ES: Stafford: Rain makeup season finale preview

NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes -- CARQUEST FALL FINAL 150 * Kobyluck Aims To Finish In Style At Stafford * MacDonald, Davis Among CARQUEST 150 Favorites * Christopher, Pitkat, Swindell Go Full-Fender ...

NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes -- CARQUEST FALL FINAL 150

*         Kobyluck Aims To Finish In Style At Stafford

* MacDonald, Davis Among CARQUEST 150 Favorites
* Christopher, Pitkat, Swindell Go Full-Fender Racing

Champion Kobyluck Heads Home To Celebrate With Title Clinched, Next Goal Is CARQUEST Win

Matt Kobyluck realized a decade-long dream of winning the NASCAR Camping World Series East championship when he clinched the title with a third-place finish at Dover International Speedway Sept. 19.

Now he can get back to business, and job No. 1 is winning the rain postponed final race of the season at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway Sunday, Oct. 12.

"It'll be great to get to Stafford," Kobyluck said. "I get to go back to one of my home tracks and to celebrate the championship there will be really, really cool.

"We've got a great record at Stafford. We've won races there; we've got top-fives there. Last year we finished second, the year before that we finished second, and the year before that we won it."

Kobyluck doesn't take that track record for granted, however.

"We went there and tested and we were really happy with what we brought. We look for good things at Stafford," Kobyluck said.

Joey Logano, the 2007 series champion and fellow Connecticut native, came calling on Kobyluck in the garage area the day before the Dover race.

Logano recalled Kobyluck conducting rookie meetings last year.

"He was busting on me a little bit about rookie meetings and wondered if I just didn't tell everyone to get the heck out of my way so I could lock up this championship," Kobyluck said. "He said it was really cool that we were having such a good season and that he was excited for us."

After racing to a pair of third-place finishes, Kobyluck is ready to get back to Victory Lane.

"Now we can go to Stafford and do what we do best -- try to win the race. We walked away from Dover with a championship, and that lasts forever."

***

The Race: CARQUEST Fall Final 150
The Place: Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, Oct.. 12, 2008
The Time: 12:15 p.m. ET

Track Layout: .500-mile paved
Race Purse: $110,764

2007 Winner: Eddie MacDonald
2007 Pole: Sean Caisse

***

News & Notes

The Race ... The CARQUEST Fall Final 150 is the 13th of 13 races on the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series East schedule. It is the 29th appearance of the series of the track.

The Procedure ... The starting field is a maximum of 30 cars including provisionals. Starting positions 1-26 will be determined by time trials. The remaining spots will be determined through the provisional process. The race's scheduled distance is 150 laps (75 miles).

The Track ... The facility opened in 1870 as a half-mile house track, and began hosting motor racing after World War II. The track was a founding member of NASCAR in 1959. It was paved in 1967, and re-paved most recently in 1997. The track blossomed into its modern era starting in 1969 when Jack Arute Sr. purchased the facility. The Arute family continues to operate the facility.

The Records ... Qualifying: Sean Caisse, June 8, 2007, 91.963 mph, 19.573 seconds; 150-lap race: Brad Leighton, Sept. 30, 2001, 75.754 mph, 58 minutes, 14 seconds.

The History ... Stafford Motor Speedway is a charter member of the NASCAR Camping World Series East. Tommy Houston won the inaugural event in 1987. Since, 28 races have been run on the half-mile paved oval, and no one has been able to dominate Victory Lane. Mike Johnson (No. 96 Johnson Lumber Ford) leads the series with three wins. Other previous winners entered include 2005 winner Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Resort Chevrolet) and 2007 winner Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet).

***

Triple-Duty for Christopher, Pitkat In Stafford Fall Final Weekend

NASCAR Whelen Modified Series point leader and 2001 NASCAR Whelen All American Series champion Ted Christopher has entered the NASCAR Camping World Series East CARQUEST Fall Final 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway October 12. Christopher, from Plainville, Conn., is the track's winningest driver. He will drive the Ted Marsh-owned No. 31 Chevrolet.

His win count stands at 102, which includes 87 wins in the track's top division, the SK Modifieds. He also has six Pro Stock wins, eight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour wins and a NASCAR Camping World Series East win that came in 2000 -- driving for Marsh. Christopher has 10 wins in 85 career NASCAR Camping World Series starts.

