SWS: Phoenix: Auggie Vidovich preview

2003 SW Champion Vidovich Welcomes Return of Copper World Classic LAKESIDE, Calif. (26 January 2005) -- Auggie Vidovich II, 2003 Southwest Series Champion, returns to Phoenix International Raceway for Round One of the 2005 NASCAR AutoZone Elite...

2003 SW Champion Vidovich Welcomes Return of Copper World Classic

LAKESIDE, Calif. (26 January 2005) -- Auggie Vidovich II, 2003 Southwest Series Champion, returns to Phoenix International Raceway for Round One of the 2005 NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series.

Sharing the spotlight with the Southwest Series will be the NASCAR Grand National, West Series and USAC's Midget and Silver Crown cars for the returning "Copper World Classic" weekend of racing on the paved one-mile superspeedway, January 29-30.

Kicking off the 20th season of Southwest Series competition at PIR, Vidovich looks to be just as competitive as he exhibited in the second half of the 2004 season finishing mostly in the top-five and the other not so good finishes due to electrical or crashes. After switching mid-season from the No. 59 to the No. 11 Centrifugal Technologies Chevrolet owned by Rich Fountain, Vidovich ran up front most races and feels he can again march up front and take charge.

The Southwest Series "Copper World Classic" 75 race, scheduled for Sunday at 1:15 p.m., lists thirty-four entries including NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kenny Schrader and former Craftsman Truck Series driver, Rick Carelli adding excitement to Sunday's race and potential outcome.

"We just want to win races, be consistent and most of all finish all the races and we will see where that gets us at the beginning of the season", Vidovich said. "I really enjoyed working with crew chief Mike Harvick last year and he will again be calling the shots for the No. 11 Centrifugal Technologies, Ultra Custom Boats, Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber Chevrolet in 2005". With finishes of 40th (electrical), 4th, and 29th (accident) at PIR in 2004, Vidovich is hoping for a better finish this weekend.

Usually running 100 or 125 laps at PIR each year, this race marks a change in format and race length for the series. New this race weekend has qualifying (positions 1-35 plus seven provisionals) taking place the day of the race (Sunday) and the race consisting of only 75 laps.

"This should make for a fast, fun race for everyone," said Vidovich. "You need to qualify well and stay up front to be there at the finish. No holding back waiting for the last laps of the 75 lapper," said Vidovich. The Southwest Series will return again to Phoenix on November 10th along with the NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series.

With the Southwest Series starting the 2005 season at PIR with a still unofficial schedule listing only ten races so far, Vidovich aims to put the No. 11 in victory circle several times in 2005 after only running nine races in 2004. A new race added to the 2005 series season is Pikes Peak International Raceway where Vidovich secured a second place finish July 31 in a Midwest Series race, just short of a win.

Twenty-three year old Vidovich of Lakeside, California won the NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series championship in 2003 at PIR along with winning the most popular driver award for the Southwest Series for a second time, continues to be one of NASCAR's young talents always in the NASCAR spotlight. For ticket information contact (602)252-2227 or go to www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com.

-www.vidovichracing.com.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Rick Carelli , Auggie Vidovich