JEROME, Idaho (July 12, 2004) For Eddy McKean, the 2002 AutoZone Southwest Series champion, the event this weekend at Madera Speedway stands as a watershed race in his quest for a second series championship. This will be the second NASCAR AutoZone...
JEROME, Idaho (July 12, 2004) For Eddy McKean, the 2002 AutoZone Southwest Series champion, the event this weekend at Madera Speedway stands as a watershed race in his quest for a second series championship. This will be the second NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series race this season at the one-third mile oval in central California. McKean finished sixth in the series first visit back in March.
The 2004 season started out with a bang as McKean captured the victory in the season opening event at Phoenix in dominating fashion. McKean scored sixth and fifth place finishes at the next two events, then a tenth place performance at Cajon Speedway. The wheels came off the McKean express at Stockton Speedway where McKean finished 21st after leading the first 54 laps. A disappointing finish at Infineon Raceway two weeks after running as high as sixth late in the race dropped McKean to fifth in the season standing after seven races.
Madera Speedway has been a good track for McKean over the years where he has scored three top five finishes over the past couple of years. He hopes to put his past success to work this weekend and climb back into the championship hunt.
The second annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown that will be staged later and is on the minds of many Southwest Series driver's, McKean included. McKean is squarely focused on a top ten qualifying effort and finish at Madera this weekend in order to ensure his invite to the prestigious event that will pit the best of the best in all four of NASCAR's AutoZone Elite Divisions November 11-13 at Irwindale (CA) Speedway.
More than thirty drivers are expected to attempt to qualify for one of 22 starting positions in Saturday's 125-lap race and vie for their share of $44,894 in posted awards in race eight of the 14-race championship series. The event at Madera always draws several local competitors making the qualifying the most import part of the race. In past Madera races, the starting grid has been separated by less than three tenths of second.
After finishing 32nd at Infineon Raceway in the series last event, McKean is ready to get his season back on track. In preparation for this weekends event, McKean competed in a local touring event at his home track of Magic Valley Speedway this past weekend scoring a third place performance using a setup that is close to what he will need this weekend in Madera. "Racing at home is always good," McKean said. "I wanted to try some things that I think will work at Madera and Magic Valley is similar to Madera in some respects. I am real happy with our performance and look forward to a good run this weekend."
A solid finish at Madera is critical for McKean's championship hopes as the series closes the second half of the schedule. "We need a good run at Madera," McKean said. "It may be hard to catch Craig (Raudman) but we can still move back into the top three. We are going to tracks that we have been real good at, so it's not over yet."
McKean Racing is sponsored by: Magic Valley Pipe & Steel, NAAKE Motorsports, Victory Circle Chassis, and Ironclad Performance Wear. McKean's career AutoZone Southwest Series stats include: 52 career starts, 4 wins, 18 top five and 28 top ten finishes. McKean is also a three-time track champion at Magic Valley Speedway in Twins Falls, Idaho and a two-time NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series regional champion.