WS: Stockton II: Round 9 preview

* Family tradition takes a turn for Tim Woods III * Five different winners in first six races this season * Three consecutive runner-up finishes at Stockton for Duncan DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 8, 2005) - For Tim Woods...

*         Family tradition takes a turn for Tim Woods III

* Five different winners in first six races this season
* Three consecutive runner-up finishes at Stockton for Duncan

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 8, 2005) - For Tim Woods III (No. 54 Chino Hills Ford Ford), auto racing has been somewhat of a family tradition. Instead of following his grandfather and father into the sport of drag racing, however, the third-generation racer from Southern California opted for turning left in a stock car.

Woods' grandfather and father were part of the "Stone, Woods & Cook" Hall of Fame drag racing team. They were one of the most popular teams in the A/GS Supercharged ranks of drag racing in the 1960s - well-known for their blue Willys coupe. The popularity of their effort is reflected in the continued sales of collectible diecast models and plastic scale models of their cars. In addition, one of their cars is displayed at the NHRA Museum in Pomona, Calif.

Their days of drag racing came to an end in the 1970s. Consequently, the younger Woods did not get a chance to see the team compete first-hand. When he did attend drag races as a youngster, he would hear about the famed team and was often asked if he planned to race when he grew up.

"Since I was a kid, I would walk around in the pits and get to sit in race cars," Woods recalled. "I got to see things in a different light." He also heard a lot of praise for what his grandfather and father accomplished in drag racing. "That's something that made me feel good and keeps driving me to want to succeed in NASCAR," Woods said.

It was after a successful stint in the go-karts ranks that Woods turned his focus to stock cars. He gained experience, first in a regional truck series in 1998 and then in NASCAR late model stock cars.

The 30-year-old African-American driver from Chino Hills, Calif., currently competes in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. He is seventh in the championship standings with one top-five and three top-10 finishes in the first six races this season. He scored one of those top-10s when the West Series visited Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway earlier this year.

Woods hopes to improve on that mark when the series returns to the historic quarter-mile oval for the Fourth Annual Dodge Country, NAPA Auto Parts 200 by Havoline on Saturday, Aug. 13. The race will be televised to a national audience live in high definition on HDNet. In addition, SPEED Channel will provide an enhanced replay on Sept. 9.

Woods - who also raced in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - is optimistic about his racing program. Although he has competed in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series every year since making his debut in 2000 - several of those seasons featured a limited schedule of races. Last year, however, he ran the full slate of events - finishing a career-best ninth in the championship series standings, with one top-five and five top-10 finishes.

Woods is on course to top those stats this season. He offers two reasons for the improvement. "It's a combination of me seeing the urgency that my window of opportunity could be slipping. I also have a great crew chief in Michael Munoz," he said. "I feel a lot of confidence in having him work on my car."

While Woods is content with the direction he took in his racing effort, he still harbors a fondness for the kind of racing pursued by two generations of his family before him. "I really do love drag racing," he said. "I even attended the Frank Hawley (drag racing) school."

Woods admits that he has considered switching to drag racing. "It's something that I thought about, as far as making the transition and going over - but I put so many hard years into NASCAR and doing what I really want to do," he said. "I want to race lap after lap. I want to go more toe-to-toe. I feel like that's from my go-kart experience what my skills are and what my desire is to do."

NEWS & NOTES

* The race . This event is the seventh race on the series schedule for 2005. It marks the second of two visits by the West Series to Stockton this year.

* The track . Stockton 99 Speedway is a quarter-mile paved oval with blended banking of up to 14 degrees in turns one and two and up to 17 degrees in turns three and four. The track has hosted 18 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series races.

* Last year's event . Last year's event featured a first-time series win for a local favorite. After a tangle with Scott Lynch (No. 08 Mr. Gas Dodge) on lap 27, Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford) took the lead and set the pace for the remainder of the race. While David was en route to his first career victory, Mike Duncan (No. 9 Lucas Oil/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet) was focused on the bigger picture, as several other championship contenders encountered problems. Duncan, who had won the Bud Pole Award, finished second - followed by Tim Smith (No. 3 Veron Coating Systems Chevrolet), Scott Gaylord (No. 00 Oliver Gravity Separators/Denver Seminary Chevrolet) and John Moore.

* Five different winners in six races . The first West Series six races this season have produced five different winners. Lynch is the only multiple winner so far - with a victory at Stockton in April, along with a win earlier that month at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.

* Dominating qualifying . Duncan is dominating qualifying again this year. With four Bud Pole Awards in the first six races, he is on course to top his mark of last year when he won seven of 12 Bud Pole Awards. Hershel McGriff holds the record for the most poles in a season, winning 12 in 1972.

* Stockton winners . David and Lynch are the only former winners at Stockton who are expected to enter this event.

