NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES DOUBLE HEADER NEWS & NOTES * Leading East, West Series Drivers Contemplate Double-Header Strategies * West's Mike David First 2006 Showdown Driver To Gain Entry To 2007 Field DAYTONA BEACH,...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES DOUBLE HEADER NEWS & NOTES
* Leading East, West Series Drivers Contemplate Double-Header Strategies
* West's Mike David First 2006 Showdown Driver To Gain Entry To 2007 Field
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 10, 2007) -- Not only will NASCAR Grand National Division drivers deal with racing at two tracks they've never been to before, but the format for the unique combination races will offer plenty of strategy options.
The West Series and the Busch East Series have run together before, at the postseason Toyota All-Star Showdown. But when they travel to the Midwest for a pair of races -- May 18 at Elko (Minn.) Speedway and May 20 at Iowa Speedway -- it will be the first time the series will run with points on the line.
Championship points will be awarded to drivers based on their finish relative to other drivers in their series. Drivers must declare prior to the event, which series they are representing. That may factor into a driver's in-race decisions.
As an example, a driver can be running fifth, but if they are the top driver in their series, they would receive first-place points.
"Strategy changes at that point," Busch East driver Matt Kobyluck said. "If you have a clear shot at winning the race, but you have to put yourself in a precarious situation to try to win, the strategy has to change a little bit. If you think you can go ahead and pick off a few more spots, you're going to want to go ahead and do it."
West Series points leader Mike David said the decisions will be made based on what the situation calls for at the moment.
"As far as the way we approach the races, we'll approach them the way we do any other race," David said. "We'll go there, do our best, and hopefully come away with a win.
"But if I'm running third with five laps to go and the two cars in front of me are East Series cars, but I think I have a shot at the win, it's hard to say how it will play out. It depends on how the race is unfolding. It's a hard question."
David had a chance to race against some of the Busch East's best at Phoenix in April. He finished third to race-winner Joey Logano and Logano's teammate Marc Davis. Logano and Davis were running the West Series event in order to get a jump on their own Busch East season.
The 40-year-old David, of Modesto, Calif., is coming off a win at Altamont Motorsports Park April 28, which earned him an automatic spot in the 2007 Toyota All-Star Showdown. He became the first driver from last year's Showdown to qualify for this year's event. Scott Lynch and rookie Logano are the other two drivers to lock in 2007 Showdown spots with Grand National victories this season.
David will enter the two-race weekend with a 70-point lead over second place Tim Woods III.
"I'm pretty excited about it," David said of the Midwest swing, "not just because the tracks are different, but because we've never even seen them before. The tracks are quite different. They are going to be challenging, and neither series has raced at them."
David finished third behind winner Kobyluck and runner-up Sean Caisse in the 2006 Toyota All-Star Showdown.
Kobyluck compares Elko to Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway -- which hosts the Showdown -- but with a shorter configuration.
"With the compound banking, Elko will be similar to Irwindale for us," Kobyluck said. "You can run the bottom, the middle or the top. It ought to be fun. There's no question it's a real fast track."