WS: Douglas County: Round eight preview

Gallegos Continues Strong Showing In Sophomore Season Series Prepares For Annual Visit To Douglas County Speedway 10 Races At Roseburg Produce 8 Different Race Winners Gallegos Hoping Douglas Is A Repeat Of Colorado After scoring a career-best...

Gallegos Continues Strong Showing In Sophomore Season
Series Prepares For Annual Visit To Douglas County Speedway
10 Races At Roseburg Produce 8 Different Race Winners

Gallegos Hoping Douglas Is A Repeat Of Colorado

After scoring a career-best fourth-place finish on his home track in Colorado last month, Mike Gallegos (No. 34 RTD Motorsports/D4D Chevrolet) is hoping for similar results on another 3/8-mile track.

He will get his chance this week when the NASCAR Camping World Series West makes its annual visit to Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore., for the Toyota/Bi-Mart Firecracker 150 on Friday, July 11. The race is slated to air live in high definition on HDNet. In addition, an enhanced replay is to air on SPEED.

"Douglas County will be similar to Colorado, where track position is important," Gallegos said. "I need to qualify well and just be patient for a while and then go the last 50 laps."

Gallegos, who is enjoying a solid season in his second year in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, is confident that he and the RTD Motorsports team, led by car owner and crew chief Rob Dixon, can register top-five finishes on a regular basis.

"My expectations are top-five or top-three runs," Gallegos said. "I think we're capable of being in the top five or top three week in and week out."

Gallegos points to the team as the key to his success this season. "I give all the credit to my team," said the 25-old driver from Wheat Ridge, Colo. "Rob gives me a good car and puts good people around me. That's point blank what it comes down to. I've got good people, a good car and good motors. That puts the pressure on me to perform. And I like that. I like to have all the pressure on me, as opposed to be worrying about other stuff."

As a result of that performance, Gallegos is eighth in the championship standings -- with a top-five and five top-10 finishes in seven races this season. "I attribute that to my team," Gallegos said. "The guys have worked very hard to get where we are. I think with their knowledge and their hard work, I've been able to learn some things. I've been able to be a little more patient and not have to make things happen."

Gallegos, who is in his fourth season as a participant in NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, became the first driver from the program to lead a lap of competition in the NASCAR Camping World Series -- running out front for 31 laps in the East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway in May.

"I'm definitely proud of that," Gallegos said. "I would like to be the first Drive for Diversity participant to win a race at this level. Leading laps is just building blocks to winning a race. I think if we can continue to do that and lead laps, we'll end up leading laps at the right time when it counts. That's all due to my team. Rob has great pit strategy. It's just a team effort and I can't give enough credit to them. That's what it's all about."

Looking down the road at his career, Gallegos would eventually like an opportunity in a national series in NASCAR. "I would like to spend another year in the NASCAR Camping World Series and then try to move up to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or maybe even the NASCAR Nationwide Series and just see what happens," he said.

"I can't get too ahead of myself," Gallegos said. "The NASCAR Camping World Series is a great learning tool for us. We go to one-mile race tracks and the competition is so good. I think it's a great, great place to learn. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I think I'm capable of running in the top three series. I'm not going to push it. I'm just going to see what ends up happening. I've got to be patient and just win some races and I think it will take care of itself."

News & Notes

The race -- This event is the eighth race on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule in 2008. It is the only visit to the state of Oregon this year.

The procedure -- The starting field is 18 cars, including provisionals. The first 14 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (56.25 miles).

The track -- Douglas County Speedway is a 3/8-mile paved oval with 11 degrees banking in the corners. The track -- located just off Interstate 5 on the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg, Ore. -- hosted four races between 1966 and 1971, when it was a quarter-mile oval. The NASCAR Camping World Series has made six visits to the track since it was renovated and expanded in 2001.

The records -- Qualifying: Mike David, June 30, 2007, 89.457 mph, 15.091 seconds; Race: Brian Ickler, June 30, 2007, 65.768 mph, 51 minutes 19 seconds.

Annual kick-off of festivities -- The annual parade of NASCAR Camping World Series West team haulers is slated to make its way through Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, July 10. The haulers will head north on Interstate 5 from the Seven Feathers Hotel Truck Stop at approximately 1 p.m. The parade will be followed by a driver autograph session, which is open to the public, at the BI-MART at 1381 NW Garden Valley Road from 4 to 6 p.m.

