WS: Phoenix: Round three preview

Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150 Presented by Shamrock Farms at Phoenix International Raceway David Looks For Repeat Win At Phoenix To Boost Season Austin Dillon Among East Coast Drivers Headed To PIR Phoenix Event Offers Chance Of Double Duty For...

Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150 Presented by Shamrock Farms at Phoenix International Raceway

David Looks For Repeat Win At Phoenix To Boost Season
Austin Dillon Among East Coast Drivers Headed To PIR
Phoenix Event Offers Chance Of Double Duty For Some

David Looks For Phoenix Repeat To Get Boost

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 13, 2009) - After encountering minor issues in the first two races this season, Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Toyota) is looking for a good finish to turn his season around in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. He hopes to accomplish that when the series heads to Phoenix International Raceway this week for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150 presented by Shamrock Farms on Thursday, April 16. David won the prestigious event on the one-mile track last year.

"It was a pretty big deal," he said. "That's our biggest track we run on out here. I've been going there a lot of years -- from the early 1990s -- to help my buddies with their cars in the Copper Classic."

In addition to his victory there, David has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 10 series races at PIR. Scoring a repeat win, last accomplished by Ken Schrader in 2003 and 2004, would be a major boost to David and the Lynch Racing team. "It's actually pretty important to us to get our season turned around," David said. "We've had a real good car the last two races, just unfortunate circumstances in both races kind of soured our finishes. So, we're looking forward to Phoenix to get back on track. To win there would be big for the team, to get our momentum going again."

The key to getting around the D-shaped track, meanwhile, is no different than anywhere else, according to David. "Just like every track, your car has got to handle and be consistent," he said. "That's why we did so well there last year. We were not the quickest qualifier, but our car stayed fast for the whole race. That's a key."

After winning the NASCAR Camping World Series West championship in 2007 -- the 42-year-old Modesto, Calif., competitor experienced an up and down season last year. And while he is looking for better finishes than the two seventh-place finishes he registered in the first two races this season, David is pleased with advances the team has made.

"I'm real proud of what we've got done so far and how well the cars are doing," he said. "We've just got to get some racing luck and get it turned around."

If that happens, he expects to be able to give longtime friend and rival Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota) a battle for the title again this year. "If we can get our season turned around and get it headed in the right direction, I think we'll give him a run for it," David said.

News & Notes

The race ... This event is the third race on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule for 2009 and the only visit by the series to Phoenix International Raceway this season.

The procedure ... The starting field is 40 cars, including provisionals. The first 36 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 (150 miles).

The track ... PIR is a one-mile superspeedway with Turns 1 and 2 banked 11 degrees, Turns 3 and 4 banked nine degrees and two degrees of banking in the dogleg. The track has hosted 23 stand-alone events for the NASCAR Camping World Series West.

The records ... Qualifying: Steve Portenga, March 18, 2000, 129.394 mph, 27.822 sec.; Race: Scott Lynch, Oct. 5, 2003, 114.262 mph, 1 hour 18 minutes 46 seconds.

Double duty ... The entry list for this event includes second-generation West Coast driver David Gilliland (No. 89 Northeastern University Toyota), who competed full time in the NASCAR Camping World Series West in 2004 and 2005 before heading to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and eventually the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Gilliland is also entered in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix. A couple of other former regulars in the West Series will be pulling double duty in a different way at PIR. Johnny Borneman (No. 8 Borneman Plastering Chevrolet) and Daryl Harr (No. 71 WestWorld Computers Chevrolet) plan to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event as well as the NASCAR Camping World Series West race.

Austin Dillon to compete ... Austin Dillon (No. 31 RCR/GGRT Chevrolet), grandson of Richard Childress, is slated to compete at Phoenix. Dillon won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title and finished second in the overall standings in the NASCAR Camping World Series East last year.

Others from the East ... In addition to Dillon, a couple of other drivers from the NASCAR Camping World Series East are making the trip to Phoenix -- Steve Park (No. 35 Waste Management Recycle America Chevrolet) and Kristin Bumbera (No. 00 Bumbera's Performance Associates Chevrolet). Bumbera, who has raced in two NASCAR Camping World Series West races, is running for the Sunoco rookie title in the East this season.

Leading winners ... With four victories, Ken Schrader has the most wins at Phoenix.

Most poles ... Two-time series champion Mike Duncan has four pole awards at Phoenix, to lead that category.

Top fives ... Bobby Allison holds the mark for the most top-five finishes at Phoenix, with six. He is followed on that list by Neil Bonnett, Austin Cameron and Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Toyota) -- with five each.

Top tens ... Cameron has the most top-10 finishes at PIR, placing 10th or better in nine of his 12 starts at Phoenix -- including a win in 2002. Steve Portenga and Scott Gaylord are tied for second on that list, each with eight top-10 finishes.

How they compare ... Of drivers who have competed in four or more races at Phoenix, Neil Bonnett had the best average finish of 2.2. Among current active drivers with four or more races at PIR, the average finish of 7.0 by Mike David ranks highest.

Wins among manufacturers ... Chevrolet has the most wins at Phoenix International Raceway among automobile manufacturers, with 12. Stat of the race ... Five of the 23 races at PIR were won by the pole winner. Three winners started outside of the top 10. Rich Woodland Jr., started the furthest back and won -- coming from 21st in 1998.

Fast Facts

The Race: Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150 presented by Shamrock Farms
The Place: Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, Ariz.

The Date: Thursday, April 16
The Time: 7:15 p.m. PT

TV Schedule: SPEED April 23, Noon PT

Track Layout: 1-mile paved
Race Purse: $201,324

2008 Winner: Mike David
2008 Pole: Ryan Foster

Schedule:
Thursday: Practice 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2 p.m. Time Trials 4:30 p.m.

-credit: nascar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Park , Ken Schrader , Jimmie Johnson , Rich Woodland , Steve Portenga , Scott Gaylord , Scott Lynch , Mike David , Daryl Harr , Bobby Allison , Eric Holmes , David Gilliland , Austin Cameron , Ryan Foster , Austin Dillon