WS: Mesa Marin: News of note, schedule

* Plans set for 6th Annual Bakersfield Downtown Motorsports Festival * Cameron to move atop list for series winnings NEWS & NOTES * The race . This event is the second of 13 races on the series schedule for 2004. It is one of...

*         Plans set for 6th Annual Bakersfield Downtown Motorsports Festival

* Cameron to move atop list for series winnings

NEWS & NOTES * The race . This event is the second of 13 races on the series schedule for 2004. It is one of two series visits this year to the Bakersfield facility.

* The track . Mesa Marin Raceway is a high-banked, half-mile paved oval with turns banked 17 degrees and seven degrees banking in the straights. The track has hosted 41 West Series races.

* The race distance . Three of the series events at Mesa Marin Raceway were 150-lap races - 1981, 1982 and 2003. Series races at Bakersfield during the past two decades have varied up to 400 laps.

* Notable winners . The 41 series races at Bakersfield produced 24 different winners. Bobby Allison and Ken Schrader are among those who visited victory lane there.

* Notable names . More than 260 different drivers have raced in series competition at Mesa Marin Raceway. The list includes nationally known drivers such as Davey Allison, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Derrike Cope, Harry Gant, Ron Hornaday Jr., Jimmy Spencer and Rusty Wallace.

* Return performance . Jack Sellers (No. 75 Aramark Chevrolet) has taken the green flag at Mesa Marin in 28 series events, more than any driver in the series. His record on the half-mile track includes three top-10 finishes.

* Leading marks . Bill Sedgwick leads many series statistics at Mesa Marin Raceway. With six victories, he has the most wins. He has won the most Bud Pole Awards, setting the fast-time seven times. He leads in terms of money won, taking home $106,821 in 23 races. The two-time series champion has also led the most laps of competition around the high-banked track, running out front for 1,820 laps.

* One more thing about Sedgwick . Sedgwick is also a winning crew chief at Mesa Marin Raceway, guiding Mike Duncan (No. 9 Lucas Oil Chevrolet) to victory last season.

* Top finishes . Four-time series champion Bill Schmitt holds the record for the most top-five finishes in series competition at the half-mile track, with 15. He also holds the record for the most top-10 finishes, with 19.

* How they compare . Among drivers who have competed in four or more series races at Mesa Marin Raceway, Jim Insolo has the best average finish of 2.75 in four races. Rick Carelli is second on the list with an average finish of 3.67 in six races.

* Familiar with victory lane . Drivers entered in this event who have visited victory lane at Mesa Marin Raceway include Duncan and three-time winner Sean Woodside (No. 3 Jerry Springer Pontiac).

* Manufacturers' battle . Chevrolet leads in manufacturer wins at Mesa Marin Raceway with 19.

* Stat of the race . Twelve of the 41 series races at Mesa Marin Raceway were won from the Bud Pole, including last year's race.

* Top of the winnings chart . Austin Cameron (No. 16 NAPA/NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet) is about to move into first place on the list of Career Money Leaders in the West Series. Cameron is currently second on the list with $759,176, just behind Butch Gilliland with $759,252.

* Big downtown festival . Drivers and team haulers will be on hand Friday, March 26, for the 6th Annual Bakersfield Downtown Motorsports Festival. The team haulers are slated to be escorted from the track to the downtown area, where series drivers will be available next to their haulers from 6 to 8:30 p.m. to greet fans and sign autographs.

* Early visit . Series champion Scott Lynch (No. 08 Yerf-Dog/Orleans Racing Dodge) and Woodside are scheduled for an early arrival in Bakersfield. They are slated to take part in a special gathering for the media and track sponsors at the Crystal Palace on Wednesday, March 24.

* IMAX experience . Fans who attended this month's premier of "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" at the IMAX theater in Sacramento, Calif., had the opportunity for an up-close look at the No. 16 NAPA/NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet. The Bill McAnally Racing team displayed their West Series entry at a special premier showing of the film on March 8 and at the opening on March 12.

* School visit . Tim Woods III (No. 54 Chino Hills Ford/VOKAL Ford) made a visit earlier this month to Almond Elementary School in Fontana, Calif., to read to fourth- and fifth-grade students. The visit was part of a special program celebrating the 100th birthday of Dr. Seuss.

* Pinewood Derby event . Steve Schaefer (No. 33 FirstLine/Integrity Financial Chevrolet) was on hand recently for a Cub Scout Pack's Pinewood Derby race in Fair Oaks, Calif. Schaefer displayed his West Series car, as well as signing autographs for the enthusiastic young racers.


Drivers celebrating a birthday during the month of March include Clint Vahsholtz, who turned 33 on the 14th; Takuma Koga, who turned 27 on the 16th; Kevin Culver, who turns 47 on the 25th; and Gene Woods, who turns 46 on the 27th. Drivers celebrating a birthday during the upcoming month of April include David Gilliland, who turns 28 on the 1st; and Dusty Fielden, who turns 20 also on the 1st.


On March 25, 2000, Brendan Gaughan scored his first career series win with a victory at Mesa Marin Raceway.

Fast Facts

What: Lucas Oil 150, NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series Race #2 of 13
Where: Mesa Marin Raceway, Bakersfield, Calif.
When: 8 p.m., Saturday, March 27.

Track layout: .5-mile paved oval.
Distance: 150 Laps, 75 miles.

TV: SPEED Channel (tape-delay, April 3, 9 a.m. ET)

Pre-race schedule: Saturday - Practice, 12-12:45 p.m., 1:30-2:15 p.m. Qualifying, 4:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.

Field: 24 cars possible. Fastest 19 through time trials. Two provisional positions based on final 2003 West Series championship owner point standings, two positions based on final 2003 West Series championship driver standings, one provisional position to West Series champion.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Derrike Cope , Rusty Wallace , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Rick Carelli , Brendan Gaughan , Tim Woods , Jack Sellers , Scott Lynch , Gene Woods , Bobby Allison , Donnie Allison , David Gilliland , Austin Cameron , Harry Gant , Davey Allison