WS: Colorado: Round five preview

Borneman Hopes To Turn Corner At Colorado National Speedway Colorado National Speedway is a track that has always been very popular with drivers, teams and fans of the NASCAR Camping World Series West. The .375-mile track, located just north of...

Borneman Hopes To Turn Corner At Colorado National Speedway

Colorado National Speedway is a track that has always been very popular with drivers, teams and fans of the NASCAR Camping World Series West. The .375-mile track, located just north of Denver, has been the scene of plenty of exciting side-by-side competition -- with drivers such as Ron Hornaday Jr., Mike Chase, Mike Duncan and Steve Portenga emerging victorious.

The track has not been so kind, however, to veteran driver Johnny Borneman (No. 8 Twisted X Boots/Red Line Oil Ford). It is the only oval track visited by the NASCAR Camping World Series West where the second-generation driver from Ramona, Calif., has yet to score a top-five finish. In fact, he has not even managed a top-10 finish there. His best finish in two starts at CNS was 13th in 2001.

Borneman hopes to turn his luck around when the NASCAR Camping World Series West heads to Colorado this week for the Toyota NAPA 150 on Saturday, June 7. The event, the fifth of a 13-race schedule, will be televised to a national audience live in high definition on HDNet. In addition, SPEED is to provide an enhanced replay.

Borneman recently recalled his problems of a year ago at Colorado: "I know last year we really, really struggled there. We just really missed the boat. We just got off our game, I guess. I think that was our worst run last year. We struggled to even stay on the lead lap."

He and his family-owned team hope to turn things by bringing a different car to Colorado for this event.

"We're actually taking the car we won with at Washington," Borneman said, referring to his most recent victory in 2006. "So, I hope we'll have a better run."

There is another reason for Borneman to remain optimistic of doing well at Colorado National Speedway. He says the track is comparable to the now-shuttered Cajon Speedway near San Diego, where he grew up racing.

"It's a lot like my home track before they tore it down," said the veteran driver, who will celebrate his 31st birthday later this month. "We just have not had good runs there, but I definitely think we'll turn it around this year."

Regardless of his performance, Borneman points out that the Colorado track offers plenty of exciting racing. "It definitely puts on a good show there," he said. "There's room to pass on the outside or on the bottom. It's an exciting place to run."

Since making his series debut in 2000 -- Borneman has three wins, 23 top-five and 43 top-10 finishes in 80 starts. His father, John Borneman, raced in the series in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Colorado Represents Homecoming For Gallegos

When it comes to NASCAR Home Tracks, Colorado National Speedway is where Mike Gallegos (No. 34 RTD Motorsports/D4D Chevrolet) hangs his hat.

Gallegos, of nearby Wheat Ridge, was a regular competitor in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models at CNS between 2001 and 2004 and continues to race at the .375-mile track when time allows.

Gallegos -- who is in his second season competing in the NASCAR Camping World Series West -- is 10th in the championship standings, with top-10 finishes in three of four events. He is in his fourth year participating in the Drive for Diversity Program, having raced in the D4D effort in the Late Model class at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway in 2005 and in the former NASCAR Elite Division, Midwest Series in 2006.

News & Notes

The race -- The Toyota/NAPA 150 is the fifth of 13 races on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule for 2008.

The procedure -- The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (56.25 miles).

The track -- Colorado National Speedway is a .375-mile paved oval with four degrees of banking in the straights and progressive banking of six to 12 degrees in the corners. The track has hosted five NASCAR Camping World Series West events.

The records -- Qualifying: Brian Ickler, June 2, 2007, 82.057 mph, 16.452 seconds; Race: Mike Duncan, Oct. 9, 2004, 60.859 mph, 54 minutes 43 seconds.

Duncan only repeat winner at CNS -- With his victory at Colorado National Speedway last year, Mike Duncan became the only repeat winner at CNS. He also won in 2004. Drivers with a single win at Colorado include Mike Chase in 1995, Ron Hornaday Jr. in 1996 and Steve Portenga in 2001.

Five different pole winners -- The five visits to Colorado have produced five different pole winners -- Garrett Evans, Butch Gilliland, Brian Ickler, Scott Lynch and Sean Woodside.

Duncan tops competition -- By virtue of his two wins, Mike Duncan is the only driver with more than one top-five finish at CNS. Duncan -- along with Joe Bean, Austin Cameron and Sean Woodside -- lead the way in terms of top-10 finishes, with two each.

Most money -- With winnings of $13,250 for his victory in 1996, Ron Hornaday Jr., leads competitors in terms of money won at the Colorado track.

