WS: Lynch gets All-Star spot

LYNCH FIRST TO GAIN SPOT IN NASCAR TOYOTA ALL-STAR SHOWDOWN Series veteran 'locked in' through new format for prestigious annual event DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 6, 2007) -- In winning the season opener for the NASCAR Grand National Division,...

LYNCH FIRST TO GAIN SPOT IN NASCAR TOYOTA ALL-STAR SHOWDOWN
Series veteran 'locked in' through new format for prestigious annual event

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 6, 2007) -- In winning the season opener for the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series on Saturday, Scott Lynch (No. 29 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Dodge) became the first driver this year to gain a spot in the 2007 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

Under the new format for the event, any driver who wins a Grand National race overall in 2007 will automatically qualify for the prestigious post-season event at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on Oct. 19-20.

In addition, the 2007 champions from each of the NASCAR Developmental Series will also be eligible for "protected spots" in the starting lineup. Invitees will include the champions of the NASCAR Grand National Busch East Series, the NASCAR Grand National West Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, the NASCAR Mexico Series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion.

For Lynch, who won the West Series championship as a rookie in 2003, the new format provides him a spot in the all-star event in which he competed in 2003 and 2004.

"It's totally awesome to be the first one to get in to the race this year," he said. "To be locked in is a great privilege. It's the biggest race of the year, when you bring the best from the East and best from the West."

Securing a spot in the field early in the season is a boost to the team and something the Burley, Idaho driver hopes will benefit them during the year, he said.

"To know that we're already locked in gives us something to look forward to," Lynch said. "It's great knowing so far in advance that you're guaranteed to get in. It's a great selling point for your team and potential sponsors."

The fifth edition of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown will feature a field of 40 cars competing for 250 laps. This year's event features a different format that alters how the lineup is determined. Only the 2007 champions from each of the NASCAR Developmental Series and Grand National Division race winners will be "locked into" the field. All other competitors must attempt to qualify for the race through the new time-trial procedure or the last-chance 50-lap "Open."

Any driver approved to compete in the NASCAR Grand National Series at tracks of half-mile or greater may enter and attempt to qualify for the race. However, only the top 15 drivers in the final championship point standings for the NASCAR Grand National Busch East Series and West Series will be eligible for bonus awards.

Time trials and the last-chance "Open" will be held Friday, Oct. 19. Top qualifiers will join with Grand National race winners and NASCAR Developmental Series champions to comprise the top 30 starting positions. The remaining 10 starting spots will be determined by the finishing order of the last-chance Open.

Also new for 2007 is the addition of a 150-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race on Friday night, providing an opportunity for some of the nation's best short track drivers to shine on a national stage.

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Scott Lynch