DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 18, 2000) The 2001 Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring schedule will have 17 championship point events at 12 race tracks throughout the Southwest region of the United States, it was announced today by NASCAR officials. The series will once again feature a mix of events including superspeedway, road course and short track events that complete the 2001 season.

The series will make four superspeedway stops in 2001. The series opens the season on the 1.00-mile Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway alongside the NASCAR Winston West Series. Featherlite Southwest Series competitors will return to Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway in Fountain, Colo., on Sunday, May 20th for a 100-mile event.

The series will also return to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway for an event on Saturday, October 13th. Kurt Busch of Las Vegas, Nev., the 2000 Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring champion, was the last driver to win a series event on the 1.5-mile superspeedway.

The final superspeedway event of the season will be held on Thursday, October 25th at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway run in conjunction with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park will host the final event of the Featherlite Southwest Series season on Saturday, November 3rd, with a 150-lap event. Last season Auggie Vidovich, Jr., of Lakeside, Calif., recorded his first career victory at Tucson when he beat Sean Woodside of Saugus, Calif., to the checkered flag in a photo finish.

Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway will host three events in 2001 in April, July and September, while Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., will also host three events in April, June and October.

The series will once again take on the twists and turns of Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., as a companion to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series on Saturday, June 23rd.

Exciting short track racing will also highlight the schedule at several other venues including; Cajon (Calif.) Speedway, Colorado National Speedway in Erie, Colo., the 'Bullring' at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, Madera (Calif.) Speedway and Sandia Motorsports Park in Albuquerque, N.M., will also host a short track event in the 2001 season.

"We are thrilled to present an exciting Featherlite Southwest Series schedule that has been built around traditional dates, as well as several exciting new events," said Tom Deery, NASCAR vice president. "We think we have established a strong schedule for the upcoming season and we are very enthusiastic about the 2001 season as well as the future of this series."