* Cameron shoots for third consecutive Roseburg win * Duncan goes for 20th consecutive top 10 * Earnhardt returns to Douglas County Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2003) - Two years ago, Austin Cameron (No.
* Cameron shoots for third consecutive Roseburg win
* Duncan goes for 20th consecutive top 10
* Earnhardt returns to Douglas County Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2003) - Two years ago, Austin Cameron (No. 16 NAPA/NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet) came from a lap behind to win the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore. Last year, he led wire-to-wire to become a repeat event winner. Cameron will be shooting for this third consecutive win at Douglas County Speedway when the series visits Roseburg for the NAPA Auto Parts 200, presented by NAPA Belts & Hose, on Saturday, Sept. 18. Despite his dominant performance, Cameron says he is unable to point to a reason for his success on the Oregon track. "I don't know why I do so well there," he said. "It's a different track. It's flat and there's not much banking to it. For some reason, me and that place just click. I wish I could tell you, because if I knew I would do it everywhere. I just have an overwhelming good feeling about that place. It just suits my driving style.
"I feel at home when I race that track," Cameron continued. "For some reason, every time I get on that track it's like I'm in another world. I'm just super focused and really in tune with how the car works."
Cameron, who holds the one-lap qualifying record and the 200-lap race record at Roseburg, did reveal one trick for getting around the half-mile oval, however. "I like to hang the tire over on the left-hand side," he said. "The edge on the inside of the track - there's kind of a lip there. It seems to kind of give me a little more grip. I use that."
Tire wear is also important at Roseburg, according to Cameron. "You never stop turning at that track," said the 27-year-old driver from El Cajon, Calif. "You've really got to worry about your tires a lot. You really have to conserve them. It's really easy to burn them off, because it's non-stop turning. That plays into it quite a bit with the setup of the car. (Crew chief) Doug George does an amazing job giving me a car that is good for the long runs. That's prevailed in the past there."
Cameron has an added incentive to win at Roseburg, with his team's sponsor - NAPA Auto Parts - also sponsoring the race. "It actually gets me a little more fired up," he admitted. "All the fans there are so appreciative and NAPA is so appreciative. They want the racecar to win. So, that gives me that much more reason to go out there and give it everything I've got and a little bit more.
"The place has been really good to us," Cameron said. "The fans at Roseburg are some of the best. I've never signed so many autographs for so long after a race as I have at Roseburg. It's a special place."
NEWS & NOTES
* The race . This event is the ninth of 13 races on the series schedule for 2004. It is the only visit by the series to Roseburg, Ore., and to the state of Oregon this season.
* The track . Douglas County Speedway is a half-mile paved oval with 11 degrees banking in the corners. The track, located just off Interstate 5 on the Douglas County Fairgrounds, hosted four West Series races between 1966 and 1971, when it was a quarter-mile oval. The series has made two visits to the track since it was renovated and expanded in 2001.
* Going for 20 straight . Mike Duncan (No. 9 Lucas Oil/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet) will be shooting for his 20th consecutive top 10 finish in the series at Roseburg. His string of top 10 finishes extends back to the second race of the 2003 season. He is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all eight races so far this season. Duncan scored top-five finishes in the two recent visits to Douglas County Speedway, coming home fourth in 2002 and second in 2003.
* Earnhardt returns . Kerry Earnhardt (No. 20 NASCAR Select Filters by NAPA Chevrolet) got his first look at Douglas County Speedway during a media luncheon in July. In four races with the series since that visit, he has accumulated one top-five and three top-10 finishes.
* Another generation . The entry list for Roseburg also includes Kristi Schmitt (No. 10 Schmitt Equipment Sales Chevrolet) of Redding, Calif. - who will be making her series debut. Her grandfather, Bill Schmitt, was a four-time champion in the series (1977, 1979, 1989, 1990).