Woody Pitkat of Stafford will also have a busy weekend. Pitkat will drive Fadden Racing's No. 61 Chevrolet for his first career NASCAR Camping World Series East start. In addition, he will drive cars in two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, including the SK Modifieds and Late Models, while serving as jack-man for Doug Coby in the No. 28 Ramar-Hall NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car.

***

Stafford CARQUEST Fall Final 150 Favorites Make One Last Run At Victory

The list of favorites who could contend for the win in the NASCAR Camping World Series East finale at Stafford Motor Speedway is considerable.

Racing at the track closest to his Uncasville, Conn., home, newly-crowned series champion Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Resort Chevrolet) wants to conclude his title season with a series-leading fifth win.

Another sure to be in the mix is Rowley, Mass., driver Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Inc. Chevrolet), who made his first series start on a limited schedule at Stafford last year, and promptly won.

Marc Davis (No. 18 Slim Jim Toyota) is poised to have his breakthrough first win. He has finished second three times and led a race-high 45 laps last week at Dover International Speedway; a second-place finish moved him to fourth in the points.

Mike Johnson (No. 96 Johnson Lumber Ford) is the series' only three-time Stafford winner, and he's looking for a high note on which to end his season.

***

Second Generation Swindell Enters Stafford

The son of a three-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Sammy Swindell will make his second career NASCAR Camping World Series East start at Stafford.

Kevin Swindell, 19, of Germantown, Tenn., has entered the event driving Dave Davis' No. 9 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge.

Swindell qualified the car seventh-fastest for the series event at Mansfield, Ohio in August. He finished 13th and on the lead lap.

Kasey Kahne drove the Davis-owned Dodge to a second-place finish at Iowa Speedway earlier this year.

Swindell drove for Kahne's USAC Sprint Car and Midget teams in 2007, finishing eighth and sixth respectively in series point standings.

The son of three-time World of Outlaws champion Sammy Swindell scored his first career World of Outlaws Sprint Car victory at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2006.

The senior Swindell, 53, of Bartlett, Tenn., has made starts in all three NASCAR national series.

***

Kobyluck, Mohegan Sun Team Sent Soaring To New Heights With Championship

The championship that had eluded Matt Kobyluck was finally realized at Dover International Speedway Sept. 19.

The hunt has been long and sometimes frustrating.

His first career win in the series came in his fourth season, 2001, at the now-closed Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway.

Known for being a studious driver, absorbing everything from experience, the following season he became a championship contender.

Andy Santerre won the 2002 title by the third-closest margin in series history, nine points over Kobyluck. While Kobyluck was convinced he was prepared to win his first title soon, Santerre was just beginning a roll of a record-shattering four consecutive championships.

Kobyluck recorded finishes of 10th and seventh in points over the next two years, and then drove back into the top five in series points for the next three seasons.

Along the way, he was growing increasingly competitive, driven to add a championship trophy to his collection.

He achieved a career highlight following the 2006 season when he won the prestigious post-season NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.). He was the 2005 Coors Light Pole Award champion. He won on short tracks, road courses and superspeedways. And with great home-state pride, he won at every track in Connecticut that has hosted the NASCAR Camping World Series.

Kobyluck made another title run in 2007. While rookie Joey Logano built an early-season lead, Kobyluck closed the gap to 82 points following his late-season win at Lime Rock Park and runner-up finish at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park.

With high hopes, he arrived at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and made a statement by winning the outside pole position for the race. He led two laps at the start of the event.

Things fell apart, though, with a Lap 115 multi-car accident that left Kobyluck with a 33rd-place finish. Logano left Loudon with a nearly insurmountable point lead, while Kobyluck fell to third in points.

To punctuate the deflated hopes, Kobyluck was a victim of a bizarre multi-car accident under caution in the season finale at Dover. He finished 21st in a race he had a shot at winning. He finished fourth in championship points.

It's fitting, then, that in his return trip to Dover a year later, he left with his hands raised high.

"There have been plenty of ups and downs, along the way, that's for sure," said Kobyluck's long-time crew chief Perry Waite.

"If you ask anybody who's been racing for a while -- the emotional rollercoaster -- it's certainly been that way for us. We've been championship contenders in the past. To finally seal the deal here at Dover is just incredible."

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Kasey Kahne , Sammy Swindell , Matt Kobyluck , Mike Johnson , Ted Christopher , Joey Logano , Sean Caisse , Marc Davis , Eddie MacDonald , Woody Pitkat , Doug Coby