Borneman paces solid line-up of West Series drivers in California Speedway test FONTANA, Calif. (March 19, 2004) --- Johnny Borneman III paced a one-day test of NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series drivers at California Speedway on March...
Borneman paces solid line-up of West Series drivers in California Speedway test
FONTANA, Calif. (March 19, 2004) --- Johnny Borneman III paced a one-day test of NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series drivers at California Speedway on March 18th. He was more than half-a-second quicker than any of the other drivers who compiled an eight-car test session at the superspeedway.
"We were very good today," said Borneman, "I don't think we could have been better. This is a quick car." He ran the quickest lap of the day, 41.9 seconds around the 2-mile, D-shaped oval.
He won the pole for last year's event at California Speedway and finished fourth driving the same car he tested with. "This car ran so good last year we put it in a corner and didn't use it anywhere else. We brought it here today and it was fine, picked up where we left off last year."
Returning from retirement for the King Taco 200 in May, Eric Norris ran the next quickest lap at 42.50 seconds. Norris won the 2002 event at California Speedway on his way to claiming the series championship that year. "This was a very good test even though it was shortened by a little fire. We expect to be really fast for the race. Gene Monaco only brings the best equipment.
"We are excited to come here and race," said Norris. "Of all tracks, California Speedway is my favorite because it has the best facility. This is like our Daytona 500 for the Grand National Division." FOX Analyst Jeff Hammond will be doing the crew chief honors for the No. 85 team. Two new sponsors join the team for the King Taco 200 as well, Mission Inn and James Hardee Building Products.
Clint Bowyer also ran a 42.50 second lap. "We learned what we wanted to learn, we'll come back and give a solid effort for this race."
Bowyer is sharing duties with Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Busch Series, driving the No. 21 Pay Day Chevrolet, in an attempt to defend the 2003 owners championship for Richard Childress Racing. Along with the 14 Busch Series races he'll compete in this year, including the fall race at California Speedway, Bowyer is competing in the West Series during select races this season. "The West Series runs a 105 inch base, like the Busch Series," he said. "Tires and horsepower different and I'm fresh to this track so we needed to get some seat time."
Mike Duncan journeyed the track in 42.52 seconds. "We made some laps and got the feel of the track. It's not too often that we run speeds like this. We are not where we need to be yet, but the test helps us eliminate some of the options.
Austin Cameron, who was sidelined for last year's West Series event at California Speedway, ran a 42.90 second lap. "It was frustrating today, but I'm glad the test found out what we need to do to be prepared for the race here. We improved and ran our best time by the end of the day. We came here and learned what we needed."
Defending West Series champ Scott Lynch toured to oval in 42.6 seconds. "The test was pretty good. We were fairly consistent today and the car acted well to the changes we made. We'll take her home and bring her back with some more speed.
"More seat time [with this test] allows for better reaction," said Lynch. "We are looking forward to a good race and standing out with a good pole and at least a top-3 finish."
Rookie Steve Schaefer ran a 44.0 second lap in preparation for his first race at California Speedway. "This is only my seventh month racing anything. We ran 47 and 48 laps early in the day and were able to bring it down to a 44. We learned a lot and there is a lot to improve on still, but we are pretty happy with our performance here."
Brett Thompson also tested at California Speedway, but his day was called before lunchtime when his car blew a motor. It was the second motor this week that the team had go awry, the first blew during testing at Mesa Marin earlier this week. Team owner Rich Thompson said, "It's better to happen today than in a race."
The NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series takes to the track for the King Taco 200 on Saturday, May 1st at California Speedway. The NASCAR Busch Series 300 and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice will also take place on Saturday. Later that evening the Miller Lite Rock 'n Racing Concert Series presents "LIVE" followed by fireworks. Tickets are $40 and $50 for the Saturday's lineup of excitement at California Speedway. For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE  or log onto www.californiaspeedway.com.