NASCAR Camping World Series West News & Notes, Pipe Careers 200 presented by Pipe Trades at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale Cameron Familiar With Victory Lane At Toyota Speedway Event Serves As Homecoming For Many Competitors Four Podium Finishes,...
NASCAR Camping World Series West News & Notes, Pipe Careers 200 presented by Pipe Trades at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale
Cameron Familiar With Victory Lane At Toyota Speedway
Event Serves As Homecoming For Many Competitors
Four Podium Finishes, But No Victory Yet For Holmes
Cameron Looks To Add To Wins At Toyota Speedway at Irwindale
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 12, 2008) - Toyota Speedway at Irwindale is a track that really suits Austin Cameron (No. 18 NAPA AutoCare Toyota). And he has the trophies to prove it.
Cameron has more victories at the Southern California facility than any other driver in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, with five wins in 15 starts. In addition, he won the prestigious NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown there in its inaugural season in 2003.
Cameron would like to add another trophy to his collection when the NASCAR Camping World Series West returns to Toyota Speedway at Irwindale for the Pipe Careers 200 presented by Pipe Trades on Saturday, Aug. 16. The $115,232 event is slated to air on SPEED on Aug. 29.
"It's a great facility and it really provides the kind of racing I like to do," Cameron said of the half-mile track. "It's basically my home track. It caters to my personality and my driving style. It's fast; it's on the edge."
Getting the chassis of the race car set up correctly is essential to going fast at Toyota Speedway, according to Cameron. "There's a really fine line between going fast and going slow at that place," said the 31-year-old El Cajon, Calif., driver. "You can get around there really easy, just plod along and get around that track halfway decent.
"To really go fast, you've really got to have your car right on the edge of being loose and being tight," he said. "You've got to have it perfect to run around that thing really fast and you've got to maintain it for 150 or 200 laps. And you've also got to be able to run down low, run down the middle and run up high. Your car's got to work in all different areas."
Cameron is quick to credit Bill McAnally Racing for his success at Toyota Speedway. But while three of his regular season wins and the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown victory came in a NAPA-sponsored BMR entry, he also won there with the other two teams he has been with -- his family-owned AC Motorsports team and the MRG Motorsports team of Mark Golembeski.
Does that mean it's more the driver than the car? "It just might be the confidence that I bring there," Cameron said. "I feel confident when I go to that place. I have no issues whether or not I'm going to figure out which racing line is going to be the best or not. I've just got to make sure I hit the setup right. It leaves it to me and the crew to get the setup correct."
Although he finished sixth when the circuit visited Toyota Speedway last month, it was not a finish Cameron was satisfied with. He hopes to improve on that this time around. "We're going to do better than we did last time, because we didn't do very well," he said.
His disappointment with that finish is indicative of his frustration with the way his season has gone. "We should have done a lot better, but we've had things break," Cameron said. "We've had unfortunate accidents happen in several different events where we were running up front."
A change with three different crew chiefs has also had an impact on the team, according to Cameron. "We have not been a strong force," he said. "I attribute most of it to the changing of the guard with the crew chief deal."
He's been pleased, however, with the latest change. "I'm really happy with Robert Strmiska. He's a great guy," said Cameron, who is coming off a third-place finish with Strmiska calling the shots at Miller Motorsports Park.
Sixth in the championship standings, about 200 points behind the leader, Cameron says his focus on the remaining three races will be on victories. "We don't have anything other in our minds, other than going out there and winning races," he said. "That's our goal. The championship is pretty much out of our grasp."
The race -- The Pipe Careers 200 Presented by Pipe Trades is the 11th event on the NASCAR Camping World Series West 2008 schedule. It is the second of two races scheduled at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale this season -- following an exciting Fourth of July race that was won by Jason Bowles (No. 22 Sunrise Ford Ford) of nearby Ontario.
The procedure -- The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 200 laps (100 miles).
The track -- Toyota Speedway at Irwindale is a half-mile paved oval with blended banking of six, nine and 12 degrees in the corners and banking of six degrees in the straights. The track has hosted 17 NASCAR Camping World Series events, dating back to June of 1999.
The records -- Qualifying: Butch Gilliland, June 19, 1999, 100.722 mph, 17.871 seconds; Race: Austin Cameron, July 27, 2002, 76.062 mph, 1 hour 18 minutes 53 seconds.
Four podiums, but no win yet -- In the past four races at Irwindale, Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota) has registered three second-place finishes and one third-place finish.
Nine different winners -- The 17 NASCAR Camping World Series West events at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale resulted in nine different winners.
Twelve different pole winners -- The 17 races resulted in 12 different drivers winning a Coors Light Pole Award.
The Race: Pipe Careers 200 presented by Pipe Trades
The Place: Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.)
