Elite Division All-Star Showdown qualifying notes

IRWINDALE, Calif. (November 8, 2003) Jim Pettit II of Prunedale, Calif. came from the rear of the field to claim victory in the second 50-lap qualifying race to set the outside row of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown feature event tonight at ...

IRWINDALE, Calif. (November 8, 2003) Jim Pettit II of Prunedale, Calif. came from the rear of the field to claim victory in the second 50-lap qualifying race to set the outside row of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown feature event tonight at Irwindale (CA) Speedway. Ron Breese Jr. DeKalb, Ill. Took the first 50-lap qualifying race over Burney Lamar. The finishers in the first qualifying race will fill the inside row for tonight's race.

The following are notes from the Featherlite Southwest and Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series' top finishers:

Burney Lamar, Wide World of Maps Chevrolet: Lamar finished 2nd in the first qualifying race. "My car got tight towards the end," Lamar said. "I learned a few things that will help us tonight. It is great to see all these guys from all over the country. We are all pretty close, so it will come down to who wants it more."

David Gilliland, Centrifugal Technologies Chevrolet: Gilliland finished 5th in the first qualifying race. "We were a bit off," Gilliland said. "We'll be better tonight."

Craig Raudman, HPS Mechanical Chevrolet: Raudman finished seventh in the first qualifying race. "My left rear lost pressure and that made the car loose," Raudman said. "This event means a lot to the team and would really help us salvage the season with a strong performance. There are 40 guys here that are capable of winning, which will definitely make getting to the front tougher."

Jeff Bailey, Frank and Son Auto Body Chevrolet: Bailey was the top finishing Northwest finisher in 9th. "We have been fast all weekend but the track changed a bit with the cool air last night," Bailey said. "Tonight is what it is all about, and I am confident we'll do well. This weekend has been a lot of fun. Toyota and NASCAR has sure made us all welcome and created a great event."

Gary Lewis, Hooters Pontiac: Lewis finished 10th in the first qualifying race. "We were not as good as we practiced," Lewis said. "There are so many good drivers here it is not going to be easy for anybody to just run away with this."

Steven Howard, Great Western Homes Chevrolet: Howard finished 15th in the first qualifying race. "We have a lot of work to do today in order to get more competitive," Howard said. "There are forty guys here who can hand you your lunch, so there is no doubt that tonight's race will be very exciting."

Eric Holmes, Wild Cherry Pepsi Chevrolet: Holmes finished 16th after cutting a tire and loosing five laps in the pits. "I thought we would be ok, but dumb luck bit us," Holmes said. "Tonight's race is what it really all about and we are ready. I think some of the guys raced a little too hard to early and that just set the tone."

Eddy McKean, Wide World of Maps Pontiac: McKean involved in a lap three tangled that took out three cars. "I had no where to go after the guys in front of us spun (Hamlin and Carlson)," McKean said. "We had to take the car and redo the front clip last night. I think we will be pretty close, we are just going have to stay out of trouble. Mike and the guys do a tremendous job so being competitive tonight is all about the team."

Kevin Hamlin, Bowman's Electro Painting Chevrolet: Hamlin finished 19th in the first qualifying race. "It is really disappointing to come all this way and have a couple of guys get to greedy to early," Hamlin said. "We'll fix the car and make an effort."

Jason Jefferson, Mike Olsen Dodge: Jefferson finished 20th in the first qualifying race. "Last night did not mean anything," Jefferson said. "Tonight is what it is all about. We tore all the suspension off the car and replaced it. We'll be good, there is no doubt. The track is fantastic with lots of room to pass. The fans are going to see a great race."

Jim Pettit II, Bay Pack Racing Ford: Pettit won the second qualifying race last night. "My car was on a rail," Pettit said. "It felt good to win the race, it proved that we are on the right track with our program. The whole team did an outstanding job and we want the Southwest Series to shine tonight. There is a lot on the line. Everybody is going to make changes today so there will be a whole lot more action tonight."

Chris Hart, Yakima Implement Chevrolet: Hart finished 6th in the second qualifying race. "We were ok," Hart said. "It was good to run 50 laps in a racing setting. We now know where we need to get to. We have had a fun time this weekend, it is a great way to end the season."

Jeff Jefferson, Morgan Transport Chevrolet: Jefferson finished 9th in the second qualifying race. "The track changed a lot," Jefferson said. "Most of the guys that I was racing around kept it interesting going three wide in every turn. It took me several laps to get into the flow. Tonight's race is going to be a lot of fun."

Auggie Vidovich, No Fear Chevrolet: Vidovich finished 10th in the second qualifying race last night. "We just did not get into any trouble last night," Vidovich said. "Our car is good and we'll be right in the middle of it tonight. All these guys are tough, there are no slow guys out there, so you're going to have to race smart if you hope to get to the front."

JR Patton, Cummins Chevrolet: Patton finished 12th in the second qualifying race. "We still have a lot to learn and this is a tough crowd to do it in," Patton said. "We have had a lot fun this weekend. This Showdown is a fun way to finish the season."

Steve Belletto, California Hot Wood Chevrolet: Belletto finished 14th in the second qualifying race last night. "After changing an engine after Friday's Practice, we are a bit down on power but feel we will race well. This is a cool event that NASCAR has put together and really makes this season special."

Dan Holtz, Rialto Concrete Products Ford: Holtz finished 15th in the second qualifying race last night. "We were not very good at all," Holtz said. "It was pretty embarrassing and we have a lot of work to do today if we want to make any noise. I think we had our lunch handed to us last night."

Rick Suran, Eastside Paving Pontiac: Suran finished 16th in the second qualifying race. "We have struggled to find any speed all weekend," Suran said. "I feel comfortable, I just can't find the right spot. I don't know how we'll do tonight, it really doesn't matter, I just love to race and this event is a pretty cool thing that NASCAR has put together."

John Bender, Andy Reece Trucking Chevrolet: Bender finished 18th in the second qualifying race. "Not much to really talk about," Bender said. "We'll work on the car and try to make it race better. I am happy to be here and have really enjoyed all the hospitality that NASCAR and Toyota have put on. Irwindale is and incredible track, the guys down here are pretty lucky. Tonight will be a pretty neat deal"

Joe Benedetti, Race Cals Pontiac: Benedetti was unable to start the second qualifying race after changing engines, but the back up power plant but was unable get oil pressure. Kevin Hamlin's team loaned Benedetti their backup engine and Benedetti will start shotgun on the field for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Jefferson , Eric Holmes , Jeff Bailey , David Gilliland , Dan Holtz , Burney Lamar , Jim Pettit II , Craig Raudman , Steve Belletto , Auggie Vidovich , Jason Jefferson , John Bender , Kevin Hamlin , Gary Lewis