All-Star Showdown practice day notes

Practice Day, Thursday, November 6, 2003 The pit stop contest at Wednesday night's street fair on Second Avenue in nearby Arcadia was won by the Busch North Series ...

Practice Day, Thursday, November 6, 2003

The pit stop contest at Wednesday night's street fair on Second Avenue in nearby Arcadia was won by the Busch North Series #55 Burnham Boilers Chevrolet crew of driver Mike Stefanik. Brian Latuch and Karl Osha are co-crew chiefs for the runner-up in 2003 Busch North points. Their average pit stop time through three rounds of two-tire stops was 16.3 seconds. They earned $2,500 in cash plus Ringer's gloves and products.

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Some pre-practice comments from Toyota All-Star Showdown drivers...

Mike Olsen (#61 Little Trees Car Freshner Chevrolet), 2001 Busch North Series champion, on the track: "I've watched some races on SPEED Channel, and it's wider than I had envisioned. I can't identify it with any track we run on at this point, but it looks like it should be fun. It looks like the groove is up high. It should take most of our guys the first session to figure out the lines and the gear ratios, but by Saturday we should be all right." On the event: "I went to the street festival last night and to the drivers breakfast this morning, and Toyota seems to be behind it 100 percent."

Bobby Hillis (#27 First Impression Printing Chevrolet), 12th in Winston West points, on the event: "They really rolled out the red carpet out for us. It should be great event." On advice for visiting teams unfamiliar with southern California traffic: "It took us an hour to get ten miles this morning, so I can't help."

Steve Carlson (#66 Wilson Oil Company Chevrolet), International Truck & Engine Corp. Midwest Series champion for the ninth time, on "This is probably one of the biggest races I've ever run because of all the talent here. There are the top ten drivers from the four series and that's a lot of talent for one half-mile race track." On the traffic likely with a 40-car field: "It's going to be busy. I think you'll see some tire smoke and some fenders flying, but the fan s will see a mighty good race."

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The first driver on the track for practice at the inaugural Toyota All-Star Showdown was Eddie MacDonald of the Busch North Series. The first Winston West Series driver on the track was Kevin Richards.

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Not to Dodge the issue...

Winston West champion Scott Lynch (Yerf Dog/The Orleans #08) and Gene Woods (Auto Trader/CNWB.com #7) are racing real, honest-to-gosh Dodge Intrepids in the Grand National Division of the Toyota All-Star Showdown.

Brian Hoar, fourth place finisher in the Busch North Series with the Goss Dodge #45, actually races a Chevy Monte Carlo with black-out decals around the windows and grille which make it look like an Intrepid, sponsored by his family's Dodge dealership in South Burlington, Vermont. Next year the Goss Dodge really will be a Dodge.

Finally, the Bill Dodge Automotive Group, which appears as an associate sponsor on the #47 NAPA Chevy of Kelly Moore and the #74 R.C. Moore Chevy of Ryan Moore, is a multi-brand dealership in Maine which is named for its founder and doesn't include a Dodge franchise at all!

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Johnny Borneman set fast time in the first Grand National Division practice session at 18,808 seconds, followed by fellow Winston West Series drivers Scott Lynch, Scott Gaylord, Steve Portenga, and Kevin Richards. Andy Santerre, seventh fastest, was the best of the best of the Busch North Series competitors. Santerre was also the busiest driver in the session, turning 51 laps.

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Featherlite Southwest Series drivers Craig Raudman, Burney Lamar, David Gilliland, Auggie Vidovich, and Steve Belletto topped the first Elite Division practice, with Raudman timedin 18.192 seconds. Raybestos Northwest Series champion Jeff Jefferson was best of the rest.

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Kodak Southeast Series notes

The series contested ten events in 2003, with five different winners. Jeff Fultz won six races, while single winners were champion Charlie Bradberry, Scott Carlson,. Steven Howard, and Shane Sieg.... This is the first time any Kodak Southeast Series driver has raced at Irwindale Speedway, or for that matter in California... nine drivers earned Bud Pole Awards in 2003, with one race started per the NASCAR rule book due to inclement weather. Charlie Bradberry won the annual award by virtue of second, third, and fourth place starts... Bradberry won his only Bud Pole and his only race at Nashville Superspeedway in June. He led all drivers with a 99.4% laps completed percentage for the year... Jeff Fultz, the 2002 series champion, finished second in 2003 by 17 points and led 266 of 1413 laps, or 18.8% of the total. John Wilkinson III, Victory Circle Chassis Rookie-of-the-Year, declined the invitation to the Showdown, as did his brother-in-law, Terry Mason Jr., runner-up for the rookie award. Rookie drivers who are here for the weekend are Cecil Chunn and Justin Wakefield... Wakefield's crew chief is Jody Ridley, six-time chasmpion of this division, and Chunn is being assaited this weekend by Mike Alexander, who is a former NASCAR champion in this series, former Dodge Weekly Series national champion, and former NASCAR Winston Cup competitor.

