Matt Kobyluck, Mohegan Sun Racing Team head to Phoenix to run Winston West race.
Uncasville, Connecticut's Matt Kobyluck, fresh off a NASCAR Busch North Series season that saw him finish just nine points out of the series title, will start his 2003 season two and a half months ahead of most of his home series' drivers when he joins the NASCAR Winston West Series on the one-mile Phoenix (Arizona) International Raceway the weekend of February 1st and 2nd. The "Winter Heat" weekend of racing features the season openers for both the Winston West and Featherlite Southwest Series of NASCAR's Touring Series.
This race marks the first of five planned Winston West races for Kobyluck's team. The others will be at "The Bullring" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (April 12), Phoenix again (October 5), Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield, California (October 18), and California Speedway (November 1).
This year marks the first that the Winston West and Busch North Series have identical rulebooks, so Kobyluck's team will not be making any changes to their Billy Hess-built cars to go west. In addition to having similar specifications, the two series will invite their top drivers to a season-ending All-Star race at a site to be announced. Kobyluck is eager to get a jump on the competition while giving additional exposure to his sponsor, the Mohegan Sun gaming and entertainment destination located in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"We're testing out a target market," Kobyluck said. "We're going to go out there and see what kind of market is out there for Mohegan Sun. They're trying to get some awareness that far out west, without it costing a whole lot of money.
"We'll go out there and see how we'll compete against the Winston West guys," Kobyluck continued. "When we go out there to run that all-star race that they've been talking about at the end of the season, we want to know where we stack up against them. We're trying to branch out a little bit and take advantage of the rule changes that NASCAR's making. We have backing from our sponsor so that makes it able for us to do it."
Kobyluck, who will also contend the full Busch North Series schedule in 2003, is bringing a full complement of cars, spares, and a crew of thirteen to the Valley of the Sun.
"We're going out there to win it," he said. "We never show up at the racetrack if we're not prepared to win, so that's what we're going out there to do. We're not going out there just for the sake of going west. If we're going to travel that far, we're going to make sure that we're 100% prepared. We've got five hours worth of testing on Friday, and then we practice and qualify on Saturday and race on Sunday. It should be fun and exciting."
For more information on Matt Kobyluck, visit his website at www.mattkobyluck.com. Mohegan Sun's website is located at www.mohegansun.com.