Ranger has started on the pole twice, but has yet to notch a win.

A large crowd is sure to be on hand to watch the stock cars battle on the 1.973-mile temporary road course set up at Edmonton's City Centre Airport.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Bobby Labonte , Greg Biffle , Alex Tagliani , Jamie McMurray , Jason White , Don Thomson Jr. , Scott Steckly , Brian Vickers , Carl Edwards , Andrew Ranger , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kent Nuhn , John Gaunt , Joey Hanssen , Kyle Busch , Travis Kvapil
Teams Williams