Competition is King on the Featherlite Southwest Series. Daytona Beach, FL (July 29, 2002) Eddy McKean of Jerome, Idaho continues to lead the point standings in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring division after ten events. Series...
Competition is King on the Featherlite Southwest Series.
Daytona Beach, FL (July 29, 2002) Eddy McKean of Jerome, Idaho continues to lead the point standings in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring division after ten events. Series veteran M.K. Kanke has climbed to second place, just 89 markers behind. 2001 Rookie-of-the-Year Burney Lamar of West Sacramento, Calif. holds down the third spot, with Prunedale, California's Doug McCoun in fourth, and Aromas, California's Todd Souza rounding out the top five.
McKean has maintained the top spot since April on the strength of one win, five top-5 and seven top-10 finishes. This past Saturday night McKean had to use a provisional to make the grid at the third-mile Madera Speedway, and worked his way through the field to finish second behind Burney Lamar and stretch his championship lead. The series takes a week off before heading to tracks where McKean has finished real well and the series championship could be decided.
M.K. Kanke started the year of with a disappointing finish at Phoenix. Kanke was relegated to a 38th place after a lap one incident. Since February the wiley veteran rattled off five straight top-five finishes including a win at Cajon Speedway. That consistency propelled Kanke back into the title chase, and after a third place performance at Madera Speedway, Kanke is squarely in the middle of the title fight.
Scoring his breakthrough win last Saturday night at Madera Speedway, Burney Lamar knows a run for the championship is within his grasp. Lamar has led 40% of all laps run this season and has eight top-10 finishes this season, the most among all competitors. After ten events, Lamar finds himself in third place just 115 markers behind McKean.
Doug McCoun is in the middle of the championship hunt after a couple of disappointing seasons. McCoun ended a dry-spell that lasted over four years when he won in June at Mesa Marin Raceway. That win vaulted McCoun into the top-five in the points standings for the first time in two years. The 20-year Firefighter holds down the fourth position in the standings, despite failing to qualify for the Cajon Speedway event back in March.
Todd Souza rounds out the top-5 points holders, just 182 points behind the leader. Souza is having his best season on the series after winning Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2000. Through ten races Souza has five top-10 finishes and has completed 1,183 laps out of a possible 1218 run.
129 drivers have earned championship points so far this season on the Featherlite Southwest Series, with an average car count of 40 cars attempting to qualify for each event. Twelve teams had appeared at each event with nine drivers qualifying for all ten races. There have been no repeat winners so far this season and 14 straight different winners dating back to October of last year. Jim Pettit II of Prunedale, Calif. has completed the most laps of any driver this season, completing 1,198 out of a possible 1218 run. Pettit currently holds down the seventh place in the over standings.
Burney Lamar leads all drivers with three Bud Pole Awards, M.K. Kanke has two, and five other drivers have one each. Budweiser will pay a season ending bonus to the driver who wins the most Bud Pole Awards. Lamar also heads the class in the Gatorade Front Runner Award Standings. Lamar has led the most laps in five races this season and has led at least one lap in two other events. The Gatorade Front Runner Award awards drivers one point for leading a lap and two points for leading the most laps. A season ending bonus will be paid to the driver who leads the most laps.
The 2002 Rookie-of-the-Year class started with twelve drivers but is now down to two. Brandon Whitt of El Cajon, Calif., leads Modesto, California's Steve Belletto by five points going into the final four races. Whitt has qualified for all ten races so far this season and has earned Rookie-of-the-Race honors three times. Meanwhile, Belletto, who missed the season opener at PIR, has been the top Rookie on five occasions. Each Rookie-of-the-Year candidate competing in the event will earn Rookie points if they qualify for the race.
Four drivers have won their first career victory this season. Eddy McKean won on the mile at Pikes Peak int'l Raceway in May, with David Gilliland winning in his Rookie year on the series at Irwindale Speedway in June. Burney Lamar won this past weekend at Madera Speedway, and Ron Strmiska Jr. won in his first career series start at Stockton 99 Speedway in April. Ken Schrader picked up the victory in the season opener at PIR, with Kanke winning at Cajon Speedway in March. Sean Woodside was victorious at Mesa Marin Raceway in April, and Jim Inglebright won for the third consecutive time at Infineon Raceway in June. Doug McCoun collected his ninth career win at Mesa Marin Raceway also in June, and Eric Holmes scored his second career win at Altamont Raceway Park in July.
The final four races of the season will have the series drivers tackling four very different tracks. The next stop is at the ultra-fast and wide half-mile Irwindale Speedway on August 10. Then the series heads east to Colorado for the a 150-lap contest on the tricky 3/8 mile Colorado National Speedway on August 17. The series drivers will then take two months off before returning to the charter track of the series, the high-banked half-mile of Mesa Marin Raceway on October 19. The series finale will take place where it all began back in February, the Desert Jewell of Phoenix Int'l Raceway will host the 100-lap shootout for the championship on November 7.
The Featherlite Southwest Series is one of eight NASCAR Touring Series that blanket the United States. NASCAR Touring brings special events to many NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks and some NASCAR superspeedways and road courses. NASCAR Touring Series can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. The sponsors include Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite Trailers, Gatorade, Goody's Headache Powders, Raybestos Brakes, Hills Brothers Coffee, RE/MAX International, Inc., and R.J. Reynolds brand Winston.