PONTIAC WIDE TRACK GRAND PRIX 200 SUMMARY: * The Pontiac WideTrack Grand Prix 200 is the third race on the NASCAR Winston West Series 2002 schedule and the only visit by the series to California Speedway this season. * This event is one of...
PONTIAC WIDE TRACK GRAND PRIX 200 SUMMARY:
* The Pontiac WideTrack Grand Prix 200 is the third race on the NASCAR Winston West Series 2002 schedule and the only visit by the series to California Speedway this season.
* This event is one of four superspeedway races on the series schedule this year. While the first was the season-opener at Phoenix, remaining superspeedway events on tap in 2002 include Kansas City and Las Vegas.
* With his victory at California Speedway last year, Brendan Gaughan became the first competitor other than a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver to win this event.
* Jeff Jefferson is slated for double-duty in two NASCAR Touring events on Saturday, but has about 800 miles to cover between races. He plans to compete in the NASCAR Winston West Series race at California Speedway on Saturday morning and in a Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, NASCAR Touring event at Tri-City Raceway in West Richland, Wash., on Saturday night.
* One other driver is planning to make a slightly shorter commute of nearly 400 miles on Saturday. David Gilliland is to compete at Fontana on Saturday morning and in a Featherlite Southwest Series NASCAR Touring event at Stockton (Calif.) Speedway on Saturday night.
* Three cars entered at California Speedway are part of a Tri-Community Challenge-- put together by the Mayor of Fontana, David Eshleman. The three cars will be representing the communities of Fontana, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga. Butch Gilliland, the 1997 series champion, is to drive the Spirit of Ontario. His son David, the championship crew chief in 1997, is entered in the Spirit of Fontana. Both cars are owned by Eshleman. Meanwhile, series regular Tim Woods III will carry the Spirit of Rancho Cucamonga banner on his entry.
* Last year marked the first time that Ken Schrader did not finish in the top five of this race. His sixth-place finish in 2001 followed top-five finishes in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. This is the first year, meanwhile, that Schrader has not entered this event.
* Schrader is the only driver with more than one series victory at California Speedway. He won this event the first two years it was held-- 1997 and 1998.
* Schrader is also the only driver to win more than one Bud Pole Award at the Southern California superspeedway-- setting the fast lap in this event in 1998 and 2000.
* With $61,940 in winnings, Schrader has won the most money in NASCAR Winston West Series competition at the two-mile track. Although he failed to lead any laps in last year's race, Schrader also still leads the most laps of series competition, with 188.
* Scott Gaylord is the only driver to compete in all six NASCAR Winston West Series races that have been held at California Speedway.
* Ninety-two different drivers have competed in the six series races at California Speedway.
* Eric Norris and Greg Pursley are slated to take part in a special kick-off party for the big NASCAR weekend at California Speedway. The party will be at Dave & Buster's in the Ontario Mills Mall on Wednesday, April 24.
* Seven series drivers are scheduled to participate in the "NASCAR After Dark" program at California Speedway on Thursday, April 25. Austin Cameron, Tim Woods III, Johnny Borneman, Mike David, Scott Lynch and Brett Thompson will appear at the special autograph session at the speedway.
* Chevrolet has the most wins among manufacturers at California Speedway, with four. A Ford was in victory lane in 1999 and a Pontiac won in 2000.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
* Cameron has won five Bud Pole Awards in the series, placing him in a tie on the career list with Rick Carelli, Derrike Cope and Gaughan.
* Norris has passed Mike Chase to move into the top 10 on the list of series career money leaders. His series winnings total $370,178.
STATS OF THE WEEK:
* Last year's event marked the first time the winner came from outside the top five on the grid. Gaughan lined up eighth.