Cameron, Breese Claim Inaugural Toyota All-Star Showdown Victories IRWINDALE, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2003) - Austin Cameron claimed an emotional victory in the inaugural NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, Saturday at Irwindale Speedway. Cameron, a NASCAR...
Cameron, Breese Claim Inaugural Toyota All-Star Showdown Victories
IRWINDALE, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2003) - Austin Cameron claimed an emotional victory in the inaugural NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, Saturday at Irwindale Speedway. Cameron, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series competitor from El Cajon, Calif., missed four races during the 2003 season while undergoing cancer treatments. Cameron's performance once he returned to the track was enough to clinch the 15th and final Winston West invitation to the Toyota All-Star Showdown, where he won $26,000 in prize money and the keys to a new Toyota Tundra pickup truck, which he will use for one year.
Joining Cameron as a race winner was Ron Breese Jr., of DeKalb, Ill., who won the 100-lap NASCAR Elite Division portion of the event and took home $14,500 in prize money along with the use of a Toyota Tundra pickup for one year.
"We didn't have a chance to win the championship this year due to some small 'hiccups' in my career and my life," said Cameron. "But, this is the best championship I could've won this year. We're back and we're here to stay. "To be in the situation I've been in all year, basically fighting for my life, and come here and win the biggest race of the year, it's everything I could've wanted."
Cameron's victory was a redeeming moment for the "home standing" Winston West Series teams, who were upstaged by the visiting Busch North Series teams throughout the All-Star event. On Wednesday, Mike Stefanik's No. 55 Busch North Series team won the Ringer's Glove pit stop contest, which featured the pit crews from the top-three Winston West and Busch North Series teams in a tire-changing/pit stop contest against the clock. On Friday, both twin 50-lap qualifying races were won by Busch North Series drivers and the Busch North Series was also the winner of Saturday's "team" race segment, which scored the two series as "teams" for the opening 100-lap segment of the 125-lap feature race. Fifteen Busch North Series drivers were awarded with an additional $2,000 apiece as "team" victors in the event.
Breese's victory, ahead of Featherlite Southwest Series driver Jim Pettit II, put an exclamation point on his series' dominance of the Elite Division race. Breese competes in the NASCAR Elite Division, International Truck and Engine Corporation Midwest Series, whose drivers claimed five of the top-10 finishing positions and were also scored as the "team" race winners in the opening segment of the Elite Division race.