Running out front -- Mike Chase has led the most laps around the .375-mile oval, running out front for 172 laps.

Stat of the race -- A NASCAR Camping World Series West race at Colorado National Speedway has never been won by the pole winner.

Birthdays -- Drivers celebrating a birthday in the month of June include Thomas Martin, who turns 30 on the 4th; Jason Small, who turns 29 on the 7th; Quintin Crye, who turns 20 on the 12th: Lloyd Mack, who turns 26 on the 16th; Brett Thompson, who turns 31 on the 17th; Candace Muzny, who turns 27 on the 18th; Tim Smith, who turns 40 on the 19th; Eric Hardin, who turns 26 on the 22nd; and Johnny Borneman, who turns 31 on the 30th.

***

The Race: Toyota/NAPA 150

The Place: Colorado National Speedway, Erie, Colo.
The Date: Saturday, June 7

The Time: 7:40 p.m. MT
TV Schedule: HDNet (Live) SPEED (enhanced replay) June 24, 1 p.m. ET

Track Layout: .375-mile paved
Race Purse: $112,202

2007 Winner: Mike Duncan
2007 Pole: Brian Ickler

Schedule: Saturday: Practice 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Time Trials 4:30 p.m. (303) 665-4173

***

Last year's event ...

A victory in last year's event gave Mike Duncan back-to-back wins at Colorado National Speedway. His victories at the .375-mile oval just north of Denver were separated by three years, however, with the first win coming in 2004.

In the most recent visit, pole winner Brian Ickler dominated the first half, before falling back with mechanical woes. Duncan slipped by just after a restart. During a subsequent caution a few laps later, Ickler ducked into the pits with power steering trouble.

Duncan's challenge did not end when he got around Ickler, however. He had a good look in his rear view mirror at Mike David, who led the championship standings coming into the event.

Although David was able to get the nose of his car out front to lead a lap on a Lap 102 restart, Duncan regained the lead and paced the field to the checkered flag. His final challenge came when a late-race caution led to a fierce two-lap dash and a green-white-checkered finish that extended the distance of the race to 155 laps. David had to settle for the runner-up spot, while Ryan Foster took third.

Final Notes From Iowa

First in class -- Jim Inglebright (No. 1 Jelly Belly Chevrolet) gained credit for a win as the top finisher among NASCAR Camping World Series West competitors in the US Cellular 200 NASCAR Camping World Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway on May 18. The veteran driver from Fairfield, Calif., finished ninth overall, despite being spun around by another car during one of the early cautions.

Taking home the hardware -- Series rookie Jeff Barkshire (No. 46 Centennial Batteries/SPE Dodge) captured the early spotlight and much of the hardware among NASCAR Camping World Series West drivers at Iowa. Barkshire was quickest in qualifying among those drivers, winning the Coors Light Pole Award (West). His time was second quickest overall, gaining him a starting position from the outside of the front row. He went on to lead 39 laps to capture the Aero Exhaust Lap Leader Award (West) and was the top-finishing rookie, capturing his third straight Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award (West). Barkshire, who drove his team hauler from Washington state to Iowa, finished 12th overall, second among NASCAR Camping World Series West competitors.

Also running out front -- Barkshire was not the only NASCAR Camping World Series West driver to lead at Iowa. Mike Gallegos (No. 34 RTD Motorsports/D4D Chevrolet) also had a strong run, leading 31 laps midway through the 200-lap race. He became the first driver in the Drive for Diversity program to lead a lap in the NASCAR Camping World Series. Gallegos went on to finish 23rd overall, after serving a penalty for a pit road violation late in the race.

Turnout from the West Coast -- Fifty-four entries turned out for the combination race at Iowa Speedway. Twenty-three of the 24 cars representing the NASCAR Camping World Series West qualified for the event.

Series return -- Alex Haase (No. 51 Kyle Busch Foundation/Electric Sunglasses Chevrolet) made his return to the series for the Iowa race. The 18-year-old Haase, who last year finished second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings and ninth in the overall championship standings for the NASCAR Camping World Series West, drove a car fielded by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Kyle Busch's team (Kyle Busch Motorsports). Haase, who moved from his native Las Vegas after last season and has focused primarily on late model competition this year, was sidelined after an accident on Lap 56.

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jason Small , Steve Portenga , Jim Inglebright , Brett Thompson , Scott Lynch , Mike David , Thomas Martin , Austin Cameron , Ryan Foster , Jeff Barkshire , Brian Ickler , Kyle Busch