Holmes Commands 68-Point Lead In Championship Chase Drivers Battle For Top-10 Spot In Final Standings For 2008 2008 Campaign Comes Full Circle With Return To Roseville 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP Title To Be Decided At All American Speedway On ...
Holmes Commands 68-Point Lead In Championship Chase
Drivers Battle For Top-10 Spot In Final Standings For 2008
2008 Campaign Comes Full Circle With Return To Roseville
2008 CHAMPIONSHIP Title To Be Decided At All American Speedway On Saturday
The 2008 championship for the NASCAR Camping World Series West will be decided in the season finale on Saturday, Oct. 25, as the circuit heads to All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., for the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Thunder Valley.
Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota) is 68 points ahead of Jason Bowles (No. 22 Sunrise Ford Ford) as they prepare to return to the historic Northern California track where the West's oldest stock car circuit kicked off its 55th season with a sold-out event back in March. Holmes, who led wire-to-wire to win that season opener, is looking to add another series championship to the title he won in 2006. A finish of 13th or better will give the 34-year-old Escalon, Calif., driver that second championship.
"I've got a good feeling," Holmes said of the final race. "I've been to Roseville twice and won both times," he said, referring to his victory in March and his win in a big modified race at the third-mile track about 10 years ago.
"The guys had a month off here to totally go through the car," Holmes said of his Bill McAnally Racing team. "So, I know the car will be prepared well. We'll go there and try to win the Coors Light Pole Award and win another race and that will give us the championship." "We aren't going to do anything different, just go there and race hard like we have all year," he said. "If you get cautious, sometimes that's the worst thing to do -- especially on a little race track like that."
Holmes has already won four races this season, along with taking the Coors Light Pole Award in five events.
Bowles has matched Holmes in Coors Light Pole Awards this year, while accumulating three race wins. The 25-year-old driver from Ontario, Calif., would love to have a championship to go with the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award he won in 2007. But he knows it will be tough to overcome a 68-point deficit.
"We're just going to go there -- try to qualify for the pole, lead the most laps, win the race and whatever happens, happens," he said. "It's just unfortunate that we're so far back in the points, after the flat tire we got at Altamont," said Bowles, who trailed Holmes by just nine points prior to a 19th-place finish in the most recent race. Bowles set the fast mark in qualifying at Roseville in March.
"We were good there in March. I just made a few mistakes myself that caused us a lot of positions on the race track," he said. "Hopefully, we can run just as good and I can drive a little bit smarter and run up front all day and just try to win. That's all we can do."
Bowles is pleased, meanwhile, with the progress the Bruncati Racing team made this year, with the addition of championship crew chief Bill Sedgwick.
"Half way through the year, once we got our program back on track, things started really going good with me and Bill," said Bowles. "It's just unfortunate we couldn't have started back in October getting our program sorted out the way we've got it now, because I think we would have been tough to beat for the championship. But it's the cards we were dealt, so we're just doing what we can. Hopefully, we can come out of this last race with a win and possibly a championship."
Third in the championship standings is Jeff Barkshire (No. 46 Centennial Batteries/SPE Dodge) of Auburn, Wash., with 1,837 points. Barkshire, who has clinched this year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year title, still has an ever-so-slim mathematical chance at the overall championship.
Those hopes would hinge on Holmes not finishing any better than 24th and not leading any laps and Bowles not finishing any better than third and not leading any laps.
Although a rookie, Barkshire has posted some great statistics in the series this season. He has the most top-10 finishes, with 10; has an average finish of 7.1, which is tops among drivers after 12 races; and has completed the most laps of competition--1,813.
Fourth in the championship standings is the 2007 series champion, Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford) of Modesto, Calif., with 1,749 points. Veteran driver Jim Inglebright (No. 1 Jelly Belly Chevrolet) of Fairfield, Calif., is 43 points back of David in fifth with 1,706 points. Bill McAnally Racing teammates are battling for sixth in the standings -- with Austin Cameron (No. 18 NAPA AutoCare Toyota) of El Cajon, Calif., leading Moses Smith (No. 16 HASA Pool Products/White Flyer Toyota) of Tempe, Ariz., by just 12 points -- 1,670 to 1,658.
Johnny Borneman (No. 8 Twisted X Boots/Red Line Oil Ford) of Ramona, Calif., is eighth in the standings with 1,590 points. Four points back, with 1,586 points, is David Mayhew (No. 21 BayBioDiesel/GGRT/RCR Chevrolet) of Atascadero, Calif.
Rookie Jim Warn (No. 10 MJ2 Racing/Gran Prix Imports Chevrolet) of Aurora, Ore., holds the 10th spot in the standings -- with 1,509 points. Several drivers trailing close behind him hope a good finish at Roseville will vault them into the top 10 of the final standings. They include rookie Jason Patison (No. 17 Jasper Engines/Lucas Oil Ford) of Corona, Calif., with 1,506 points; Mike Gallegos (No. 34 RTD Motorsports/D4D Chevrolet) of Wheat Ridge, Colo., with 1,487 points; and Jeff Jefferson (No. 42 MJ2 Racing/Gran Prix Imports Chevrolet) of Naches, Wash., with 1,475 points.
Several other full-time drivers looking to finish out their season with a strong finish are rookie Jamie Dick (No. 88 Viva Auto Group/Johnnie Walker Performance Center Chevrolet) of Albuquerque, N.M., with 1,387 points; Daryl Harr (No. 71 WestWorld Computers Chevrolet) of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, with 1,384 points; and long-time series veteran Jack Sellers (No. 15 Aramark Chevrolet) of Sacramento, Calif., with 1,010 points.
News & Notes
The race -- The Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Thunder Valley is the final event in a 13-race series schedule this year for the NASCAR Camping World Series West. The circuit opened its season at Roseville in March.
Fast Grand Marshal -- Ron Capps, who drives a NAPA-sponsored Funny Car in the National Hot Rod Association's POWERade Series, will be a Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Camping World Series West race. He is also slated to compete in a NASCAR Late Model race, driving for Bill McAnally Racing in one of the two companion events on the Roseville schedule.
Shot at Showdown -- This will be the final shot to lock in a spot for the prestigious NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, which will be Jan. 23-24 at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale (Calif.). Six drivers have secured a position in the event by winning a race this season -- Eric Holmes, Jason Bowles, Jeff Barkshire, Mike David, Jason Fensler and Todd Souza. Others will have to race their way into the event.
Championship Banquet -- This year's champion in the NASCAR Camping World Series West will be crowned during a special awards ceremony at the Sacramento Convention Center on Saturday, Nov. 1.
Birthdays -- Drivers celebrating a birthday in October include Kristin Bumbera, who turned 21 on the 5th; Tim Woods III, who turned 34 on the 11th; Jason Patison, who turned 28 on the 15th; Eric Holmes, who turned 34 on the 16th; Sean Woodside, who turned 38 also on the 16th; and Ryan Foster, who turned 28 on the 20th. In addition -- "Spotter Joe," will be blowing out the candles on his cake on the 28th.
The Race: Toyota / NAPA Auto Parts 150 by Thunder Valley
The Place: All American Speedway, Roseville, Calif.
The Date: Saturday, Oct. 25
The Time: 8:38 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: HDNet (Live)
SPEED (enhanced replay)
Track Layout: .333-mile paved
Race Purse: $116,192
2007 Winner: Event not held
2007 Pole: Event not held
Saturday: Practice 1-1:45 p.m., 2:15-3 p.m.
Time Trials 5:25 p.m.