Jeff Jefferson plans second NASCAR touring "Daily Double" of the 2002 season. NACHES, Wash. (May 30, 2002)-- Jeff Jefferson had such a good time traveling up and down the West Coast competing in a Winston West and Raybestos Brakes Northwest ...
Jeff Jefferson plans second NASCAR touring "Daily Double" of the 2002 season.
NACHES, Wash. (May 30, 2002)-- Jeff Jefferson had such a good time traveling up and down the West Coast competing in a Winston West and Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, NASCAR Touring event in the same day that he decided to do the daily double again this weekend.
The logistics of this trip offer a bigger challenge for the Naches, Wash. native.
The Winston West series runs the kansasspeedway.com 150 at Kansas Speedway at Noon on Saturday, June 1. That evening, the Northwest Series takes the green flag at 8:30 p.m. for the Frank's Chevrolet 125 at Yakima Speedway. Jefferson plans to make both races with the help of some talented crewmembers and a commercial flight from Kansas City to Pasco, Wash., then driving one-hour west to Yakima.
The last time Jefferson made the attempt to run both series in the same day, he found himself climbing through the field in the West race only to have an engine expire which dropped him to 14th in the West's points standings. He came home with the checkered flag at a Northwest event later that same evening, his first career win in the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series. Jefferson sees no problem with making both shows this weekend despite a time change and lengthy airplane trip.
"I don't think so," Jefferson said of any difficulties making it back to Yakima from Kansas City."I want everything to work out but I know that there is not as much time to spare as before."
Jefferson emphasized that a turnout similar to the Tri-City event in his hometown of Yakima, Wash. would be a huge reward for all of the effort by both of his race teams.
"I hope it'll be just like Tri-Cities," he said."I know I'll be full of adrenaline when I get there, especially since it is my home track."
Running a Chevrolet owned by Rick Allison and sponsored by D&G Bodyworks, Jefferson sits fifth in the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series points standings. With defending champion Kevin Hamlin off to a tremendous start of three wins in four races, Jefferson said that high goals are in place for the team in the Frank's Chevrolet 125. Starting in the back of the 28-car field because he will miss qualifying only makes those goals more challenging he added.
"The realistic goal is to win. I want to go from the back to the front, Rick and I won't be happy unless we at least reach the top-3."
Jefferson is the only other driver to win on the Northwest Series this season. Since his victory on April 27, the D&G Bodyworks team has found trouble finishing the last two races as motor gremlins struck for the first time all year. Jefferson has gone from second in the points standings to fifth after the Northwest's last event held May 25 in East Wenatchee, Wash. Despite the fact the team has two straight DNF's on the race report, Jefferson said no one has gotten down on the goal of winning a championship in the Northwest.
"Nobody has gotten negative on the team about the last few weeks," he said."That is just part of the game, we had excellent cars at both races and had to deal with stuff that was out of our hands."
"We can get back on track with a good weekend coming up in Yakima."
Jefferson said Pete Harding, the 1999 series champion, would drive his car in practice for Allison to insure everything is working properly."He's going to shake it down, we don't want to get to carried away with the set-up. Pete is the same type of driver as I am so he'll probably like the way the car handles."
"Pete is a good friend of Rick and myself but it's not like he will be qualifying the car for us, he's just going to make sure that everything works."
As was the case when Jefferson arrived in Tri-Cities, a talented group of Northwest drivers will await him and challenge for victory in the Frank's Chevrolet 125, including his younger brother Jason who will be making only his second start of the season on the Northwest Series. Jeff said that all of the hype about a rivalry between his brother and the D&G Bodyworks team does not sway his approach to the upcoming race.
"Everybody compares the two of us and I don't think it's fair. We each race in our own series (Jason is fifth in the Northwest regional standings for the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge) and do our own thing. Jason is a hell of a driver, I know that he'll have that Ford Taurus up front and be somebody I'll have to contend with at the end of the race."
The Frank's Chevrolet 125 for the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series takes the green flag at 8:30 p.m. on June 1 in Yakima, Wash. For ticket information call (509) 248-0647 or visit the tracks' website at www.yakimaspeedway.com