MWS: Rookie class at a glance 2005-04-15

NASCAR AUTOZONE ELITE DIVISION, MIDWEST SERIES 2005 SUNOCO ROOKIE CLASS DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 15, 2005)--With the first event of the 2005 NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series behind them, this years Sunoco rookie class has a...


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 15, 2005)--With the first event of the 2005 NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series behind them, this years Sunoco rookie class has a chance to catch their breath and soak up the experience of that first race. The Midwest Series returns to action, June 4 at Colorado National Speedway in suburban Denver. The rookie class will have their work cut out for them since the event historically draws one of the toughest fields of the year, and will have an even stronger field as a combination race with the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series.

So as the 2005 rookie class awaits their next challenge, lets take a few moments to learn about these talented young drivers; their previous successes and take a look at just where they came from.

Josh Bauer (B&B Race Engines Chevrolet)--Bauer is 26 years old and hails from Random Lake, Wis. Bauer got his feet wet in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series in 2004 when he competed in two events. He qualified sixth and finished 15th in his series debut at Lake Geneva (Wis.) Raceway before finishing 20th in last season's finale at the LaCrosse (Wis.) Fairgrounds Speedway. The experience paid off as Bauer turned in one of the most impressive performances by a rookie at the 2005 opener; running in the lead pack all day and crossing the finish line fourth. Bauer started racing in 2000 and has competed in Grand National Sportsman cars on the dirt and Mid American Stock Cars on the pavement. Perhaps the biggest win of his young career came behind the wheel of a Mid American car, at the Milwaukee Mile, in 2004.

Andrew Morrissey (Perry Dahl Soil Testing Chevrolet)-- A 20-year-old driver from DeForest, Wis., Morrissey enters the 2005 Midwest Series having already made a name for himself on Wisconsin short tracks. He owns the late model track qualifying record at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway while also posting feature wins at Madison, Slinger (Wis.) Super Speedway and Wisconsin Dells Motor Speedway. Like Bauer, Morrissey tested the Midwest Series waters in 2004, running a total of five events and finishing in the top ten on three occasions. Morrissey also put that experience to good use by racing from a 22nd place starting spot to 10th at the checkered flag of the 2005 Midwest Series opener.

Dexter Bean (Five Star Telecom Chevrolet)-- Racing for perhaps the highest profile of all the rookie teams, this 18-year-old from Westby, Wis. is a second generation driver who is completing his senior year at Westby High School. Bean already has two years of late model racing under his belt while competing in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. This past January and February, while many in the Midwest were bench racing in their garages, Bean was busy competing in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway and at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in an ARCA RE/MAX car. In NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division action, Bean is campaigning a car most recently driven by 1999 Midwest Series champion Brian Hoppe. Bean stayed out of trouble at the Rockford (Ill.) Speedway, Midwest Series opener, and advanced from 20th to 12th at the finish.

Nick Schumacher (Sonya's Rose/Custom Fleet Maintenance Chevrolet)-- The Rockford Speedway can be tough on rookies and unfortunately for Schumacher, a 29-year-old from Hartford, Wis., he found that out the hard way. Racing in his first Midwest Series event, Schumacher's day ended prematurely after tangling with A.J. Rhoads while racing for position. Schumacher climbs aboard the #16 machine owned by noted Midwestern car owners Dan and Sonya DelCamp. The car that Schumacher will campaign in 2005 carried Eric Fransen to the Midwest Series rookie title, while driving for the DelCamp's, in 2003. Schumacher began racing in 1984 in go-karts and has competed in Legends cars, Mid American Stock Cars, Modifieds and ASA late models. He has a karting title to his credit and was the 2003 Midwest Sportsman track champion at Slinger Speedway.

Midwest Series News & Notes--Schedule Update--NASCAR officials recently added a race to the 2005 Midwest Series schedule. The late model tour will visit the .25-mile Raceway Park in Shakopee, Minnesota on Friday night, July 15. The trip to Raceway Park will mark the first series stop at the popular track, just outside of Minneapolis, since 1987. Butch Miller was the winner that night, an event highlighted by a racing appearance by Dale Earnhardt. In 1987 the Midwest Series was known as the ARTGO Challenge Series.


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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Butch Miller , Dexter Bean