MWS: Season opener to have west coast flavor

NASCAR AUTOZONE ELITE DIVISION, MIDWEST SERIES SEASON OPENER AT ROCKFORD SPEEDWAY WILL HAVE A WEST COAST FLAVOR DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 25, 2005) -Throughout its 31-year history, there have been several drivers who have traveled to great...

NASCAR AUTOZONE ELITE DIVISION, MIDWEST SERIES SEASON OPENER AT ROCKFORD SPEEDWAY WILL HAVE A WEST COAST FLAVOR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 25, 2005) -Throughout its 31-year history, there have been several drivers who have traveled to great lengths to compete in the ultra competitive NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series. In 2004, Colorado's Greg Fowler towed to every one of the series events, logging nearly 20,000 highway miles.

But the 2005 Midwest Series will break new ground as a California driver attempts to run the entire schedule. Nick Joanides, of Woodland Hills, California, has signed on to compete in the entire Midwest Series schedule, including the opener, the Spring Classic 150, April 2-3, at Rockford (Ill.) Speedway.

"This will be a new challenge for me and I'm really looking forward to it," said the 34-year-old Joanides.

But Joanides will log his travel miles via the air, showing up on race weekends to drive Dave Stammer's EDS Motorsports #45.

"I figure I'm going to rack up a bunch of frequent flyer miles," joked Joanides.

Stammer's Chevrolet is based in Appleton, Wisconsin, the heart of the Midwest Series, and has seen Justin Hirt, Jeremy Lepak and Terry Baldry take a spin behind the wheel the past three years.

With the exception of Colorado National Speedway in Erie, Colo. and Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo., all the tracks on the Midwest Series schedule will be new to Joanides, although he is not worried.

"I've had a lot of success over the years the first time I've gone to a track," recalls Joanides. "From what I hear Rockford Speedway is sort of like Stockton 99 Speedway in California. The first time I went there I qualified on the front row and finished third."

Joanides has 59 career starts on the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series with 18 top-10 finishes. His best Southwest Series championship point finish was fourth in 2001.

As has been the case for nearly two decades, the, Midwest Series will headline the Rockford Speedway Spring Classic weekend. Preliminary events will take place on Saturday, April 2 with a 150-lap main event scheduled for Sunday afternoon, April 3.

In addition to the Midwest Series, the Mid-American Stock Cars, Northern Late Models and the Big 8 Limited Late Model Series will also see action as part of the Spring Classic weekend.

Rockford Speedway is located at the intersection of Forest Hills Road and Hwy. 173 in Rockford, Ill. Further weekend schedule information and ticket prices can be obtained by visiting www.rockfordspeedway.com or calling (815) 633-1500.

Fast Facts

What: Spring Classic 150 (NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series, Race 1).

Where: Rockford (Ill.) Speedway.
When: 1:00 p.m. (CT), Sunday, April 3.

Track layout: .29167-mile banked paved oval.
Race length: 150 laps, 43.75 miles.

2004 winner: Steve Carlson.
2004 Bud Pole winner: Justin Diercks

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Justin Diercks , Steve Carlson , Nick Joanides