SWS: Phoenix II: Auggie Vidovich preview

DOWN TO ONE RACE, VIDOVICH READY FOR PIR DESERT MILE SHOOT OUT LAKESIDE, Calif. (8 November 2005) -- Auggie Vidovich II, 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series Champion, finishes out the final round of Southwest Series racing November 10...

DOWN TO ONE RACE, VIDOVICH READY FOR PIR DESERT MILE SHOOT OUT

LAKESIDE, Calif. (8 November 2005) -- Auggie Vidovich II, 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series Champion, finishes out the final round of Southwest Series racing November 10 at Phoenix International Raceway attempting to add another Championship to his resume.

Only 51 points out of first place, Vidovich will give it his best effort to win the final race and with a bit of luck win his second Southwest Series championship. With the point leader having to finish eleventh or better in the finale, Vidovich is positive about his championship chances.

Vidovich has been a steady factor in this year's points battle, never dropping below third place in the points battle all season. Posting strong finishes including four wins (Stockton twice, Mesa Marin and Shasta), Vidovich has eight top-five and ten top-ten finishes with an average finish of seventh this year. The strong finishes have enabled Vidovich to gain points on the leader race-by-race. Vidovich also leads the stats for the most laps lead at 423 going into Phoenix. The Lakeside, California racer, contributes this year's results to preparation and testing along with crew chief Mike Harvick giving Vidovich key setups. "Our whole team has rallied together and put out 110 percent at each race," said Vidovich.

Over forty-one listed entries are attempting to qualify for the race which is expected to draw competitors from other AutoZone Elite Series divisions along with a couple NASCAR Cup, Busch and Truck regulars, including Cup regular Kenny Schrader.

The Southwest Series started the 2005 season at PIR in January for the Copper World Classic with Vidovich forced to the pits running 7th with a mechanical and salvaging a 14th place finish. Vidovich has recorded only two top-five performances on the one-mile paved oval.

Car owners Rich and Kathie Fountain and the entire No. 11 Centrifugal Technologies, Ultra Custom Boats, Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber Chevrolet team dedicate the final race to the continued recovery of Samantha Palumbo of San Dimas, California. Samantha, the beautiful 16-year-old Miss California Junior National Teen, involved in a near-fatal accident April 8, 2005, has been featured on Vidovich's hood for the final three races at Shasta, Mesa Marin and Phoenix.

"Our team is happy to continue to assist the Sam and Diana Palumbo family in spreading the word about Samantha's story," said Auggie Vidovich. Samantha's family attended the Irwindale race on August 6, in support of Vidovich, and the Palumbo family was overwhelmed with the racing community's support for their daughter. A benefit Dinner Dance and Live Auction in September at the Pacific Palms Resort (Industry Hills, California) raised more than $107,000 for the 3.85 GPA sophomore cheerleader and junior varsity team swimmer. For more information about Samantha Palumbo go to www.pray4samantha.com. Samantha came home on October 29 and will be attending the Friday, November 11 qualifying night at the Irwindale All-Star Showdown.

The top-ten Southwest Series drivers won't be able to stick around to checkout the NASCAR Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck races this weekend as they must arrive early Friday morning at Irwindale Speedway to participate in the 4th Annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, November 11-12. Vidovich finished eighth out of 40 entries at the first annual Showdown in 2003.

One of the highlights for the twenty-four-year-old this year was his selection by Roush Racing for the Discovery Channel "Driver X: The Race for the Ride", a 13-part reality series for a fully sponsored Roush Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride in 2006. Vidovich felt honored that he was selected one of the 25 out of 1700 submitted resumes, making it down to the finals.

The 125-laps AZ Lottery "125" race is not scheduled to be televised live but can be viewed lap-by-lap courtesy of RacingWest.com on the Internet Thursday starting at 4pm (Arizona time).

-www.vidovichracing.com.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Auggie Vidovich