WS: Fontana: Post-race report

LAMAR SCORES 2ND WIN OF 2005 WITH FONTANA VICTORY IN NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, WEST SERIES FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2005) - Burney Lamar is tasting much of the same success his car owner did as a driver in the NASCAR ...


FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2005) - Burney Lamar is tasting much of the same success his car owner did as a driver in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. Kevin Harvick racked up five wins en route to winning the series championship in 1998. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series star is experiencing similar success as a car owner, although his return to the West Series this year is on a limited basis.

Lamar delivered Kevin Harvick Inc., its most recent victory at California Speedway in the Relocate Here 200 presented by San Bernardino County on Friday, Sept. 2. It gave Lamar two wins in three starts this season.

In much the same fashion Harvick won some of his races in the series - Lamar did not dominate the event. Instead, he waited for the right opportunity to make his move and score the win. "We had a really good car," said the 25-year-old native of West Sacramento, Calif. "We came in and pitted early, because we knew if we didn't that the rest of the guys would come in. Then we wouldn't get a caution. That's what happened to Kevin at Phoenix in the Copper World (Classic) this year. He tried staying out and everybody else pitted and he had to pit later under green. We weren't going to chance anything like that happening."

Lamar's biggest challenge early on was second-generation driver David Gilliland, who won his second Bud Pole Award of the year with a lap of 172.224 mph in qualifying. Gilliland rocketed away at the drop of the green flag, demonstrating the strength of his Chevrolet and establishing a large lead. A series of early cautions, erased that margin, however.

Lamar, who started seventh, moved forward to take the lead on lap 29. His time out front was brief, however, as he relinquished the lead to pit on lap 38. With Gilliland and others opting to remain on track, it moved Lamar and other front runners out of the top 10. Those drivers who stayed out during that caution got an opportunity to pit for fresh tires and fuel when the final caution of the night flew on lap 54.

Gilliland's effort came to an end shortly thereafter, as he encountered transmission trouble and failed to come up to speed on the restart. Lamar, meanwhile, was working his way forward - moving the HPS/Groeniger Chevrolet to third by lap 73 and into second two circuits later. He passed Johnny Borneman for the lead on lap 85.

Although able to get out front, Lamar was battling a loose condition with his race car and was not able to shake Borneman in the closing laps. He admitted it was hard not to worry about a challenge in the closing laps. "What's real important that I kept in my mind was to stay focused and move forward and hit my marks," Lamar said. "When you worry about what's behind you, you can't go forward."

In battling his car's loose condition in the closing stages, Lamar did clip the wall coming out of turn four. "We ended up being just a little bit loose coming off the corners," said Lamar who netted $13,500 for the win. "I was just trying to give the thing as much room as I could getting off the corners. That way I was not scrubbing any speed, putting wheel into it and making it looser. So, I got (the wall). It was just a nick. It wasn't enough to do anything."

Lamar's margin of victory was .704 of second, at an average speed of 102.931 mph. His win on the two-mile superspeedway follows seven years after Harvick scored a win at the Southern California track en route to winning the series title.

Borneman of Ramona, Calif., was second in the Borneman Plastering/Red Line Oil Ford. Defending series champion Mike Duncan of Bakersfield, Calif., was third in the Lucas Oil/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet. After struggling early - Scott Lynch of Burley, Idaho, rebounded to finish fourth in the Harris Trucking/Mr. Gas Dodge. Eighteen-year-old Spencer Clark of Las Vegas, Nev., was fifth in the Allegiant Air/Rich's Motorsports Chevrolet. Rounding out the top 10 were Daryl Harr, Steve Portenga, Mike David, Brett Thompson and Jorge Goeters.

The race featured six lead changes among five drivers - Gilliland, Lamar, Duncan, Borneman and Scott Gaylord. The pace of the event was slowed by four cautions for 27 laps.

With a season similar to that of 2003, when he won the series title - Lynch continues to lead the championship standings. He has 1,519 points - followed by Duncan with 1,471, Portenga with 1,403, Gilliland with 1,358, David with 1,292, Thompson with 1,233, Tim Woods III with 1,181, Andrew Lewis with 1,157, Gaylord with 1,151 and Harr with 1,150.

Lewis continues to lead in the chase for this year's battle for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. He leads with 76, followed by Myers with 66, Sarah Fisher with 62, Tim Smith with 45, Clark with 39, Jason Jefferson with 37, Rick Ruzbarsky with 32, Chris Schmelzle with 28, David Cardey with 24 and Brandon Miller with four.

The next event on the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series schedule is the NAPA 200 presented by NAPA Belts & Hose at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore., on Sept. 17.


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Drivers Kevin Harvick , Andrew Lewis , Steve Portenga , Tim Woods , Scott Gaylord , Brett Thompson , Brandon Miller , Scott Lynch , Mike David , Daryl Harr , Burney Lamar , Rick Ruzbarsky , Jason Jefferson , Jorge Goeters