2008 Season Set To Get Underway At All American Speedway Many Have Ties To Historic Northern California Track HDNet Continues Coverage Of NASCAR Camping World Series Holmes Back on West Coast to Compete With New Team, Sponsor He's with a ...
2008 Season Set To Get Underway At All American Speedway
Many Have Ties To Historic Northern California Track
HDNet Continues Coverage Of NASCAR Camping World Series
Holmes Back on West Coast to Compete With New Team, Sponsor
He's with a different team, in a different car and with a different sponsor, but Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota) is back full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Series West.
His first race with his new team will come as the NASCAR Camping World Series West kicks off its 2008 season with the Toyota NAPA Auto Care 150 at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., on Saturday, March 29.
After winning the 2006 championship, Holmes headed across the country to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Series East. But things did not work out and after seven events the Escalon, Calif., native returned to the West Coast -- determined to regain the competitive level that had propelled him to the championship the year before.
He was successful, delivering his long-time car owner and employer Allen Beebe with a win in the season finale. But with Beebe turning his focus on business ventures outside of racing, Holmes began looking for a competitive full-time ride with another team for 2008. He found just that with Bill McAnally Racing, a multi-car Northern California race team with three championships to its credit.
"It just worked out that at the end of last year, Bill (McAnally) came to me and I explained my situation and he explained his," Holmes said. "It's just worked out really well for both of us."
Holmes admitted that it may take some time to get use to being part of the NAPA team.
"It hasn't really dawned up me yet," he said during a test session earlier this month. "I've gone there and worked in the shop. It seems a little different, going into a different trailer and all the different stuff. But I do have three or four of my own crew members here, so it feels kind of like home."
The relationship between Holmes and McAnally is not new, however.
"I've known Bill a long time," Holmes said. "I've driven his cars before. Actually the car I won the championship with was bought from him. So, we've had a great relationship. When he's needed something, I've helped him and he's helped me."
Needless to say, Holmes and McAnally share a common goal for 2008.
"He's got NAPA and Toyota and wants to win a championship," Holmes said. "So, we're here to do whatever we can to win that championship. You always hope going in every year that you can win a championship; you think you can win a championship. We're excited about it. I think we've got all the equipment and the tools we need to do it. It's just a matter of going out and executing it."
Holmes knows that he will face some a tough challenge in contending for the title and acknowledged that some of that competition will come from his own teammates at BMR.
"We've got Austin (Cameron) (No. 18 NAPA Auto Care Toyota) coming on board," he said. "So, my teammate is going to be tough. And Moses (Smith) (No. 16 HASA Pool Products Toyota) is in his second year. So, he will be doing better."
While Holmes has had teammates on occasion in the past, being part of a multi-team operation throughout the season will be new to him.
"We rented cars out when I was with Allen," Holmes said. "So, I've had teammates at Infineon and stuff like that -- but it's definitely a little different."
In this case, it's more of being part of an overall team, according to Holmes. "Bill is real focused on keeping us as all a team," he said. "He's really focused on all of us getting along and all of us in the shop helping each other out."
Return to Roseville Will Be a 'Homecoming' for Many Personnel
The NASCAR Camping World Series West is set to kick off its 55th season on Saturday, March 29, at All American Speedway -- a track that last featured the West's oldest stock car racing circuit more than 25 years ago.
The historic track -- located on the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville, Calif. -- hosted five NASCAR Camping World Series West events between 1977 and 1982. This race marks a return to familiar territory for many personnel who currently travel the circuit.
John Krebs, who serves as a team manager for Jack Sellers Racing and still lives in Roseville, competed in several of those NASCAR Camping World Series West races. He registered top-10 finishes in 1978 and 1982, along with a 17th-place finish in 1979. He went on to make 150 career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Series overall.
Krebs also competed at All American Speedway in the NASCAR Southwest Tour, during its inaugural year in 1986. He did double duty that entire season, finishing eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Series West championship standings and sixth in the final standings of the NASCAR Southwest Tour. Krebs also competed at Roseville in the Limited Sportsman class in the 1980s.
Car owner John Borneman also competed in a couple of the NASCAR Camping World Series West events at Roseville. Borneman, whose son Johnny now wheels the family entry, finished 12th in 1978 and 16th in 1977.
For veteran driver Jim Inglebright (No. 1 Jelly Belly Chevrolet) of Fairfield, Calif., this event marks the return to a track where he made the transition from racing motorcycles to stock cars. He captured back-to-back titles in the Pro Stock class, beginning with a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship in 1991.
"It feels good coming out here," Inglebright said during a test day at the track earlier this month. "I'm anxious to get out on the track again. It's a different race track from what I ran back in the day, but it's still Roseville."
Inglebright has fond memories of the fan support he developed at All American Speedway. "It's like coming back home," he said. "It's like you become part of your fans' family. They start rooting for you and you interact with them. It's really special. I don't know if any of the fans from the 90s will be out here. I hope to see some of them."
Before relinquishing his role as a driver, Bill McAnally had won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship in the Pro Stock class at Roseville in 1990. His introduction to stock car racing had come while he was working at the fairgrounds track in 1986. McAnally, who still lives less than five miles from the track, heads up Bill McAnally Racing in nearby Antelope, Calif. -- with three full-time teams in the NASCAR Camping World Series and four teams racing in the Late Model class of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at All American Speedway.
Another Roseville resident, Mike Naake made his initial mark in racing while competing there as a teenager. He was one of the top contenders in the Limited Sportsman class at Roseville in the early 1980s. He spent the 1986 season out of the driver's seat, working as a technical inspector at the speedway. Naake now runs Naake Suspension Specialists in Roseville and heads up the Motorway Motorsports team in the NASCAR Camping World Series.
