SWS: Cajon: Round three preview

NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series drivers have Cajon homecoming dance on their mind. EL CAJON, Calif. (April 2, 2003) - For 43 years Cajon Speedway has showcased motorsports entertainment to San Diego area race fans, and for...

NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series drivers have Cajon homecoming dance on their mind.

EL CAJON, Calif. (April 2, 2003) - For 43 years Cajon Speedway has showcased motorsports entertainment to San Diego area race fans, and for the 18th consecutive season the NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series will be the headliner on the dance card. Several local area drivers hope to make their home town fans proud on Saturday, April 5 in the running of the COORS Light "125".

Cajon Speedway has hosted 21 Featherlite Southwest Series races since 1986, with several drivers collecting two wins each on the 3/8-mile paved oval. But Cajon Speedway is not a track where a driver can simply dominate over the years. You have to have plenty of luck on your side.

Cajon Speedway is a track where a good qualifying lap will mean the difference between watching the race from your windshield or watching it from the stands. So a good qualifying lap will be at a premium as drivers of the Featherlite Southwest Series attempt to qualify for one of 22 starting positions in Saturday's 125-lap race and vie for their share of $44,871 in posted awards.

The unique layout of Cajon Speedway means that you have to give something up to be fast. Turns one and two are very different than turns three and four; a car must have good forward bite in order to be fast. One driver looking to tame the track is Auggie Vidovich Jr. of nearby Lakeside, Calif.

"The track is tough," said Vidovich. "The new tire this year will make it interesting as you won't be able to drive the car deep in the corner like in the past. The guy that can get out of four the best is going to be fast."

Vidovich leads the point standings on the strength of two top-five performances in the first two events and knows a strong showing at Cajon Speedway is vital for a run at the championship. "I have rededicated myself this season," Vidovich said. "I am spending every night at the race shop learning as much as I can. The team is working real hard on preparing great cars, and so far I have been able to do my job on the track."

When asked what he thinks his chances are at Cajon Speedway on Saturday, Vidovich hints at his optimism. "I think we will do real well," Vidovich said. "I have run competitive in the past and at this point in the season, I am in better shape then I have ever been. I think we have a real chance to put the PG Series Chevrolet back into victory lane."

Another driver that feels some optimism, and who currently sits sixth in the point standings, is Randy Nelson from El Cajon. Nelson, a former Dwarf Car champion, looks to take the next big step in his racing career and so far he is making a steady climb. "We do have a lot of desire, and were are very focused on making the most out of every race, and so far it has gone pretty well," Nelson Said.

Defending Featherlite Southwest Series champion Eddy McKean from Jerome, Idaho likes his chances at Cajon. "We continue to learn new things about our car," McKean said. "Since we went to a new shock package from Naake Motorsports, we have made some big gains in our short track program. I am a lot more comfortable going into Cajon this year then I have been in the past."

For third generation driver Brandon Whitt from El Cajon, Calif., returning to Cajon Speedway brings a lot of pressure and expectations. "We finished fifth here last season," Whitt said. "With all my family and friends down here I really want to do well. This is where my family's racing tradition got started, and I have some high expectations about the race. My crew has worked very hard this season to give me a car capable of winning each week and there is no track I'd rather win at then Cajon."

The COORS Light "125" is set to take the green flag at 8:30 pm PST this Saturday with the home town boys looking to upstage the series regulars at a track where a hometown advantage may pay big dividends.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Brandon Whitt , Auggie Vidovich