WS: Portland: Jim Warn race notes

Warn Scores Top Ten Effort at Home; Late Race Caution Forces Extra Distance Pushing Fuel Window for Jim Warn AURORA, OR. (July 20, 2009) Jim Warn from Aurora, Oregon and driver of the GPI Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping ...

Warn Scores Top Ten Effort at Home; Late Race Caution Forces Extra Distance Pushing Fuel Window for Jim Warn

AURORA, OR. (July 20, 2009) Jim Warn from Aurora, Oregon and driver of the GPI Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Series-West had been looking forward to racing at home all season and he did not disappoint his family and friends with a strong showing in the Bi-Mart/Salute to the Troops "125" at Portland International raceway on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Warn ran in the top five for much of the race but settled for a 9th place finish after the race went extra distance due to a late race caution pushing his fuel window.

Warn qualified his GPI Chevrolet in the twelfth position for the 63-lap contest around the picturesque 1.98-mile layout of PIR. Warn has had a lot of experience navigating the course but this would be his first effort in the heavier NCWS cars. His experience proved beneficial as he was able to make up positions throughout the event in key passing areas.

At the drop of the green Warn was moving forward and maneuvered his way into the top ten on lap two. By lap 18 he was running 7th when he pitted for fuel under caution. After the restart on lap 20, Warn challenged for the top five and moved into the second position on lap 24. He held that spot for the next eight circuits before letting the guys who changed tires slide by and settled into the 7th position in the running order.

Warn pitted for tires on lap 45 under caution. Under NASCAR rules the NCWS teams cannot change tires and fuel the car on the same pit stop so that meant that Warn would need to run 45 laps on his fuel load which would push consumption to the edge. After tires and a chassis adjustment, Warn rejoined the fray for the lap 50 restart leaving just 13 laps to the finish.

Another caution flew on lap 52 shuffling Warn back to the 11th position. By lap 57, Warn had moved back up to the 8th position and had his sights set on the top five moving into sixth when the caution came out again on lap 58. What should have been a quick yellow flag period ended up taking several laps to clear setting up a green, white, checkered finish. The problem was that the restart came on lap 64 (the race was scheduled for 63 laps). Warn moved into the fifth position and was challenging for the fourth spot has he took the white flag on lap 65. He waged a spirited battle with Brett Thompson for the fourth position but his carburetor started to sputter as he exited out of turn 6 allowing several cars in his rearview mirror to pass as the field came to the checkered flag. Warn crossed the line 9th.

"The extra laps at the end hurt us," Warn said. "It was a disappointing end to a really good race but we had a top five car today and we were lucky to stay in the top ten at the finish. The team did a fantastic job all weekend and I could not be more proud. You run the race like you plan but cautions and cleanups are out of our control so we got bit by the extra laps. It was a good race for the team though and this run gives us a lot of confidence heading into Miller in two weeks."

With his fourth top ten finish of the season, Warn has moved into the ninth position in the point standings with just four races left on the 2009 schedule.

Warn drives for MJ2 Racing and is sponsored by GPI Performance.Com, Leupold Optic, Ron's Rear Ends, and Muscle Milk. The car is powered by a Chevrolet NASCAR Spec Engine built by Brad "Freight Train" Peters and sits atop a Hopkins chassis. Warn is in his second year of competition in the NCWS with eight top ten finishes in 22 career NCWS starts.

The Bi-Mart/Salute to the Troops "125" at Portland International Raceway will be broadcast on SPEED Channel Thursday, July 30 at noon PT. Check local listings for date and time in your area. 2009 is the 56th year of competition for the NASCAR Camping World Series-West. The next event for Jim Warn and MJ2 Racing is Saturday, August 1 at the world-class racing facility of Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.

-credit: mj2r

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Drivers Brett Thompson