Various other personnel currently involved in the series also have ties to the Roseville track. Before becoming a driver and multi-team car owner on the NASCAR Camping World Series West circuit in 1985, Jack Sellers raced in the Street Stock class at All American Speedway in 1982. Steve Portenga, who has raced in 79 NASCAR Camping World Series events and now serves as crew chief for the Golden Gate Racing Team, captured headlines at Roseville when he won the "Rose Classic" race in 1992.
Car owner and crew chief Rob Dixon spent many Saturdays at All American Speedway, working on McAnally's team. Chuck Carruthers, team manager and crew chief for Jim Warn with MJ2Racing, built cars and served as a crew chief for multi-time Roseville champion Ed Gibber in the late 1980s. Prior to becoming a crew chief for one of BMR's teams, Duane Knorr was the crew chief for Street Stock champion Doug Wade in mid 1990s.
Tony Toranto -- who now handles the show car duties for BMR -- experienced success at All American Speedway in the Street Stock class, winning the rookie title and the championship in 1986. He later graduated to the Pro Stock class there. His brother, Andy, wrenched on his car at Roseville for many years and now works at the Motorway Motorsports team.
NASCAR Camping World Series West media coordinator Kevin Green fulfilled several roles at All American Speedway. He worked with several different race teams at the track in the early 1980s. He served as the track's public relations coordinator in a part-time capacity on weekends for several years (1986-1988). Green returned to the track as a driver in 1992 to compete in the Street Stock class, where he won the rookie title and finished second in the championship standings. He graduated a year later to Pro Stocks, where he won the Rookie of the Year Award.
Coverage of NASCAR Camping World Series Continues With Comprehensive TV Schedule
The live broadcast of the season opening Toyota NAPA Auto Care 150 at All American Speedway will kick off television coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Series for 2008.
It is the first event in a comprehensive television broadcast schedule announced last month for the NASCAR Camping World Series, with coverage live in high definition on HDNet and enhanced replays on SPEED.
High definition pioneer HDNet will broadcast 16 races in 2008, continuing a partnership with NASCAR that began five years ago and provided the NASCAR Camping World Series with its first live television package. HDNet coverage includes the first eight races of the NASCAR Camping World Series West season, as well as the season-finale Oct. 18 at the new Kern County track in Bakersfield, Calif.
The NASCAR Camping World Series East broadcast schedule on HDNet will pick up with the July 19 race at Music City Motorplex in Nashville and run through the final seven races of the season, culminating with the live broadcast at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway Sept. 28.
HDNet's broadcast schedule will also include the mid-season combination race between the East and the West at Iowa Speedway May 18.
Smith throws out first pitch at Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game
Moses Smith (No. 16 HASA Pool Products Toyota) hit the diamond earlier this month to throw out the first pitch at Tucson Electric Park on March 16 as the Arizona Diamondbacks took on the Chicago White Sox during Cactus League spring training baseball action.
Smith, who was on hand as part of "Phoenix International Raceway Day" at the ballpark, also signed autographs for fans..
News & Notes
The race ... The Toyota NAPA Auto Care 150 is the first in a 13-race series schedule this year for the NASCAR Camping World Series West. It marks the first time for the Roseville track to host the season opener.
The track ... All American Speedway is a 1/3-mile paved oval with eight degrees banking in turns one and two. Turns three and four have progressive banking, beginning at 10 degrees and graduating to 14 degrees. The track hosted five NASCAR Camping World Series West events between 1977 and 1982, when it was a quarter-mile oval.
Changes ... The Roseville track received a major renovation last year. In addition to numerous improvements, turns 3 and 4 were extended 75-feet to the north.
Series debut ... A couple of local drivers are set to make their series debut at Roseville. Eric Schmidt, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model champion at All American Speedway, is slated to drive the No. 05 entry for car owner Frank Jordan. Jonathan Hale, who won the Most Improved Driver Award in that class last season, is to drive the No. 15 entry for Jack Sellers Racing.
No repeat winners ... The five NASCAR Camping World Series races at All American Speedway resulted in five different drivers visiting victory lane -- Sumner McKnight (1977), Jim Insolo (1978), Tim Williamson (1979), Jim Robinson (1981), and Jim Bown (1982) -- and five different drivers setting the fast time in qualifying -- Chuck Bown (1977), Bill Schmitt (1978), Insolo (1979), Robinson (1981), and Jim Bown (1982).
Lap leader ... The 150 laps Jim Robinson led en route to his win in 1981 gave him the most laps led at All American Speedway.
Birthdays ... Drivers celebrating a birthday during the month of March include Mike Gallegos, who turned 25 on the 18th; Ryan Philpott, who turned 25 on the 21st; Kyle Cattanach, who turned 23 on the 22nd; Kevin Culver, who turned 51 on the 25th; Gene Woods, who turns 50 on the 27th; and Moses Smith, who turns 32 on the 30th.
The Race: Toyota NAPA Auto Care 150
The Place: All American Speedway, Roseville, Calif.
The Date: Saturday, March 29
The Time: 8:38 p.m. (PT)
TV Schedule: HDNet (Live)
SPEED (enhanced replay)
Track Layout: .333-mile paved
Race Purse: $118,255
2007 Winner: Event not held
2007 Pole: Event not held
Friday: Practice 4-5 p.m., 7-7:45 p.m.
Saturday: Practice 2-2:45 p.m., Time Trials 4:45 p.m.