All-Star Showdown: Pre-race news 2009-01-20

CHAMPIONS ACTIVITIES KICK OFF ACTION LEADING TO NASCAR TOYOTA ALL-STAR SHOWDOWN ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2009) -- Brian Loftin edged Antonio Perez to take the early bragging rights as the top drivers of the NASCAR Developmental...

CHAMPIONS ACTIVITIES KICK OFF ACTION LEADING TO NASCAR TOYOTA ALL-STAR SHOWDOWN

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2009) -- Brian Loftin edged Antonio Perez to take the early bragging rights as the top drivers of the NASCAR Developmental Series jumped into go-karts on Tuesday for a special competition with Los Angeles-area media.

Five NASCAR champions from across North America took part in the event, one of many special activities planned for them leading up to the prestigious NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Friday and Saturday.

Loftin, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified champion, shot into the lead on the final lap to take the honors in the go-kart challenge at K-1 Speed in Anaheim. Perez, the NASCAR Mexico Series Champion, appeared to struggle with a slowing kart as they dashed to the finish.

"It was a lot of fun, but everybody's still very competitive," Loftin said. "Everybody wants to win and go as hard as they can. It's still an honor to beat them, anytime you can get on anything. Four-wheelers, motorcycles, go-karts, race cars -- it don't matter. We're going to go hard."

In addition to Loftin and Perez, other champions taking part in the event were Matt Kobyluck, the NASCAR Camping World Series East champion, Scott Steckly, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion, and Philip Morris, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion.

Joining the NASCAR champions at K-1 Speed on Tuesday were residents of Covenant House California -- Los Angeles. Established in 1988, Covenant House California has opened its doors to more than 145,000 homeless youth who suffer from the trauma of trying to survive on the streets.

The champions' celebration kicked off with a welcome brunch Tuesday morning. Following the go-kart action, the group headed to a Champions/Media Dinner at the Petersen Auto Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Tuesday's activities will wrap up with the champions taking in a behind-the-scenes viewing of the Emmy Award-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Wednesday's schedule for the champions includes a VIP trip to Universal Studios, in Universal City, Calif. Wednesday evening, the champions will head to the Staples Center to take in a Los Angeles Lakers-Los Angeles Clippers NBA game.

The NASCAR Developmental Series is the umbrella under which all of the NASCAR series that lead up to three national series (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) fall.

The best short-track drivers throughout NASCAR's developmental series are headed to Southern California this week to compete in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. It will feature a 250-lap Camping World Series race, as well as NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model and Late Model races.

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Matt Kobyluck , Philip Morris