NEW NASCAR WEST TEAM LURES SHOWDOWN WINNER VIDOVICH FOR PIR DEBUT LAKESIDE, California (17 April 2006) -- A new NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series team will be making their debut at Phoenix International Raceway April 20. However,...
NEW NASCAR WEST TEAM LURES SHOWDOWN WINNER VIDOVICH FOR PIR DEBUT
LAKESIDE, California (17 April 2006) -- A new NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series team will be making their debut at Phoenix International Raceway April 20. However, this team is not new to racing and has as much racing experience as any one could wish for at a debut race. The newly formed team owned by Lori DenBeste along with her husband, Bill DenBeste of Windsor, CA and Mike Harvick of Bakersfield, CA signed 2005 NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown winner, Auggie Vidovich II, to pilot their entry for the West Series CASINO ARIZONA 150 race.
A one-day shake out on the one-mile PIR oval in the No. 57 DenBeste Transportation Ford Taurus got twenty-five-year-old Vidovich quickly accustomed to the more than 3,000 lb car similar to the NASCAR Busch East Series with no problem. Vidovich was smooth from the initial laps and he got faster and more comfortable with every lap. "We were very happy with all of Auggie's laps in the new car. Everything went very well," smiled Mike Harvick.
The partnership between Bill and Lori DenBeste of DenBeste Transportation and Mike Harvick was a natural after their friendship the past several years. "Mike is a great guy and we think he is a great contributor to the sport. We are very lucky to have him aboard. We wanted the exposure and experience and hopefully wins in 2006 to build on for 2007 and the future," said team owner Lori DenBeste. Mike Harvick took the time, did the research and found the cars that were purchased from PPC Racing in North Carolina. Another plus for the new team, Watkins Engine Development of Bakersfield, CA will continue to supply the engines for Vidovich after Vidovich's great run in 2005 in the Southwest Series.
Having a relationship with Mike Harvick already, Bill and Lori DenBeste felt it was a good pairing with the experienced crew chief from Bakersfield, CA and Auggie Vidovich, the young driver from Lakeside, CA. They have shown they get along and communicate well with the four NASCAR Southwest Series wins in 2005 and the prestigious NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown win last November. "Auggie is professional, committed and hard working and an all around good guy. We immediately liked what we saw in Auggie when we first met him," said Lori.
The No.57 DenBeste Transportation team plan on racing a total of three races in 2006 --- Phoenix April 20, Infineon Raceway June 24 and California Speedway September 1 -- to get Vidovich up to speed in the West Series and gain exposure for the sponsors. "We would like to race the Busch Series next year with Auggie and Mike and hopefully we can create a successful Busch team and bring another great team to the sport," quoted Lori DenBeste. And as the majority owner of the newly formed team, Lori Denbeste brings diversity to the sport of NASCAR as a women owned Hispanic team owner.
Vidovich's last (and only) start in the then referred to NASCAR Winston West Series was back on October 13, 2001 on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway, starting 28th and finishing 16th.
DenBeste Transportation welcomes partners Dine Transportation, Pinnacle Supply, Generation Wines, Remedial Transportation Services (RTS) and DenBeste Tank Rentals for the Phoenix race.
Bill and Lori DenBeste were first introduced to NASCAR racing after attending a race as an invitee of the No. 4 Biagi Racing Team about four years ago. Fred Biagi invited the two to a race and sponsored the No. 4 Biagi Team at a Bristol Motor Speedway race and have been hooked ever since.
With this being the final year of competition announced recently by NASCAR for the popular Southwest Series, Vidovich will continue competing in the Southwest Series this year driving No.11 Centrifugal Technologies / Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber Chevrolet owned by Rich Fountain aiming to win the championship and get his name on the final Southwest Series trophy.
Finishing second in the final point standings in 2005, Vidovich has now finished second three times (2005, 2001 and 2000) more than any other driver in the series history since 1986. Vidovich is determined more than ever to build on the 2005 year stats with the four wins, nine top-five, eleven top-ten finishes, two back-to-back wins plus winning both races held at one track, leading two entire races and leading the most laps for the season for the final Southwest Series year. Vidovich's Southwest Series Crew Chief, Mike Harvick, was awarded the 2005 Lunati Crew Chief Award for Vidovich's four wins (a season high) in 2005.
Vidovich was recently featured in this year's Discovery Channel Roush Racing "Driver X: The Race for the Ride," a13-part nationally televised reality series. Vidovich, the only driver from California, made it down to the final top six after he was originally selected one of the 25 qualified participants out of 1700 submitted resumes. After on track driving observation on the Darlington and Martinsville tracks and intensive interviews by marketing personnel and Roush Racing current drivers and key Roush employees, Vidovich was happy with the results and said the show gave him great exposure and experience in the heavy Roush Craftsman trucks.