WS: A glance at the top 15 drivers 2005-06-15

'ROAD TO THE SHOWDOWN' A glance at the Top 15 drivers in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 15, 2005) - The following is a glance at the current top 15 drivers in the championship standings in the...

A glance at the Top 15 drivers in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 15, 2005) - The following is a glance at the current top 15 drivers in the championship standings in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. The top 15 drivers from each series in the NASCAR Grand National Division, the West Series and the Busch North Series, will be invited to compete in the prestigious post-season event - the third annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. The event is to be televised live on NASCAR TV on SPEED Channel.

No. 1 - Scott Lynch, Burley, Idaho (No 08 Mr. Gas Dodge), Lynch Mob Motorsports. Points: 674. Previous ranking: 1. Lynch and his team are on par with their championship season of 2003. In addition to two wins, he recorded a runner-up finish and a top-10 finish in the first four races this season. Lynch hopes to continue the momentum when the series next heads to Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, where he scored a victory en route to winning the series title in his rookie season in 2003.

No. 2 - Steve Portenga, Sparks, Nev. (No. 16 NAPA/NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet), Bill McAnally Racing. Points: 613. Previous ranking: 2. In his first season with the BMR team, Portenga has put together an early string of consistent finishes. He is the only driver, other than series leader Lynch, to finish in the top 10 in each of the first four events. Portenga is looking to deliver his first win in the NAPA colors as the series visits Irwindale, where he notched his first career win in the inaugural series race at the facility in 1999.

No. 3 - Mike Duncan, Bakersfield, Calif. (No. 9 Lucas Oil/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet), MB Duncan Motorsports. Points: 611. Previous ranking: 3. Despite a mechanical setback that left him with a finish outside of the top 10 early this season at Phoenix, Duncan is poised to make another run at the title in his quest to win back-to-back championships. The West Series next visits Irwindale, where Duncan spun while battling for the win in last year's event. His best finish there was third in 2000.

No. 4 - Mike David, Modesto, Calif. (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford), Lynch Racing. Points: 600. Previous ranking: 4. As the saying goes, "it's dejà vu all over again" for David. Four races into the 2004 season he was fourth in the standings with 600 points. With four races in the books this year, he is again fourth in the standings with 600 points. Next on the schedule is Irwindale, where David has finished in the top 10 in five of six races and had a best-finish of third in 2003.

No. 5 - David Gilliland, Riverside, Calif. (No. 88 Chevrolet), MRG Motorsports. Points: 586. Previous ranking: 5. After opening the season with a victory at Phoenix, Gilliland has slipped to fifth in the championship standings. Last year's Rookie of the Year looks to rebound at Irwindale, where he scored a fourth-place finish in the season finale last year. Gilliland has also scored three wins at Irwindale in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series.

No. 6 - Tim Woods III, Chino Hills, Calif. (No. 54 Chino Hills Ford Ford), T-III Motorsports. Points: 526, Previous ranking 6. After finishing in the top 10 of the championship standings in 2004, Woods has made an early move toward the top five this season. He looks to solidify his efforts as the series heads to his home track at Irwindale, where he recorded a career-best second-place finish a year ago.

No. 7 - Brett Thompson, Jerome, Idaho, (No. 61 Rich Thompson Trucking Chevrolet) Thompson Motorsports, Points: 518, Previous ranking: 7. Thompson continues to build on the momentum he and his team developed in the stretch run last season. As the series heads to Irwindale, they hope to improve on their third-place finish there in the 2004 season finale.

No. 8 - Andrew Lewis, Corona, Calif., (No. 18 Teen Arrive Alive Chevrolet), Bill McAnally Racing, Points: 507, Previous ranking: 9. As an 18-year-old senior at Santiago High School in Corona, Calif., Lewis balanced his school work with racing early this season. Leading a talented crop of freshman candidates in the hunt for this year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, Lewis looks forward to visiting his home track at Irwindale.

No. 9 - Scott Gaylord, Lakewood, Colo. (No. 00 Oliver Gravity Separators/Denver Seminary Chevrolet), Scott Gaylord Racing. Points: 481. Previous ranking: 15. After failing to crack the top 10 in the first three races this season, Gaylord got on track with a fourth-place finish at Stockton. He will be looking to make up even more ground at Irwindale, where he has three consecutive top-five finishes.

No. 10 - Andrew Myers, Huntington Beach, Calif., (No. 44 Toyota of Escondido Chevrolet), Myers Racing, Points: 480, Previous Ranking: 8. Early in his rookie season, Myers has quickly adapted to competition in the West Series. He hopes to boost his efforts in the battle for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title as the series heads to Irwindale.

No. 11 - Jose Luis Ramirez, Mexico City, Mexico (No. 17 Del Valle/Onofin-K Ford), Performance Motorsports. Points: 478. Previous ranking: 11. After finishing outside the top 20 in the season opener, Ramirez has steadily moved up the standings with consistent finishes. He is currently just two points out of the top 10 in the championship standings.

No. 12 - Rick Ruzbarsky, Tracy, Calif., (No. 51 Alfred Matthews/Borg Fence/Crystal Pools Chevrolet), Jess Motorsports, Points: 476, Previous ranking: 10. Although a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ruzbarsky has already notched two top-10 finishes in the first four races this season. He will be getting his first look at Irwindale in series competition.

No. 13 - Daryl Harr, St Albert, AB, Canada (No. 71 WestWorld Motorsports Chevrolet), WestWorld Motorsports. Points: 460. Previous ranking: 13. After finishing seventh in the championship standings in his first full season in the series last year, Daryl Harr appears to have encountered the "sophomore slump." He will continue his attempt to rebound from it at Irwindale.

No. 14 - Jack Sellers, Sacramento, Calif., (No. 15 Aramark Pontiac), Sellers Racing, Points: 442. Previous ranking: 14. A veteran of 20 years in the series, Sellers continues his role this season as a driver and as a car owner for other drivers. Again this year, he also plans to compete in selected events in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series. Sellers has taken the green flag for 10 West Series events at Irwindale.

No. 15 - Sarah Fisher, Indianapolis, Ind., (No. 20 NAPA Filters/Domino's Chevrolet) Bill McAnally Racing, Points: 424, Previous ranking: 17. Fisher, a veteran of the Indy 500, continues to make the transition from the open-wheel ranks to stock cars. Next on the agenda is Irwindale, where she first tested with the BMR team late last season.


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Drivers Sarah Fisher , Andrew Lewis , Steve Portenga , Tim Woods , Scott Gaylord , Jack Sellers , Brett Thompson , Scott Lynch , Mike David , Daryl Harr , David Gilliland , Rick Ruzbarsky , Jose Luis Ramirez , Andrew Myers