SHOWDOWN WINNER AUGGIE VIDOVICH HAS EYE ON A SECOND SW CHAMPIONSHIP JLAKESIDE, California. (19 January 2006) -- Roush Racing "Driver X: Race for the Ride" standout and recent NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown winner, Auggie Vidovich II returns to...
SHOWDOWN WINNER AUGGIE VIDOVICH HAS EYE ON A SECOND SW CHAMPIONSHIP
JLAKESIDE, California. (19 January 2006) -- Roush Racing "Driver X: Race for the Ride" standout and recent NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown winner, Auggie Vidovich II returns to racing this weekend for round one of the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series at PIR in quest of claiming a second Southwest Series Championship in 2006.
Like many Southwest Series competitors, Vidovich will be looking to win this weekend's Southwest Series "100" race, which includes 25 additional laps, to get off to a positive start for the season.
This is the final year of competition announced recently by NASCAR for the popular Southwest Series and Vidovich is more focused than ever to get his name on the final Southwest Series Championship trophy this year. The twenty-four-year-old will be looking to carry over last season's great year with four wins to this weekend's 29th Annual Copper World Classic on the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway (Avondale, AZ).
Returning with Vidovich this year is Mike Harvick, crew chief for the #11 Centrifugal Technologies / Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber Chevrolet owned by Rich Fountain. "Mike brought a tremendous amount of experience to the whole scenario last year and it was evident by our four Southwest wins and the big win at the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in November," said Vidovich. "Mike is such a knowledgeable guy and I appreciate everything he has done for me and the team." Harvick was also rewarded by winning the 2005 Lunati Crew Chief Award for the four wins (season high) at the Southwest Series award's banquet in December.
Vidovich finished out his 2005 Southwest Series season at PIR November 10 with a fifth for the day. After posting the fastest practice time on the board prior to qualifying, Vidovich then had the provisional pole time at 27.715 until final qualifier NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kenny Schrader bumped Vidovich off the pole (27.667). Vidovich then started along side Schrader but things changed when he was hit by another car sending him into the turn three wall on the first lap ending his chances for a second Southwest Series Championship. Vidovich salvaged the fifth place thanks to Mike Harvick and the #11 Centrifugal Technologies / Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber Chevrolet crew for quickly repairing the damage and sending Vidovich back out on the lead lap finishing a decent fifth place.
Finishing second in the final point standings in 2005, Vidovich has now finished second three times (2005, 2001 and 2000) more than any other driver in the series history since 1986. Vidovich is determined more than ever to build on the 2005 year stats with the four wins, nine top-five, eleven top-ten finishes, two back-to-back wins plus winning both races held at one track, leading two entire races and leading the most laps for the season.
Although Vidovich's schedule at this point has him racing only the Southwest Series, he would like to diversify his racing schedule to include other racing series such as NASCAR West, Busch or Craftsman Truck as the year goes by, but hasn't finalized anything as of yet.
Vidovich continues to be featured on the Discovery Channel Roush Racing "Driver X: The Race for the Ride," a13-part nationally televised reality series. Vidovich was selected one of the 25 qualified participants out of 1700 submitted resumes making it down to the finals by rising to the top in all aspects of competition with his on and off the track racing and media experience. Racing in actual Roush Racing prepared Craftsman Trucks at Darlington and Martinsville displayed that the Southern California racer still has what it takes to be a competitive factor in the heavy trucks.
Two practice sessions are scheduled for Saturday January 21 with qualifying again the day of the event with positions 1 through 35 to be determined by actual qualifying times and the remaining seven positions based on predetermined provisionals. PIR will host the USAC National / Western Midgets, USAC Silver Crown Series and NASCAR AutoZone Grand National Division, West Series, all racing Sunday with the Southwest Series. The Southwest Series "100" will take the green Sunday, January 22 1pm (Phoenix time) and be covered "live' lap-by-lap online at RacingWest.com.