* Drivers plan visit to local VA Hospital . Several NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series drivers are scheduled to make a special visit to the Veterans Hospital in Roseburg on Friday, Sept. 17. Drivers scheduled for the visit include defending series champion Scott Lynch (No. 08 Yerf-Dog/Orleans Racing Dodge), Austin Cameron (No. 16 NAPA/ NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet) and Brett Thompson (No. 61 Rich Thompson Trucking Chevrolet).
* Annual parade through town . Many of the West Series team haulers will participate in the second annual parade through Roseburg on Friday, Sept. 17. The trucks are slated to begin their journey from the Seven Feathers Casino along Interstate 5 at noon.
* Autograph session open to the public . Drivers will get an opportunity to greet fans and sign autographs during a special autograph session at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, just outside the track, on Friday afternoon. The event is slated from 3 to 5 p.m.
* Two-for-two . Cameron's two recent victories at Roseburg match the two wins captured there by Jack McCoy in the late 1960s.
* Leading the way . Cameron has led the most laps of competition at Roseburg, keeping the familiar blue and yellow NAPA Chevrolet out front for 210 laps.
* More money . Cameron tops the list of money winners at Roseburg, with $18,024.
* Last year's event . Cameron demonstrated his strength once again at Douglas County Speedway in 2003, with a wire-to-wire win. It followed his 2002 performance in which he had to come from behind for the victory. After winning the Bud Pole Award in qualifying for last year's race, Cameron paced the entire event and crossed the finish line with a margin of victory of 4.176 seconds.
* Bonus money . Championship points at Roseburg will have added emphasis. Following this event, a combined $50,000 in prize money will be paid out through the second portion of the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series Leader Bonus Program. It will be divided among the top 15 drivers based on points accumulated from the fifth through the ninth events.
* Leading the way . Duncan has led nearly twice as many laps of competition as any other driver so far this season. He has been out front for 430 laps. Cameron is second on the list with 221 laps as the leader. Duncan has also run the most laps so far, completing 1,306 of the 1,308 possible. Daryl Harr (No. 71 WestWorld Motorsports Chevrolet) is second on the list with 1,297 laps logged. Duncan also tops his competition in terms of the best average finish in the first eight races. He has an average finish of 4.38.
* Leading money winner . Cameron is the leading money winner so far this year - with $52,398 in winnings after the first eight races.
* Points lead trimmed . With five races remaining, Cameron has trimmed Duncan's lead in the championship standings to just 58 points - 1,321 to 1,263.
* Other tight races . The other three drivers in the top five of the standings are also locked in a tight points battle. Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford), Scott Gaylord (No. 00 Oliver Gravity Separators/Denver Seminary Chevrolet) and David Gilliland (No. 88 RaceCarCeilingFans.com Chevrolet) are third, fourth and fifth in the standings, respectively, and are separated by just 30 points.
* Toyota All-Star Showdown invite . There is also a tight battle to get into this year's NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. The drivers who finish in the top 15 of the final standings are invited to the prestigious event. Only 79 points currently separate the three drivers in 14th, Jack Sellers (No. 15 Aramark Pontiac); 15th, Bobby Hillis (No. 27 First Impression Press Chevrolet); and 16th, Sean Woodside (No. 3 Jerry Springer Pontiac).
* Gaylord mirrors 2003 position . With eight races completed, Gaylord is fourth in the championship standings with 1,173 points. A year ago he was in the exact same position. Eight races into the 2003 season, the series veteran had 1,173 points and was fourth in the standings.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
On Sept. 19, 1964, Ron Hornaday Sr., notched a win at Ascot. It was one of six victories he collected that season en route to winning his second consecutive series championship.
What: NAPA Auto Parts 200, Presented by NAPA Belts & Hose
NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series Race #9 of 13
Where: Douglas County Speedway, Roseburg, Ore.
When: 8:45 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18.
Track layout: .5-mile paved oval.
Distance: 200 Laps, 100 miles.
Pre-race schedule: Saturday - Practice, 11-11:45 a.m. 1:30-2:15p.m. Qualifying, 5:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.