* Runner-up over and over . Duncan has finished in the runner-up spot in three consecutive West Series races at Stockton. Coupled with his runner-up finish in 2002, it gives him a second-place finish in four of the past five races there.

* Stockton experience . Among active drivers, only four have competed in all five West Series races at Stockton since 2002 - David, Duncan, Gaylord and Jack Sellers (No. 15 Aramark Pontiac).

* Local driver . A NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series driver with two wins this year in the Western Late Model class at Stockton 99 Speedway is to compete in the West Series at Stockton. Eric Humphries (No. 25 T.O.E. Performance/Red Line Oil Ford) of Chowchilla, Calif., is slated to be in the Tony Oddo entry.

* Series debut . Melissa Davis (No. 79 Microsoft msn/Peppermill/Carl's Ready Mix Chevrolet) is also slated to make her West Series debut at Stockton in a Jeff Macey-owned car. Davis of Santa Rosa, Calif., is a veteran competitor in late model stock cars at tracks throughout Northern California.

* Stat of the race . Seven of 14 West Series events at Stockton were won by the Bud Pole winner, including the race earlier this year.

* Green-white-checkered finish . Three of the past five series races at Stockton concluded with a green-white-checkered finish. In just over five seasons since the green-white-checkered rule was adopted in the West Series, 24 percent of the races (16 of 67) have ended with extra laps for a green flag finish.

* New race procedures . The Stockton event will mark the second West Series race since two changes were instituted into race procedures for the NASCAR Grand National Division, which includes the Busch North Series and West Series. NASCAR Grand National Division races now feature "double-file" restarts after any caution periods. The cars are aligned in two rows, in the order they were running when the caution period began. Any lapped cars are placed at the rear of the field, also in double-file formation. In addition to changing the restart procedure, NASCAR Grand National Division officials also instituted a "beneficiary" rule, which allows the first driver off the lead lap to return to the last position on the lead lap, under caution. Previously, NASCAR Grand National Division events utilized "single-file" restarts, in which the lead-lap cars were lined up in a single line with the leader alone at the front. Any lapped cars were lined up separately on the inside row.

* Roush tryouts . Scott Lynch was recently named by Roush Racing and the Discovery Channel as one of 25 drivers to participate in this year's competition for a fully-sponsored Roush ride in the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The Discovery Channel is filming the action for a 13-part series to be televised this fall. The 25 participants in this year's tryouts were selected from more than 1,700 applicants from across the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

* Career money winners . With their winnings from the most recent race, two drivers moved higher on the top 10 list of Career Money Leaders in the modern era (1971-present) of the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. Scott Gaylord moved past Butch Gilliland to second on the list with $759,341. Mike Duncan moved past Hershel McGriff to 10th on the list with $566,816.

BIRTHDAYS

Drivers celebrating a birthday in the second portion of August include Burney Lamar, who turns 25 on the 21st; Travis Powell, who turns 41 on the 26th; John Moore, who turns 42 on the 27th; Brian Richardson, who turns 30 on the 28th; and Brandon Miller, who turns 24 also on the 28th. One other birthday worth noting - car owner Bill McAnally will turn 40 on the 28th.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

On Aug. 6, 1966, Johnny Steele won a West Series race at Stockton 99 Speedway over Ray Elder and Jack McCoy.

Fast Facts

What: 4th Annual Dodge Country, NAPA Auto Parts 200 by Havoline, NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series Race #7

Where: Stockton 99 Speedway, Stockton, Calif.
When: 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13.

Track layout: .25-mile paved oval.
Distance: 200 Laps, 50 miles.

Posted Awards: $107,695

TV: HDNet (live)
SPEED Channel (enhanced replay, Sept. 9, 2:30 p.m. ET)

2004 winner: Mike David.
2004 polesitter: Mike Duncan.

Records: Qualifying: Mike Duncan, May 29, 2004, 63.861 mph, 14.093 sec.; Race: Johnny Borneman, Aug. 17, 2002, 48.976 mph, 1 hr 1 m 52 sec

Pre-race schedule: Saturday - Practice, Noon-12:45 p.m., 1:15-2 p.m. Qualifying, 5:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.

NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series Top 10: 1. Scott Lynch 1,009, 2. Mike Duncan 961, 3. David Gilliland 916, 4. Steve Portenga 907, 5. Mike David 870, 6. Brett Thompson 798, 7. Tim Woods III 789, 8. Scott Gaylord 777, 9. Andrew Lewis 771 10. Andrew Myers 755.

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Andrew Lewis , Steve Portenga , Tim Woods , Scott Gaylord , Jack Sellers , Brett Thompson , Brandon Miller , Scott Lynch , Mike David , John Moore , David Gilliland , Burney Lamar , Hershel McGriff , Andrew Myers , Frank Hawley