NWS: Evergreen II: Round five preview

NASCAR AUTOZONE ELITE DIVISION, NORTHWEST SERIES EVERGREEN SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 12, 2006) -- The NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series, once again, thunders into Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash....

NASCAR AUTOZONE ELITE DIVISION, NORTHWEST SERIES EVERGREEN SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 12, 2006) -- The NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series, once again, thunders into Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. This time, the Top Foods/Haggen's Wired X Energy Drink 125 on the 3/8-mile track is on tap for Saturday.

THE TRACK: Evergreen Speedway has hosted more Northwest Series events than any other track. This Saturday will make the 58th time that the series has raced there. The 57 starts have produced 19 winners with Garrett Evans leading the way with 13 although he has not won there since March 1996. Evans also heads the list in Bud Pole Awards all time at the track. The qualifying record for the Northwest Series on the 3/8-mile oval is held by Pete Harding. He posted a lap time of 16.897 seconds (79.896 mph) on July 15, 1989

BACK ON THE 3/8'S: The Northwest Series last raced on the 3/8-mile track on May 8, 2004. Jason Jefferson collected the win in that race. He was followed by John Bender, a former Evergreen Speedway track champion, and Harding.

HOMELAND SECURITY: Evergreen Speedway is the home track for current series points leader Gary Lewis. The Bothell, Wash. resident has been a dominant force this season. In four races, he has picked up a pair of wins and finished second in the other two. Lewis' success at Evergreen over the years has been impressive, to say the least. In his last 29 starts there, he has collected eight victories with eight other top-five finishes. That's 16 top-five efforts in 29 starts. He finished 24th in that last series race on the 3/8-mile track, but he did pick up the Bud Pole Award for that race. Lewis has six career Bud Poles at Evergreen Speedway.

DIFFICULT ROW TO HOE: The race this weekend at Evergreen Speedway begins at stretch of four races in four weeks for the Northwest Series. Race teams will also visit Yakima (Wash.) Speedway on July 22 and Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho on August 5. Sandwiched between those two events will be a return trip to Evergreen Speedway on July 29 for the Washington National Guard 150 presented by Creekside Retirement Center. That race will be part of the Evergreen 500 consisting of the 150-lap Northwest Series event, a 100-lap Speedway Chevrolet Super Stock event as part of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and the NAPA 250 presented by Triple A for the NASCAR Grand National Division AutoZone West Series. All told, there will be 500 laps of racing on the speedy .646-mile oval. It will be the largest assembly of NASCAR race teams ever at Evergreen Speedway.

JASON FRASER CAR APPEARANCE: Jason Fraser, one of the leading contenders for the Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year Award in the Northwest Series, will be showing his NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series ride today at AutoZone's Lynnwood location at 16809 Highway 99. He will be there signing autographs and giving fans of all ages a close-up look at his Rich's Car Corner/BRI Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The store also will have discount coupons for this Saturday's Top Foods/Haggen's Wired X Energy Drink 125.

THE ROOKIES: The battle for the Northwest Series' Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year award is hotly contested and will be one to watch all season long. A large rookie class that has 12 drivers vying for the title will undoubtedly go down to the wire. Currently, Jay Sauls, who picked up his first career Northwest Series win on July 1 at Wenatchee Valley's Super Oval in East Wenatchee, Wash. in just his fourth series start, leads the way with 31 points followed closely by Mike Longton and Shane Mitchell with 29 and 25 points, respectively. Fraser is next with 23 points. B.J. Tidrick is fifth with 22 tallies followed by Brent Harris with 20. Defending Evergreen Speedway champion in the Speedway Chevrolet Super Stocks Shane Harding is tied for seventh place with Darren Rupinski with 17 points. Troy Tamell (15), Zan Sharp (13), Bryan Warf (6) and Joey Decker (2) round out the list of rookie contenders. This year, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year will be awarded to the rookie driver with the highest finish in 75% of the events respective to the other rookie contenders.

Tickets and information about this event can be obtained by calling the speedway office at (360) 805-6100 or by visiting www.evergreenspeedway.com.

FAST FACTS

What: Top Foods/Haggen's Wired X Energy Drink 125 (Race No. 5 of 11 in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series).

Where: Evergreen Speedway, Monroe, Wash.

When: 8:30 p.m. PDT (approx.), Saturday, July 15, 2006

Track layout:  3/8-mile oval

Race length: 125 laps/46.875 miles.

Posted awards: $48,578

2005 winner:  Pete Harding (on .646-mile track).

2005 polesitter: Travis Bennett (on .646-mile track).

Top 10 in points: 1. Gary Lewis -- 700; 2; Travis Bennett -- 620; 3. Jay Sauls -- 581; 4. Jeff Barkshire -- 570; 5. Mike Longton* -- 550; 6. Wilbur Bruce -- 545; 7. Brandon Riehl -- 533; 8. Shane Mitchell* - 527; 9. Garrett Evans -- 518; 10. B.J. Tidrick* - 499

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Sat., 7/15 - 10:00 a.m. Registration opens; 1:30-2:15 p.m. Practice; 3:00-3:30 p.m. Practice; 5:00 p.m. Time Trials; 8:30 p.m. Top Foods/Haggen's Wired X Energy Drink 125.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Shane Mitchell , Jason Jefferson , John Bender , Gary Lewis , Jeff Barkshire