SWS: Irwindale: Auggie Vidovich preview

NASCAR Southwest Champion Vidovich Returns To Action This Weekend at IrwindalE Lakeside, CA (26 May 2004) - Auggie Vidovich, defending 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series Champion returns to action for the AutoZone "150" presented by...

NASCAR Southwest Champion Vidovich Returns To Action This Weekend at IrwindalE

Lakeside, CA (26 May 2004) - Auggie Vidovich, defending 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series Champion returns to action for the AutoZone "150" presented by the Southern California Pipe Trades at Irwindale Speedway this Saturday, May 29.

Vidovich stopped by Irwindale Speedway last Friday for the open test along with 15 other series drivers hoping to fine tune their cars in preparation for the 150-lap race. Vidovich and the crew came away pleased after the session in regard to their consistent practice times for the day noting that Vidovich always runs well at the fast-paced award-winning 1/2-mile super speedway.

Last year, the No. 59 Creative Touch Interiors, Ransom Brothers Lumber, Carquest Chevrolet Monte Carlo posted two top 5-finishes at Irwindale on the quest for the 2003 championship. In June 2003, point leader Vidovich started the race in fifth and the move was on. Vidovich later challenged the leader No. 11 passing on the inside for the lead lap 117 and was tapped from the side, spinning his car. He quickly regained control in ninth place and with laps to go, he moved up finishing the race in fifth. Then in August 2003, Vidovich qualified eighth for the night. While moving up in the field, the right front brakes failed with less than 50 laps to go. The experienced driver remained on the track and kept his car in the race to salvage a fifth place and maintain the point lead. Unfortunately, the finishes in 2003 where not what Vidovich and the hard-working crew hoped for but Vidovich's consistency kept him in the point's lead after race two in 2003, then on to win the 2003 NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series championship. Vidovich also completed the most laps of any driver in 2003 (1880 of 1882) and was voted most popular driver in the Southwest Series by his competitors.

With 36 listed entries boasting the popularity of the Irwindale track, only the top 22 positions (after a 2-lap qualifying session) will make the race. Five provisionals plus four drivers from a qualifying race will make up the NASCAR listed field of 30 cars for the evening race trying for a shot at the winner's trophy and a portion of the $53,744 in posted awards.

Vidovich is eager to get back to racing after his last race at Cajon Speedway where Vidovich came away with a disappointing 20th place finish. Starting the 24 car field in 14th, Vidovich moved up the 3/8-mile one-groove line lap-by-lap and by lap 63, Vidovich was in seventh position with less than 60 laps remaining. With a restart around lap 74, it was nose-to-tail racing with Vidovich in the middle of the fast paced racing lead pack. In front of Vidovich, No. 29 and No. 1 raced hard with No. 29 stopping in front causing Vidovich to run in the back of the No. 29 ending Vidovich's night with an unsatisfying 20th place in front of his hometown track cheering fans.

Vidovich Racing also wishes to thank Hawk's Ridge developer Ted Christiansen for their support of the No. 59 Creative Touch Interiors, Ransom Brothers Lumber, Carquest, No Fear, SOBE, SPY, Ron's Rear Ends, Impact Racing Products, Eibach Chevrolet Monte Carlo at Cajon Speedway.

Vidovich revised his 2004 schedule due to a limited budget for this year which will take Vidovich and the championship Vidovich Racing team to back-to-back races in June at Nashville Super Speedway USA (Lebanon, TN) June 11 and Kentucky Super Speedway (Sparta, KY) June 18 (NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series') then a stop at Pikes Peak International Raceway (Fountain, CO) July 31 (NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series). "The larger tracks added to our schedule will increase the experience and exposure we are looking to add to my racing resume, " replied Auggie Vidovich.

This weekend's race at the state-of-the-art Irwindale motorsports entertainment event facility will also host Super Stocks, Grand American Modifieds, West Coast Pro Trucks plus the always popular driver photograph and autograph session before the races. The one-day event has the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series cars practicing from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and again from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. before the qualifying session at 5:00 p.m. Fans will be able to access the track for photos and autographs from the drivers and crews at 5:30 p.m. with the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series main event starting at 8:00 p.m.

-www.vidovichracing.com.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Auggie Vidovich