SWS: Madera: Round eight preview

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2003) - Since 1987, Madera Speedway has hosted the West coast's premier Late Model Touring series on its tricky one-third mile layout, and in that time, only M.K. Kanke has been able to post multiple wins. This ...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2003) - Since 1987, Madera Speedway has hosted the West coast's premier Late Model Touring series on its tricky one-third mile layout, and in that time, only M.K. Kanke has been able to post multiple wins. This Saturday, July 26, the NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series returns to Madera Speedway for the running of the Lucas Oil "125" presented by Madera Auto Center.

It would stand to reason that experience would make the biggest difference at Madera Speedway, but racing luck and a good starting position may see a first time winner. The Lucas Oil "125" marks the start of the second half of the season and many drivers are scrambling to get their season on track and make it into the top ten in the point standings.

As announced in April, the top ten drivers of each of NASCAR's Elite divisions will get an invite to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. In order to get an invite to the Toyota All-Star Showdown, drivers will have to finish in the top ten final point standings in their respective series. Through seven races this season, many Featherlite Southwest Series drivers have been left scrambling as their seasons have gone every which way but planned. More than 30 drivers are expected to 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 in race eight of the 14-race championship series.

Jim Pettit II of Prunedale, Calif. has multiple wins and a championship at Madera Speedway while running the old Tri-Track series and currently sits second in the Featherlite Southwest Series championship standings. Pettit says you have to have a car that works on the outside groove. Pettit is hoping experience will pay off this Saturday as he looks for his second career victory. "Madera is an exciting place to race," Pettit said. "In this series all the teams are so close in qualifying, so you really have to have your act together. We have not been very good with our qualifying package this season, but we are gaining on it. You can come from the back of the field, but you have to work a bit smarter."

Current 2003 Featherlite Southwest Series point leader Auggie Vidovich Jr. from Lakeside, Calif. has maintained the top spot in the standings since the second race of the season. Vidovich knows that in order to win a championship a driver has to do well at the remaining races on the schedule. "We are looking forward to racing on this challenging course where traditionally we have run well and had strong finishes," Vidovich said. "Our team struggled last season with our performance, but we are just past the halfway point in this season and are pleased with our relative performance this season. We are running strong and our team is looking forward to an exciting race Saturday night for all our fans and sponsors who have supported us here at Madera Speedway."

Current Victory Circle Chassis' Rookie-of-the-Year leader JR Patton from Las Cruces, NM is looking forward to Madera Speedway. "I did not make the show last season," Patton said. "This season we have qualified really well at most all the tracks and I am looking forward to this race and another good finish."

Other notable drivers that are looking for a solid finish at Madera Speedway including Dan Holtz of Pacific Palisades, Calif. who continues to march towards the top of the Featherlite Southwest Series standings. Burney Lamar of Sacramento, Calif. picked up his first career victory last season in this race and plans to have a little deja vu when the checkered flag fly's.

The Lucas Oil "125" presented by Madera Auto Center is set to take the green flag at 8:30 pm PDT this Saturday. Will the fans see a first time winner or will Vidovich continue his stranglehold atop the point standings?


* The race within the race . JR Patton tops the Victory Circle Chassis Rookie-of-the-Year leader board for the second race in a row after seven events. Thomas Martin, Frank Deiny Jr., Greg Voigt, and Danny Burson, round out the top-five Rookies.

* How many cars? More than 30 cars have pre-entered the Lucas Oil "125" presented by Madera Auto Center.

* Seven current drivers have victories at Madera Speedway. Drivers include: Burney Lamar, Eric Holmes, Bryan Germone, and M.K. Kanke. Kanke leads all drivers with two wins at the track.

* Auggie Vidovich Jr. is the only driver to complete every lap run this season (927).

* Darrell LaMoure of Phoenix, Ariz. welcomes NAPA Auto Parts and Yerf-Dog Fun Karts as sponsors to his team in 2003. LaMoure continues to bring awareness regarding missing children to fans through his Racing for the Missing program. At each series race this season LaMoure and Yerf-Dog will raffle a Yerf-Dog Fun Kart at the race. Proceeds will be spilt between the Racing for the Missing program and the track's selected charity.

* Driver to keep your eye on: Eric Holmes has one win at Madera Speedway back in 2001 and has climbed to third in the point standings.

* 17 drivers have started all seven races contested so far this season, and the Featherlite Southwest Series has averaged 40 cars per event through the first seven races of the season.

* Hoosier Racing Tire is the official tire of the NASCAR Elite Division in 2003 and will award 32 tires to eligible car owners at each series event. Hoosier will also award two tires to the highest eligible Rookie-of-the-Year candidate's car owner.

* Featherlite Southwest Series contingency sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch, Auto Meter Products, Edelbrock Intake Manifolds, Featherlite Trailers, Five Star, Flowmaster, G-Force, Goody's Headache Powder, Holley Carburetors, Hoosier Tires, JR Pistons, Mac Tools, Mobil 1 Oil, Moroso, MSD, Penske Shocks, Powerade, Quarter Master, Quick Car, Raybestos Brakes, "76" Race Gas, Victory Circle Chassis, and Wix Air Filters.


* JR Patton of Los Cruces, NM. has stayed in the NASCAR Top-10 for three straight weeks and moves up to 5th place in the standings. Patton has one Bud Pole Award this season along with three top ten performances. QUOTE OF THE WEEK

* "You do not know hot until you have been to Madera in July." - Jim Pettit II (No. 03 HallKinion.com Ford).

15 years ago on May 14 Troy Beebe his second win of the 1988 season with a two car length victory over Loren Kelley in the Budweiser "100" at Madera Speedway. The race took 31 minutes to complete to set a new race record at the time. There were four caution flags for 18 laps and the race averaged 64.516 mph. Roman Calczynski led the first 80 circuits before Beebe took control of the race on lap 81. Jon Paques finished third, with Ron Hornaday Jr. and Jim Thirkettle rounding out the top five. Loren Kelley was the fast qualifier with a quick lap of 14.615 seconds/82.107 mph. Beebe left Madera with a 36 point lead over Calcyznski heading into the event at Shasta Speedway. Ray Hooper Jr. led the rookie standings. Chevrolet had won all six races thus far in the season.

Fast Facts

What: Lucas Oil "125". Race 8 of 14 for the NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series.
Where: Madera Speedway, Madera, CA.
When: 8:30 p.m. PDT, Saturday, July 26.

Track layout: Third-mile paved oval.
Race length: 125 laps, 41.666 miles.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Saturday 7/26 9:00 am Haulers Enter, 10:00 am Registration and Inspection Begins, 12:00 noon Mandatory Rookie Driver's meeting, 12:15 pm Mandatory Crew Chief's Meeting, 12:30 pm Qualifying Draw, 1:00-2:00 pm Practice, 2:15 pm Mandatory Driver's Meeting, 3:00-3:30 pm Practice, 3:45-4:30 pm Driver Autograph session, 5:00 pm Time Trials (2 Laps), 7:00 pm Qualifying Race, 8:30 pm HPS/Victory Circle Chassis Firecracker "150".


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Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Eric Holmes , Danny Burson , Bryan Germone , Dan Holtz , Burney Lamar , Darrell LaMoure , Jim Pettit II , Thomas Martin , Auggie Vidovich