USAR: Iowa CS: First round preview, schedule

Wildcard Starts Championship Series Pro Cup drivers to christen Iowa Speedway Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Many liken the Hooters Pro Cup "Championship Series" to a six-race playoff to determine the overall champion and rookie of the year. If that's...

Wildcard Starts Championship Series
Pro Cup drivers to christen Iowa Speedway

Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Many liken the Hooters Pro Cup "Championship Series" to a six-race playoff to determine the overall champion and rookie of the year. If that's the case, the Soy Biodiesel 250 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, would be a wildcard game.

The .875-mile speedplant will play host to the first of six Championship Series races on Friday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. It will be the first time a Championship Series event has been run at a track not on the regular-season schedule. More importantly, the race will be the first time any Pro Cup-or any other-driver has competed at the newly-built gem.

"Iowa Speedway is a first-class facility," said Tony Cox, USAR Series Director. "They've spared no expense making the track racer- and fan-friendly, and we're honored to be the first series to ever compete at the track."

Although the competition doesn't get started until Friday, most of the drivers entered in the Soy Biodiesel 250 will take to the track on Thursday for an open test session.

"Thursday is going to be very important," said Shane Wallace, driver of the No. 38 EM Wallace Contractors Ford. "There are a lot of things that are still unknown for us. I think the guys that have experience on the bigger tracks are going to have an advantage."

And Wallace hopes to use that experience to his advantage and win his first Hooters Pro Cup event.

"I've gone back to my Busch Series notes from Richmond," said Wallace, who ran several Busch Series events in 2003 and 2004. "Clay Rogers, Bobby Gill and Benny Gordon all have been on the bigger tracks, so there going to be good. But I absolutely feel like we can win."

Jack Bailey is another driver with big-track experience, and he's the only Pro Cup driver to already make laps at Iowa Speedway.

"It's a beautiful place," said Bailey, who tested at Iowa Speedway two weeks ago. "There's a ton of speed at that place, and it has three grooves. I was told it was a lot like Richmond, but it reminded me of Michigan, only smaller. I feel like these cars are perfect for that track. I've been looking forward to this race since it was put on the schedule. I think it's going to be the best race of the year."

The Soy Biodiesel 250 is scheduled for a green flag at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. The front gates to Iowa Speedway will open at 12 p.m. Hooters Pro Cup practice will run from 12 to 2 p.m. Advance Auto Parts Pole Qualifying will begin t 5 p.m. Immediately following qualifying, Neal McCoy will perform on the main stage.

For more information, call Iowa Speedway at (641) 792-8722 or visit www.iowaspeedway.com <http://www.iowaspeedway.com/> .

Quick Facts

WHAT: Soy Biodiesel 250
Race No. 1 of the USAR HPCS Championship Series

WHERE:                         Iowa Speedway - Newton, IA

.875-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Friday, September 15, 2006 - 8 P.M. (EST)

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/ 218.75 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $141,799 (Includes $36,433 Point Fund)

STARTING FIELD: 36 car starting field - 38 cars possible - Fastest 36 cars through time trials - One provisional position from 2006 Northern Division top- 15 Driver Points Standings and One provisional position from 2006 Southern Division top-15 Driver Points Standing (only if necessary).

TELEVISION: SPEED Channel, Wednesday, September 20, 2006 (4 p.m. ET)
SPEED Channel, Friday, September 22, 2006 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Thursday September 14, 2006:
    Optional Test Day- (Not Required)
10:00 a.m. USAR Practice Opens
12:00 p.m. USAR Practice Ends
1-5:00 p.m. USAR Practice

Friday September 15, 2006:
12:00 p.m. Front Gate Opens
12:00p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begins
2:00 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
5:00 p.m. Soy Biodiesel 250 HPCS Qualifying
6:15 p.m. USAR HPCS Driver Autograph Session
7:10 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies
8 p.m. Soy Biodiesel 250

Soy Biodiesel 250 Notes of Interest:

* The 2006 Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series will feature 56 drivers attempting to write their name in the USAR HPCS record books by becoming the 2006 Champion.

* Iowa Speedway will be the opening event for the 2006 HPC Champion Series. Other tracks hosting the HPC Championship Series will be Jennerstown Speedway, Jennerstown, PA; Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, Mansfield, OH; Myrtle Beach Speedway Myrtle Beach, SC; South Georgia Motorsports Park, Cecil, GA; and USA International Speedway, Lakeland, FL.

* The 2006 Champion Series features four past HPCS Champions, Benny Gordon in 2005, Clay Rogers in 2004, Bobby Gill in 1999, 2000, 2001. In 1998, Jeff Agnew became the only driver to win both the Miller Lite ROTY and the HPCS Championship.

* This Championship Series also has a crop of past Miller Lite Rookie of the Year winners: Jeff Agnew in 1998, Daniel Johnson in 2001, Benny Gordon in 2003, Matt Carter in 2004, and Woody Howard in 2005.

* Clay Rogers recorded three Southern Division wins and 10 top-10 finishes en route to his second Hooters Pro Cup Series Southern Division title. The last time Rogers won that title he went on to win the National Title.

Rogers also recorded an out of division win at South Boston Speedway.

* Benny Gordon picked up his third HPCS Northern Divisional Title by recording five divisional wins and nine top-10 finishes. Gordon is the defending 2005 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Champion.

* Sophomore driver Joey Logano ended the regular season on a high note with a win at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL. That was Logano's second win of the season and the third of his career.

* Shelby Howard, driver of the No. 20 Tony Stewart Racing Pontiac, picked up three wins and ended the regular season with back- to -back wins in the Northern Division.

* Trevor Bayne picked up the Southern Division Miller Lite Rookie of the Year with four top-10 finishes. Bayne also lead laps at Peach State Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.

* Derek Kale won the Northern Division Miller Lite Rookie of the Year and had two top-10 finishes. Kale also has one Advance Auto Parts pole award in his rookie season.

-credit: usar

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Series Stock car
Drivers Tony Stewart , Clay Rogers , Trevor Bayne , Shelby Howard , Jack Bailey , Joey Logano , Jeff Agnew