Raudman Extends Points Lead with Second-Place Finish at Mesa Marin Rancho Santa Margarita, California (October 23, 2001) - Craig Raudman, driver of Dave Reed Racing's ...
Raudman Extends Points Lead with Second-Place Finish at Mesa Marin
Rancho Santa Margarita, California (October 23, 2001) - Craig Raudman, driver of Dave Reed Racing's #2 Yerf-dog Fun Karts/ITPS Chevrolet in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring, followed up a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway one week ago with a second-place finish in Saturday's Big O Tires 150 at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.
Raudman led all but two laps in the event. The finish extended Raudman's lead in the Southwest Series championship race to 229 points.
Raudman started his evening off right by notching his eighth Bud Pole Award this season with a lap time of 18.481 seconds around the 1/2-mile paved oval. With two races remaining this season, Raudman could tie and/or break Lance Hooper's 1995 record of nine Bud Pole Awards in a season.
Raudman fought to keep his car in front all night long, narrowly holding off Burney LaMar's advances during restarts following nine cautions in the race. At every restart, Lamar would attempt to maneuver around Raudman to take the lead but, after two or three laps, Raudman would easily open the gap between the two cars.
"The car was just very loose all during the race. It was a lot to handle," Raudman commented. "Lamar had a good car, and it was hard to hold him off after each restart."
Lamar pushed hard to take the lead after the final restart, but spun his car while attempting to make a move on Raudman. That opened the door for Darrell LaMoure, who just managed to get around Raudman's now fading car to take his first Southwest Series win.
"I was happy to see LaMoure get his first win," Raudman said. "We led all night, so not winning the race was disappointing, but LaMoure just plain outmaneuvered me there at the end. Our night overall was very good otherwise."
The team has now moved on to Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, where it hopes continue an incredibly strong season in Friday's Southwest Series event. Raudman needs to finish 41st or better at Phoenix and start the season-ending Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park event in order to clinch his first series championship.
Raudman and the team are grateful to the strong partnership they have found with their sponsor, Yerf-dog Fun Karts, for providing a good part of the team's momentum this season.
"Yerf-dog has been very good to us this season," Raudman said. "They have been very involved, very supportive, and have added so much to our program."
Yerf-dog Fun Karts are available at Sam's Club warehouses throughout the United States and at http://www.samsclub.com.
Fans can find additional information at http://www.davereedracing.com.
Dave Reed Racing operates NASCAR Winston West and Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring teams featuring Craig Raudman as driver. Raudman has collected ten wins and fifteen Bud Pole Awards throughout his Southwest Series career, and finished in the top five in final points standings in four of his past five full Southwest Series seasons.