KENT, Wash. (August 24, 2003) Jeff Jefferson of Naches, Wash. christened Pacific Raceways and scored his first ever road course victory, as the 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series chartered new territory Sunday afternoon.
KENT, Wash. (August 24, 2003) Jeff Jefferson of Naches, Wash. christened Pacific Raceways and scored his first ever road course victory, as the 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series chartered new territory Sunday afternoon. Jefferson dominated the day by collecting his fourth Bud Pole Award of the season and then led 38 of 63 laps on the 2.25 mile road course to score his second win of the season in the Northwest Chevy Dealers "150" presented by Comcast. Two-time defending series champion Kevin Hamlin of Snohomish, Wash. finished second, with 1999 series champion Pete Harding of Surrey, B.C. claiming the third position. Victory Circle Chassis' Rookie-of-the-Year contenders Jeff Bailey, and Rod Schultz Jr. rounded out the top five finishers.
Jeff Jefferson led 29 qualifiers to green but it was Featherlite Southwest Series regular Todd Souza from Aromas, Calif. who took the advantage into turn one on the start. Souza led the first lap before losing a transmission on lap two. Souza who was fast all weekend and offered up advice and hints on how to drive the course finished a disappointing 29th.
Jefferson took the lead back on lap two and held the point through lap 18. Gary Lewis of Bothell, Wash., sporting the Hooters colors this weekend, then set the pace after passing Jefferson in the esses. Lewis controlled the middle section of the race through the halftime break on lap 32. The ten minute halftime break allowed teams to change tires and fuel at controlled pace, allowing all cars to restart the second half with the same track position with no advantage.
Lewis led until lap 36 when a hard-charging Stan Silva Jr., from Castroville, Calif. got by Lewis on lap 37. Silva controlled the point until Jefferson took command of the event with a perfectly executed pass on the downhill section in turn three. Jefferson would control the point in his AuBeta Networks.Com Chevrolet the rest of the way and pull away to an eleven second victory over Hamlin.
Series point leader Chris Hart of Yakima, Wash. continued to have good luck shine on him as he started the event from the rear of the field, as he had to pit during the parade lap to replace hood pins. Hart would finish in the seventh position after running as high as fourth. Hart maintains an 88 point advantage over Jefferson who moved into second place in the overall standings after the win.
Rookies Jeff Bailey of Kennewick, Wash. and Rod Schultz Jr. of Woodland, Wash. both had solid runs with Schultz collecting his first career top five finish. The finish also gave Schultz the Powerade Power Move-of-the-Race for improving the most positions in the event after starting in the 22nd position.
The race took two hours, three minutes, and 7 seconds to complete at an average speed of 68.899 mph. There were five cautions for 16 laps and four lead changes among four drivers. Jeff Jefferson won the $325 bonus for the Bud Pole Award with a time of 1 minute, 23.549 seconds/96.949 mph. Rod Schultz Jr. collected his second Powerade Power Move-of-the-Race Award and the $750 bonus. Jeff Bailey was the Victory Circle Rookie-of-the-Race with his second top five finish of the season and inched closer to Jason Jefferson in the rookie standings.
The next event for the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series is Sunday, September 1 at Tri-City Raceway in West Richland, Wash. for race number twelve of the 14-race championship series. For all the latest news and information about the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, log onto www.nascartouring.com/raybestosnwseries .