WS/ES: Pre combination races notes

NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL COMBINATION RACES ATTRACT TEAMS FROM COAST TO COAST *Busch East Series, West Series drivers face off for championship points *Big weekend of NASCAR racing in Midwest with back-to-back events DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 9,...

NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL COMBINATION RACES ATTRACT TEAMS FROM COAST TO COAST

*Busch East Series, West Series drivers face off for championship points
*Big weekend of NASCAR racing in Midwest with back-to-back events

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2007) -- The entry list continues to grow as teams from coast to coast prepare to converge on Elko (Minn.) Speedway on Friday, May 18, for the first-ever NASCAR Grand National Division combination race between the Busch East Series and the West Series.

But that is just the beginning of a big weekend of NASCAR racing in the Midwest as the Grand National Division then heads approximately 240 south to Newton, Iowa, to face off again on Sunday, May 20, at Iowa Speedway.

While drivers from each series have battled head-to-head the past four years in the invitational post-season NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, this marks the first time teams will compete for valuable championship points in the same event.

Action from both Elko Speedway and Iowa Speedway will be televised to a national audience live in high definition on HDNet. In addition, SPEED is to provide an enhanced replay.

Drivers from the Busch East Series expected to compete at Elko include the two 16-year-old racing phenoms from Joe Gibbs Racing, Joey Logano and Marc Davis. Other East Coast Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates include fourth-generation driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, Michelle Theriault, Chase Austin, Jesus Hernandez and Tim Schendel, who won the NASCAR Elite Division portion of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown last year. Veterans heading up the East Coast charge include Sean Caisse, Bryon Chew, Matt Kobyluck and two-time and defending series champion Mike Olsen. Also entered is Eric Holmes, who is campaigning in the Busch East Series this year after winning the West Series championship last season.

The West Series will be well represented with series veterans Mike David, Tim Woods III, Johnny Borneman, Brett Thompson, Andrew Myers and two-time series champion Mike Duncan. Not to be overlooked are second-year drivers Eric Hardin, Justin Lofton and Brian Ickler. Among a large field of talented first-year West Coast drivers competing for the Sunoco rookie title are Jason Bowles, Ryan Foster, Eric Richardson and 17-year-old Alex Haase.

The combination races are just part of a changing landscape for the NASCAR Grand National Division, which entered a new era this season. The division -- which serves as a developmental series for up-and-coming future stars of NASCAR -- features expanded travel for each series and a reduced minimum driving age to 16 years old.

Cost effective initiatives introduced into the Grand National Division, meanwhile, include a spec engine and composite body. Teams also have the option of running either 105- or 110-inch wheelbase cars.

FAST FACTS

NASCAR Grand National Division, Combination Races

Minnesota 150
Elko Speedway, Elko, Minn.
9:00 p.m., Friday, May 18

3/8-mile paved oval
150 laps, 75 miles
Posted Awards: $133,817

Featherlite Coaches 200
Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
3:00 p.m., Sunday, May 20

7/8-mile paved oval
200 laps, 175 miles
Posted Awards: $196,872

TV: HDNet (Live)
SPEED (Enhanced replay)

NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series Top 10: 1. Mike David 520, 2. Tim Woods III 450, 3. Jason Bowles 419, 4. Johnny Borneman 409, 5. Brett Thompson 399, 6. Andrew Myers 398, 7. Eric Hardin 378, 8. Mike Duncan 376, 9. Ryan Foster 376, 10. Alex Haase 371.

NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series Top 10: Joey Logano 190, 2. Sean Caisse 180, 3. Bryon Chew 165, 4. Peyton Sellers 160, 5. Roger Lopez 155, 6. Jeffrey Earnhardt 150, 7. Mike Olsen 146, 8. Michelle Theriault 142, 9. John Freeman 138, 10. John Townley 134.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Matt Kobyluck , Tim Woods , Brett Thompson , Mike David , Eric Holmes , Tim Schendel , Peyton Sellers , Jason Bowles , Andrew Myers , Ryan Foster , Justin Lofton , Jesus Hernandez , Joey Logano , Sean Caisse , Marc Davis , Brian Ickler , Bryon Chew , Jeffrey Earnhardt , Chase Austin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing