NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown News & Notes At Toyota Speedway at Irwindale Star-Studded Entry List Set For Showdown With an entry list bursting at the seams with talent, the "Daytona 500 of short-track racing" should have no problem living...
NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown News & Notes At Toyota Speedway at Irwindale
Star-Studded Entry List Set For Showdown
With an entry list bursting at the seams with talent, the "Daytona 500 of short-track racing" should have no problem living up to its billing.
The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, considered the premier short-track racing event of the NASCAR calendar, is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23-24, 2009 at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif.
The weekend's main attraction--Saturday night's NASCAR Camping World Series race--had 62 entries as of Wednesday, and the list is a who's who of the nation's best short-track racers.
The unique format for the Toyota All-Star Showdown affords a guaranteed starting spot for the champion of each of NASCAR's seven touring and weekly divisions. Among the 2008 titlists entered for the Showdown are NASCAR Camping World Series champions Matt Kobyluck (East) and Eric Holmes (West), NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winner Philip Morris, NASCAR Mexico Series champ Antonio Perez and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series title-holder Scott Steckly.
Starting positions for the Toyota All-Star Showdown are also reserved for the 2008 race winners from both the East and West divisions of the NASCAR Camping World Series. All 10 of those drivers are on the entry list including: Jeff Barkshire, Trevor Bayne, Jason Bowles, Mike David, Austin Dillon, Jason Fensler, Brian Ickler, Eddie MacDonald, Peyton Sellers and Todd Souza.
With 15 protected starters already figured into the grid for when the green flag drops, the remaining 47 entries will vie for the final 25 starting positions up for grabs. That list includes such notable names as:
Three-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion and former NASCAR Camping World Series West driver Ron Hornaday Jr. Hornaday got his start racing on the West Coast and his father was a two-time champion of the Pacific Coast Stock Car series, which is now known as the NASCAR Camping World Series West.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and champion of the former NASCAR Southwest Series Matt Crafton.
Defending Toyota All-Star Showdown champion and 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Joey Logano.
Marc Davis, a Joe Gibbs Racing developmental driver and former NASCAR Camping World Series East teammate of Logano.
Ricky Carmichael, a motocross legend and winner of the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series East Most Popular Driver Award as a Ken Schrader Racing developmental driver.
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and current NASCAR Camping World Series East competitor Steve Park.
Other Entry List Notables:
Winners of the Camping World Series portion of the last two Toyota All-Star Showdown winners, Kobyluck (2006) and Logano (2007), are entered.
In addition, Holmes (2004) and Auggie Vidovich Jr. (2005) earned Showdown victories in the former NASCAR Elite Division race. Greg Pursley earned a Showdown trophy by capturing the Super Late Model race in 2007.
Four of the last five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champions are entered with Greg Pursley (2004), Sellers (2005) and Morris (2006, 2008) on the list.
The last four Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award winners in the NASCAR Camping World Series are entered in: Barkshire (2008, West), Bowles (2007, West), Dillon (2008, East) and Logano (2007, East).
Alex Haase will drive the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 entry.
Haase will be teammates with San Diego native Brian Ickler. Ickler is one of just two drivers (Chuck Bown being the other) to win multiple races in both the NASCAR Camping World Series East and West.
While his older brother and three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmy Johnson is competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jarit Johnson will attempt to make the field in the No. 48 Ford.
A full day of on-track activity kicks off for the NASCAR Camping World Series on Friday, Jan. 23 with practice and qualifying, leading up to the 250-lap feature on Saturday, Jan. 24.
In addition to competition for the NASCAR Camping World Series, which is NASCAR's top developmental series, action in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will feature a 75-lap Late Model race and a 150-lap Super Late Model race.
The competition will air live on SPEED beginning at 7 p.m. PT both nights.
The Race: NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown
The Place: Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.)
The Date: Friday, Jan. 23 & Saturday, Jan. 24
The Event: 150-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race (Friday); 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model and 250-lap NASCAR Camping World Series races (Saturday)
The Time: 7 p.m. PT (both days)
Track Layout: 0.5-mile oval
Joey Logano (Camping World Series)
Greg Pursley (Super Late Model)
Sean Caisse (Camping World Series)
Rip Michels (Super Late Model)
Locked In ... Thirteen drivers have locked in a spot in this year's NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown by winning a NASCAR Camping World Series race (see chart on page 4). In addition to those drivers, champions of the NASCAR Developmental Series will be locked in. Antonio Perez (NASCAR Mexico Series), Scott Steckly (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) and Philip Morris (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series) have entered the event, along with NASCAR Camping World Series champions Matt Kobyluck (East) and Eric Holmes (West).
