WS: Phoenix II: Auggie Vidovich race notes

VIDOVICH AND TEAM DEN BESTE PLEASED WITH PIR WEST SERIES DEBUT LAKESIDE, California (3 May 2006) -- Although Auggie Vidovich II, driver for the newly formed NASCAR No.57 Den Beste Transportation Grand National West Series team, did not have the...

VIDOVICH AND TEAM DEN BESTE PLEASED WITH PIR WEST SERIES DEBUT

LAKESIDE, California (3 May 2006) -- Although Auggie Vidovich II, driver for the newly formed NASCAR No.57 Den Beste Transportation Grand National West Series team, did not have the finish he wished for, team owner Lori Den Beste was very pleased with the entire Den Beste Transportation performance with a finish of 24th on April 20 at Phoenix International Raceway. "We had a great car in practice as well as qualifying, a little bad luck at the start of the race, but the team did an excellent job getting Auggie back on the track, Auggie made up some laps and we finished the race," said Lori Den Beste.

Two early morning practices on race day, listed Vidovich at the top of the board for each session with the fastest car each time by more than two tenths. Confident for qualifying, Vidovich went out eighth early in the heated afternoon and ran a qualifying time of 28.761 (one tenth off pole) to position the Den Beste Transportation Ford in forth for the 150-lap race.

Vidovich started the Thursday evening Casino Arizona 150 race under the Musco lighting outside front row due to a post qualifying penalty on the car starting in front of him. The green flag waived and Vidovich had taken the lead over car No.9 on the back straightaway when he experienced what he thought was an engine failure. Vidovich quickly radioed in to crew chief Mike Harvick that he had very little power to the motor and was instructed to bring the No.57 Den Beste Transportation Ford back to pit lane. After figuring out the lack of horsepower -- with the assistance of bystander Nextel Busch and Cup driver Mike Wallace calling out possibilities for the setback -- the Den Beste Transportation team got Vidovich back out to the track around lap 29.

Vidovich got back to racing and kept his composure while making up positions, receiving three NASCAR lucky dog calls to move to the tail of pack making up additional laps. The No.57 was as fast as the leader and sometimes faster by up to two to three tenths but was unable to make up the laps down due to the debris found in the fuel line that caused the lack of power at the beginning of the race.

"We did what we came to PIR to do, get me the experience and laps that NASCAR is looking for and I really enjoyed driving the Mike Harvick setup car," said Vidovich.

The newly formed No.57 Den Beste Transportation team are planning on a one-day practice at Infineon Raceway prior to the upcoming West race June 24, running the same weekend as the Nextel Cup Series race on the 1.949-mile road course.

Plans for the new No.57 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series team formed by owner Lori Den Beste along with her husband, Bill Den Beste of Windsor, CA and Mike Harvick of Bakersfield, CA are to race at least three races --- Phoenix April 20, Infineon Raceway June 24 and California Speedway September 1 and maybe one more --- to get Vidovich up to speed in the West Series and gain exposure for the sponsors.

"Again, we would like to race the Busch Series next year with Auggie and Mike and hopefully create a successful Busch team and bring another great team to the sport," quoted Lori Den Beste. As the majority owner of the newly formed team, Lori Den Beste brings diversity to the sport of NASCAR as a women-owned Hispanic team owner.

Vidovich's next race is scheduled for May 13 at Shasta Raceway when he returns to the NASCAR Southwest Series where he won last year's main event at Shasta on September 10, leading the final 40 laps to the finish line.

With this being the final year of competition announced recently by NASCAR for the popular Southwest Series, Vidovich will continue competing in the Southwest Series this year driving the No.11 Centrifugal Technologies / Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber Chevrolet owned by Rich Fountain aiming to win another championship and get his name on the final Southwest Series trophy.

-www.vidovichracing.com.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Mike Wallace , Auggie Vidovich