August 1, 2000 (Palmdale, Calif.) - Sean Woodside, driver of the REF Motorsports ...
August 1, 2000 (Palmdale, Calif.) - Sean Woodside, driver of the REF Motorsports #4 Pontiac in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring, determined early that biding his time and saving his tires would be key to a good finish in Saturday's Food 4 Less 150 at Irwindale Speedway.
He and the REF team adhered to that strategy throughout the day, and were rewarded with a third place finish.
The points gained in Saturday's event closed the gap between Woodside's current third place in the championship standings to just six points behind Doug McCoun's second place.
"We knew tire management would be the game, especially with the length of the race," commented Woodside. The Food 4 Less 150 was the longest Southwest Series event at Irwindale to date. "I have to say that Hoosier brought a good tire this weekend. Nobody had run on them yet, but they performed very well."
Woodside continued, "The guys prepared a great car, and we just played our game according to the plan."
The REF car was clocked at third and fifth fastest in the two practice sessions earlier in the day, and Woodside qualified for an inside second row starting position.
Woodside fell back a few places just after the start of the race, and held his ground toward the back of the top ten for much of the race.
He didn't push for position until well into the last fifty laps, then began methodically moving up through the pack. With ten laps to go, Woodside and current points leader Matt Crafton exchanged places several times in a side by side battle for third place that continued until lap 149, when lapped traffic moved in and allowed Woodside to solidify his third place finish.
Woodside's performance Saturday night is yet more impressive considering that he was recovering from a nasty go-kart accident earlier in the week, when he rolled the kart he was driving at more than sixty miles per hour. Woodside luckily escaped serious injury, but was experiencing residual neck and chest pain Saturday.
Team owner Bob Farmer commented, "It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if we had a late caution. We had just two short cautions in the entire race, which is unusual. We gained points on the leaders, though, so we're satisfied with how things worked out."