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International Truck & Engine Midwest Series notes

Ryan Hanson (#60 Magic Construction Ford)'s mom and dad,Butch and Vickie, have been with Ryan since he started racing go-karts at age 16. They have been at every one of Ryan's races, except when Ryan's brother graduated. At this, the biggest race of Ryan's life, Butch and Vickie are not here this weekend. Butch had been battling Bladder and Kidney cancer for 14 years until just a couple of days ago, Butch had his kidneys removed. He is at home resting comfortably but has to rely on dialysis until he can receive a transplant... Scott Hansen (no relation to Ryan Hanson), a veteran of the Midwest short track wars with 10 Midwest Series wins, is mentoring Jeremy Lepak (#67 Metro Milwaukee Auto Auction Chevrolet) this weekend. Scott has raced at Irwindale in other series, while Lepak is a Victory Circle Chassis Rookie-of-the-Year contender... Steve Carlson (#66 Wilson Oil Chevrolet) and Eric Fransen (#16 Sonya's Rose Chevrolet) shared a hauler to truck on out to Irwindale. Fransen is the 2003 Midwest Series Rookie of the Year. Of course, Carlson is a nine-time Midwest Series champion. Fransen hopes that by simply sharing a hauler and pitting next to Steve this weekend that he can soak up some of Steve's knowledge. Eddie Hoffman (#8 Lisa Thomas Salon Chevrolet) is the son of Ed Hoffman, Sr., a 15-time Chicagoland late model track champion who moved to California five or six years ago. He now races late models here at Irwindale. Ed has been feeding Eddie info all year about the track and what the car will do, etc. Eddie says he has too much information now!... Brian Hoppe (#51 Chevrolet)'s sponsor Gildan Activewear recently became the largest supplier of sportswear in the United States. Brian used the Toyota All-Star Showdown as an excuse to stop in Phoenix last week, on the way out, and compete in the Featherlite Southwest Series event where he placed 5th. Brian and his wife Bobbi are expecting their second child in June...Justin Diercks (#29 Adrian Carriers Chevrolet) and his team had their new truck broke down on the ride from Iowa to California, and had to fix that on the road. When they got here, the lift gate for the trailer started acting up. They were able to get the cars off the trailer, but they have no idea if the lift gate will work to get the car back in the hauler at the end of the weekend.

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David Gilliland moved to the head of the class during the second Elite Division practice with a 18.172 second lap, heading Craig Raudman and Jeff Bailey of the Raybestos Northwest Series. Midwest Series runner Ryan Hanson was fourth, while Jeff Fultz led the Kodak Southeast troops in tenth. Eddy McKean suffered a broken rear end during the session and will not practice for the remainder of the day while a replacement is secured.

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Busch North Series stalwart Mike Johnson moved to the top of the leader board in the second Grand National Division practice with an 18.894 second trip around the half-mile. Austin Cameron of the Winston West Series was second quickest, followed by Kelly Moore and Andy Santerre from the Busch North ranks. Winston West's Scott Gaylord was fifth. Johnson's time was almost a tenth of a second slower than Johnny Borneman's fast time in the earlier session. Borneman hit the wall during the second session, and was given permission to take the car out of the garage area for repairs.

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Guaranteed first place prize money for the Toyota All-Star Showdown is $10,000 for the Elite Division and $25,000 for the Grand National Division.

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Steve Portenga became the third driver to top the Grand National Division time sheets in the third session of the afternoon. The third place driver in the Winston West Series standings topped Andy Santerre (Busch North), Austin Cameron (Winston West), Kelly Moore (Busch North), and Dale Quarterley (Busch North). Portenga's 18.887 was slower than Johnny Borneman's fastest time of the day set in the first session.

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David Gilliland and Craig Raudman retained their spots as leaders of the pack in the final Elite Division practice of the day, run under the lights. Ron Breese Jr. was third fastest, with Midwest Series mates Tim Schendel and Steve Carlson completing the top five. Gilliland's time of 18.173 was one one-thousandth of a second (.001) slower than his own best effort in the second session.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Fultz , Dale Quarterley , Steve Portenga , Jeff Jefferson , Bobby Hillis , Scott Gaylord , Scott Lynch , Kevin Richards , Gene Woods , Mike Johnson , Jeff Bailey , David Gilliland , Burney Lamar , Craig Raudman , Steve Belletto , Auggie Vidovich , Shane Sieg , Charlie Bradberry , Austin Cameron , Ryan Moore , Justin Diercks , John Wilkins , Steve Carlson , Eddie MacDonald , Scott Hansen