Special fireworks celebration -- The race is to be capped off with a special fireworks show, again this year.

Race winners -- The 10 races at Douglas County Speedway featured eight different race winners. Austin Cameron (No. 18 NAPA AutoCare Toyota) and Jack McCoy are the only drivers with multiple wins there, with two each. McCoy's wins were in 1966 and 1969, while Cameron's were back-to-back in 2002 and 2003.

Pole winners -- The 10 races at Roseburg also featured eight different pole winners. McCoy and Mike Duncan lead that list, with two each.

Leading the way -- Duncan leads several other categories at Roseburg in the modern era (since 1971). He has led the most laps of competition, running out front 318 laps. He has the most top-five finishes, with four, and the most top-10 finishes, with five. With an average finish of 5.0, Duncan also leads among drivers with at least four starts at Roseburg. The two-time champion also leads in terms of money won in series competition at Roseburg, with $25,303.

Returning drivers -- Only three drivers have competed in all six races at Roseburg since 2002 -- Mike Duncan, Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford) and Brett Thompson (No. 61 Pets Best/Thompson Motorsports/Windmill Inn Chevrolet).

Stat of the race -- Four of the seven races in the modern era were won by the pole winner.


The Race: Toyota BI-MART Firecracker 150 presented by NAPA
The Place: Douglas County Speedway, Roseburg, Ore.

The Date: Friday, July 11
The Time: 8:40 p.m. PT

TV Schedule: HDNet (Live) SPEED (enhanced replay) July 24, 12:00 p.m. (ET)

Track Layout: .375-mile paved
Race Purse: $113,664

2007 Winner: Brian Ickler
2007 Pole: Mike David

Friday: Practice 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 1-1:45 p.m., Time Trials 5 p.m.


Last year's event ...

Last year, Brian Ickler became the third different driver to pilot the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet to victory lane at Roseburg, giving the Bill McAnally Racing team wins in four of six West races at the fairgrounds facility since 2002.

Justin Lofton, who led the first 63 laps of last year's race, quickly faded back on a restart and was pushed to the garage with clutch problems -- leaving him to finish 18th. Mike David, who set a track record of 15.091 seconds in winning the pole, led the next 72 laps. But he, too, suffered mechanical woes.

Ickler, who started fourth on the grid, picked his way forward to the runner-up spot and then inherited the lead when David's car faltered on a restart just 15 laps from the finish. Ickler won by a margin of 2.417 seconds, with Johnny Borneman taking second and Jason Bowles finishing third.


Final notes from Irwindale

Bowles gains first win on oval -- Jason Bowles (No. 22 Sunrise Ford Ford) won the California Highway Patrol 200 NASCAR Camping World Series West race on the Fourth of July at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. It marked his second win this year and the fourth of his career, but his first on an oval. Bowles also won the Coors Light Pole Award, his second of the season and the third of his career.

Top rookie, again -- Jeff Barkshire (No. 46 Centennial Batteries/SPE Dodge) came home fourth at Irwindale, matching his career-best finish. As the top-finishing rookie, he won the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award for the fifth time in seven races.

First career top-10 -- Making only his second start of the season and the third of his career, Terry Henry (No. 19 MMI Services/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet) finished 10th.

Several newcomers -- Several drivers made their series debut at Irwindale. Chris Johnson (No. 50 TCR Ford) had a great qualifying run to start fourth and came home 17th. Paul Pedroncelli (No. 0 Pedroncelli Motorsports Chevrolet) started 25th and finished 21st. Jameel Saied (No. 93 CMJ Racing/Saied Contractors Ford) started 24th and finished 27th.

Special delivery -- Jason Patison (No. 17 Dixie Chopper/Lucas Oil Chevrolet) had a busy schedule leading up to the event at his home track of Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. He and his wife, Tia, welcomed the birth of their first child, daughter Kayden Marie, on Thursday, July 3.

-credit: nascar

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Drivers Brett Thompson , Mike David , Austin Cameron , Jason Bowles , Justin Lofton , Jason Patison , Jeff Barkshire , Brian Ickler