All-Star Experience ... Five drivers have competed in five previous NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Camping World Series races. The list includes 2006 winner Kobyluck. Mike Johnson, Mike Olsen and Mike Duncan have also competed five times. Nine other drivers have run at least four times.
Seat Time ... None of the five winners in the Camping World Series race have been able to repeat. Outside of the inaugural event of 2003, Joey Logano (2007) is the only driver to win the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in his first appearance. In addition, Logano is the only rookie and the only driver to follow up a series championship with a Showdown win.
Finishing Up Front ... Kobyluck has the most top-five finishes in the Camping World Series race with four. The only year he didn't finish in the top five was the first event when he was 12th. Sean Caisse and Duncan are the only other drivers with multiple top-five finishes, with two each. Kobyluck has a race-high four top 10s and has the best average finish (4.2) of drivers who have made more than one start.
Leading The Way ... David Gilliland has led the most laps in the Camping World Series race. The Riverside, Calif., competitor -- who since graduated to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- led a total of 133 laps (91 in 2004 and 42 in 2005).
Qualifying ... The 2007 event was the first to feature qualifying laps. Caisse earned the pole award with a lap of 18.271 seconds/98.517 mph.
NASCAR Champions Get Up To Speed With Media
Before they hit the track at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown (Jan. 23-24), championship drivers from NASCAR's touring and weekly series will go wheel to wheel with each other and the media in a high-speed go-kart challenge at K-1 Speed Anaheim Tuesday, Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PT.
Once they get off track, NASCAR's champions and media will be guests at the Petersen Automotive Museum, beginning at 4 p.m. PT.
Following the dinner, the NASCAR champions have been invited by the Jimmy Kimmel Show to a special backstage viewing of Tuesday's taping.
James to drive the 'Official Pace Segway'
Comedian and actor Kevin James, star of the upcoming movie "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," will drive the official pace Segway for Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Series event for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
James took a test-run on the Segway -- Paul Blart's vehicle of choice in the upcoming movie -- at Texas Motor Speedway Wednesday.
James, a NASCAR fan himself, has previously served as Grand Marshal for the 2007 July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Daytona while promoting "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry."
James is best known for his performance on the television sitcom "The King Of Queens," which he was an Emmy nominee for in 2006.
Carmichael Leads Three-Car KSR Team
Ricky Carmichael recently got the green light to run in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown from Ken Schrader Racing, which will bring three cars to the postseason showcase at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Carmichael said. "It will be nice to go out and race before we get geared up for this season's racing. It will take some time to get the cobwebs off, but for the race, I think I'll be good."
In his first full season in a NASCAR touring series in 2008, Carmichael showed the ability to quickly acclimate himself to his new pursuit.
He won the Coors Light Pole Award at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in just his third race. He was ninth at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in his first road-course excursion, and fifth in his first trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Carmichael was running second with two laps to go in the return trip to New Hampshire before running out of fuel. He also had a seventh-place finish at Dover International Speedway.
Carmichael will be reunited with Schrader, for whom he ran in the NASCAR Camping World Series East in 2008. He'll be joined in Irwindale by teammates Jamie Hayes and Dakoda Armstrong. Hayes has run the past two seasons in the NASCAR Camping World Series East, while Armstrong is making the transition from the USAC Midget Series.
Friday, January 23
10-10:45 a.m. Super Late Model practice
10:55-11:55 a.m. Camping World Series practice
Noon-12:45 p.m. Super Late Model final practice
12:50-1:50 p.m. Camping World Series final practice
2:30-3:15 p.m. Super Late Model practice
4 p.m. GATES OPEN
4 p.m. Super Late Model qualifying
6 p.m. Camping World Series qualifying
7:35 p.m. Super Late Model race (150 laps)
9:10 p.m. Camping World Series Last-Chance Open race (50 laps)
Saturday, January 24
9-9:50 a.m. Late Model practice
1 p.m. Late Model qualifying
4 p.m. GATES OPEN
5:15 p.m. Driver Autograph Session
7:05 p.m. Late Model race (75 laps)
8:31 p.m. Camping World Series race (250 laps)
All times Pacific and subject to change
Tickets for the 2009 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, which will take place Jan. 23-24 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, are available for purchase at the Toyota Speedway ticket office, by calling (626) 358-1100 and online at www.toyotaspeedwayatirwindale.com