* Mansfield is Fifth Inaugural Event for NASCAR Busch East Series in 1007 * Joey Logano Was 15 When He Won His First Mansfield Race * Jerry Marquis Doing Double Duty In Ohio Double Header DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2007) -- The NASCAR...
* Mansfield is Fifth Inaugural Event for NASCAR Busch East Series in 1007
* Joey Logano Was 15 When He Won His First Mansfield Race
* Jerry Marquis Doing Double Duty In Ohio Double Header
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2007) -- The NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series' 17-year-old point leader Joey Logano (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Chevrolet) has something that no one else in the series has at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park: plenty of experience including a touring series victory.
At nearly three-times Logano's age, Jerry Marquis, 50, also has something no other full-time NASCAR Busch East Series driver has: a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship and full-time rides in both series in 2007.
The NASCAR Busch East Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Series compete in a pair of 150-lap inaugural events at the showcase central Ohio facility Saturday, August 25.
Logano competed in his first regional series event at the track at age 14. In 2005, he won a USAR series event at Mansfield to become that series' youngest winner at age 15. He eclipsed the record of 16 that had been set by Brian Vickers.
Logano was four-years-old when Marquis won the NASCAR Busch East Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in 1994. Marquis has since has collected seven race wins and six Busch Pole Awards. He finished second to Mike Stefanik for the 1997 NASCAR Busch East Series championship. In the Modified Tour, Marquis has 19 victories and won the 2000 championship. He also won two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series regional titles (1991 and 1999).
Both drivers say success in the inaugural appearance of both series at Mansfield Saturday afternoon will take quick adjustments to their cars and their styles.
"I think I've raced at Mansfield four or five times now," Logano said. "It's a real tough place. Its fun when you're by yourself, but once you get a lot of cars out there, it's real hard to pass. It's probably one of the hardest tracks to pass at. Everyone likes to run the middle of the track there. Last year I was running third in a USAR race, tried to make a pass for second, and ended up losing four spots.
"It's one of those tracks that takes a ton of patience," Logano said. "It'll be pretty interesting."
Logano might have one-upped on Marquis with his prior Mansfield experience and win there. But Marquis is decades-up on Logano in career experience. Adapting to his first laps at a new track in two NASCAR divisions for 150-lap races on the same day is all in a day's work for Marquis.
"I've been doing it for so long, swapping divisions back and forth even when we're at a track for the first time, it's kind of second-nature now," Marquis said. "A big part of our day is just learning the race track since we've never been there. They say it's a pretty neat place. We just hope we get into it pretty quick and get used to it fast. That way I can concentrate on getting the cars to handle properly."
Marquis joined the No. 35 Waste Management/Recycle America Chevrolet team starting with the eighth event of the season at Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tenn., July 22. He's finished ninth, eighth and 11th in those first three appearances this year.
"We've been consistent," Marquis said. "Now we're looking to improve the performance. That should start showing soon."
So far as returning to double duty in both series, and finding some talented teenagers to race with, Marquis sees a glimpse of himself in their position.
"It's a lot of fun," he says of the experience. "It brings me back to when I first started racing, watching the younger guys doing what they've got to do to establish their careers. I enjoy competing with them."
NEWS & NOTES * The race ... This event is the 11th of 13 races for the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series in 2007. It is the fifth stop at a track new to the series this season. Four different drivers won at the four previous first-time tracks: Sean Caisse (Elko), Logano (Iowa), Matt Kobyluck (South Boston), and Rogelio Lopez (Music City).
* The track ... Mansfield Motorsports Park hosts special events only, and is often mentioned as being similar to California's Irwindale Speedway. The track has hosted four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events, and each has been won by drivers known for their short-track prowess: Jack Sprague, Bobby Hamilton, Ron Hornaday and Dennis Setzer.
* Points chase ... Series point leader Logano's 23rd place finish at Lime Rock Park last Saturday due to an off-track excursion which damaged his car, cut his championship points lead nearly in half. Logano's finish combined with Matt Kobyluck's win allowed Kobyluck to close to within 92 points. Entering Lime Rock he was 188 points behind Logano.
* Competing for Showdown spot ... NASCAR Busch East Series drivers only have three events left to secure a spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown by winning a race. Only Grand National race winners and champions of the NASCAR Developmental Series will be locked in to the field. All others must race their way in. The rich and prestigious all-star event is scheduled for October 20 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.
What: Mansfield 150 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series Race #11 of 13
Where: Mansfield (Ohio) Raceway Park
When: 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25
Track layout: .500-mile pave oval
Distance: 150 Laps, 75 miles.
Posted Awards: $123,172
TV: HDNet, Live 5:30 p.m. EDT. (Enhanced replay, SPEED, Noon, Sept. 5, 2007)
2006 winner: Inaugural event
2006 polesitter: Inaugural event
Records: To be established
Pre-race schedule: Practice, 10-10:45 a.m.; 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Qualifying, 2 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.