The Date: Saturday, Aug. 16
The Time: 8:30 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: SPEED (enhanced replay) Aug. 29, Noon ET
Track Layout: .5-mile paved
Race Purse: $115,232
Schedule: Saturday: Practice 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 12:45-1:30 p.m., Time Trials 4:30 p.m.
Racing At Toyota Speedway At Irwindale Like Homecoming For Many Series Competitors
The Pipe Careers 200 presented by Pipe Trades at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale will be like a homecoming for numerous competitors. Before joining the ranks of the NASCAR Camping World Series West, many drivers on the circuit turned laps at the state-of-the-art Southern California facility. And some continue to.
Among those current drivers are Jason Bowles (No. 22 Sunrise Ford Ford), who scored his first series win on an oval when the circuit visited Irwindale in July. The 25-year-old from nearby Ontario raced in the Late Model class at the half-mile track in 2006, before moving on to the NASCAR Camping World Series to capture the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in 2007. He is currently second in the championship standings with two wins.
A rookie this season in the NASCAR Camping World Series is 27-year-old Jason Patison (No. 17 Jim Beam/Lucas Oil Ford) of Corona, who competed in the Super Late Model class at Toyota Speedway in 2004 and 2005. Patison is currently third in the rookie standings and 13th in the overall standings.
Eric Hardin (No. 5 Direct Shopping Network Chevrolet) of Anaheim has made 34 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Series West since racing in a truck series at Irwindale in 2004 and 2005. He is running a limited schedule on the circuit this year.
Lloyd Mack (No. 33 Roadrunner Towing/Chino Hills Ford Ford) of Los Angeles, who competed in various classes at Toyota Speedway, has raced in nine events in the NASCAR Camping World Series in 2007 and 2008.
After racing full time in the Super Late Models at Toyota Speedway in 2000, Tim Woods III (No. 54 Chino Hills Ford Ford) made the move to the NASCAR Camping World Series West in 2001. The Chino Hills driver, who made 70 series starts since then, is running a limited racing schedule this year. Like some other drivers who made the move, Woods often returns to race his Super Late Model car on weekends when he is not traveling the circuit.
Andrew Myers (No. 77 Jan's Towing/J&M Construction Ford) of Newport Beach raced in the Late Model class at Toyota Speedway in 2003 and 2004 before joining the ranks of the NASCAR Camping World Series West, where he notched two wins in 36 starts. While running selected events in NASCAR's top developmental series this year, he has returned to enjoy a very successful season in the Late Model class at Irwindale.
Nick Joanides is battling Myers for the Late Model title at Toyota Speedway this year, while also chasing the championship in the Super Late Model class. Joanides has also competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, making seven starts in 2004 and 2005.
Likewise, Greg Pursley (No. 70 Gene Price Motorsports Chevrolet) has been a familiar face at Toyota Speedway and in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. After racing the circuit full time in 2002, the Newhall driver returned in 2004 to Irwindale, where in addition to capturing the Super Late Model title , he won the national championship in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. He has continued his effort in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, meanwhile, competing in three events so far this season.
A past alumni of the speedway is David Gilliland of Riverside. The second-generation driver, who finished fourth in the standings for the Super Late Model class in 2001, won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Camping World Series West in 2004. He went on to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 2006 and now drives for Yates Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Two other drivers who recently progressed from Toyota Speedway through the ranks of the NASCAR Camping World Series West were Brian Ickler, who raced in Super Late Models in 2005, and Justin Lofton, who competed in the Late Model class in 2005. After capturing three wins in 25 starts while running in the NASCAR Camping World Series West in 2006 and 1007, Ickler of San Diego made the move east to run in the NASCAR Camping World Series East this year. Lofton of Westmorland also raced in the NASCAR Camping World Series West in 2006 and 2007 before making the move to the ARCA/RE-MAX Series this year.
Final Notes From Miller Motorsports Park
First win -- Todd Souza (No. 13 Central Coast Cabinets Chevrolet) scored his first career victory by winning the NASCAR Camping World Series 125 on the road course at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, on Aug. 2. It was just the 10th series start for Souza, who has focused primarily on road-course events among selected races he has run since his first race on the circuit in 2004. It marked the second straight event with a first-time winner. Souza is the sixth driver to be credited with a win this season.
Another pole -- Jason Bowles (No. 22 Sunrise Ford Ford) set a track record in winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Miller Motorsports Park, touring the 3.06-mile road course at an average speed of 94.888 mph. It marked the third pole of the season for Bowles and the fourth of his career.
Career-best marks -- Two drivers in the top 10 at Utah each had a career-best finish. Moses Smith (No. 16 HASA Pools Products/White Flyer Toyota) finished fourth, while rookie Jim Warn (No. 10 MJ2 Racing/Gran Prix Imports Chevrolet) was seventh.
Local driver makes debut -- The race at Miller Motorsports Park included one driver who hails from Utah. Shane Hubbard (No. 47 GL Hubbard & Sons Trucking Ford) of Spanish Fork made his series debut, starting 25th and finishing 20th.