NASCAR Camping World Series West News & Notes Bennett Lane Winery 200 presented by Supercuts Mayhew Confident Of Being In Contention At Infineon Raceway Entry List Features Logano, Said, Gilliland, McGriff, Long Large Turnout Expected Again...
NASCAR Camping World Series West News & Notes
Bennett Lane Winery 200 presented by Supercuts
Mayhew Confident Of Being In Contention At Infineon Raceway
Entry List Features Logano, Said, Gilliland, McGriff, Long
Large Turnout Expected Again This Year For Sonoma Event
Mayhew Looks To Run Up Front Again This Year At Infineon
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 15, 2009) -- David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services/Ron's Rear Ends/KHI Chevrolet) has not had much chance to show his road-racing skills since coming into the NASCAR Camping World Series two years ago. He hopes to change that this season.
His first opportunity comes this week when the NASCAR Camping World Series West heads to Infineon Raceway for the Bennett Lane Winery 200 presented by Supercuts on Saturday, June 20. The race is a companion event as part of the big NASCAR weekend with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Sonoma, Calif., road course.
The twisting track, which hosts the first of three road- course events on this year's NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule, is one where Mayhew spent much time early in his racing career.
"I've run quite a bit at Sonoma," said the 27-year-old California driver, who originally hailed from Atascadero, but now lives in Bakersfield. "I won a bunch of scholarships through karting to the Jim Russell School there. I ran the school series they have there for a year. We were there all the time, testing and such. So, I've got quite a bit of road-racing experience at Sonoma. I did a lot of Formula Ford and open-wheel stuff before I made the move to NASCAR. So, I'm looking forward to getting back up there and turning both ways."
This will only be Mayhew's second time to compete in a NASCAR Camping World Series West car at Infineon Raceway. The team he drove for in 2007 ran a limited schedule and did not enter the event. Last year, Mayhew qualified fourth and ran with the leaders early, but was sidelined by a mechanical problem.
He's confident of being up front again this year. "We're going up there to win the race and get as many points as possible," Mayhew said. "Running against Jason (Bowles) and Eric (Holmes) every week, it seems like that's the place you've got to win to gain any points on them. That's our plan. With the background we have up there, turning left and right, I think we should do pretty well."
Although Mayhew is driving for his third team in three years, the transition does not appear to have had a negative impact on his performance.
"You just go out there and whatever car you're given, you've got to do the best you can," he said. "You can't control the situations that you're put in. So, whatever comes along, that's what we try to do and make the best of it."
And Mayhew seems to be doing precisely that this year. He's third in the championship standings -- 64 points out of first -- with one win, four top-five and five top-10 finishes in six races. Not bad for a team that did not plan on chasing points.
"We originally did the deal to just go have fun and run a few races here and there," Mayhew said of car owner Steve McGowan and crew chief Terry Henry, who gets behind the wheel of a second car for some events. "Things started going real well. Steve's got good cars and good equipment and Terry does an awesome job as a crew chief when he's not driving."
"We don't have any full-time guys or anybody working at the shop full time. So, it's me and Terry and Steve most of the time at night," Mayhew said of the Bakersfield-based team. "We go to have fun. Obviously, winning is a lot more fun than not. That's why we do it and keep on going back."
The team does get help from Bakersfield native and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and his Kevin Harvick Incorporated team. "Steve and Kevin have a good relationship," Mayhew said. "They (KHI) help us in getting the cars ready for some of the races, with setups and stuff like that. It really helps out. At some of the other races, like Phoenix, we used some of their guys to help crew chief my car when Terry was racing. It really helps our program as a whole, getting information from someone like KHI."
News & Notes
The race -- The Bennett Lane Winery 200 presented by Supercuts is the seventh race on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule in 2009. It is the first of three road-course events this season.
The procedure -- The starting field is 40 cars, including provisionals. The first 36 cars will qualify through NASCAR road-racing style qualifying. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 64 laps (127.36 miles).
The track -- Infineon Raceway is a winding 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course, with varying elevation. The NASCAR Camping World Series West has visited 28 times, since 1969. In addition to the track hosting 19 stand-alone events, drivers and teams competed in nine companion events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series between 1989 and 1997.
The records -- Qualifying: David Gilliland, June 23, 2007, 91.979 mph, 77.887 seconds; Race: Brian Vickers, June 24, 2006, 67.595 mph, 1 hour 53 minutes 3 seconds.
Big field at Infineon -- Another large turnout of cars is expected at Infineon Raceway. Last year's event attracted a record starting field of 41 cars.
Entires of note -- The entry list includes series graduate and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland (No. 45 Dreyer's Ice Cream/Speed Wong Racing Toyota); NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Joey Logano (No. 11 Home Depot Toyota); veteran road-racer Boris Said (No. 57 DenBeste Motorsports Ford); the legendary Hershel McGriff (No. 04 Park Corporation Chevrolet) and Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (No. 9 AASCO Motorsports Ford), a two-time winner in the 24 Hours of LeMans. Behr Paint on No. 88 entry -- The No. 88 Chevrolet of Jamie Dick will have a new look at Somona, as Behr Paint comes on board as his sponsor. Honor for McAnally -- Car owner Bill McAnally, who also serves as the promoter for several series events, is to receive a special honor from the Motorsports Press Association prior to the race on Saturday. The MSPA will present him with the Gordon Martin Award in recognition of his contribution to the sport of auto racing.
Front runners at Infineon -- Three drivers -- Hershel McGriff (1983, 1985, 1987), Jim Insolo (1978, 1979, 1980) and Bill Schmitt (1981, 1988, 1989) -- lead series competition at Infineon, with three wins each. Schmitt also leads in terms of top-five finishes, with eight, and top-10 finishes, with nine. McGriff led the most laps, meanwhile, running out front for 142 laps. Butch Gilliland scored two victories on the legendary road course (1996 and 1997).
Also in Victory Lane -- Other drivers to win a race at Infineon include Jack McCoy (1969), Ray Elder (1969), Jim Bown (1984), Jim Robinson (1986), Roy Smith (1982), Doug George (1995), Kevin Harvick (1998), Brian Vickers (2006), David Gilliland (2007) and last year's winner, Jason Bowles (No. 6 Sunrise Ford Ford).
Pole winners -- While Hershel McGriff leads with three poles at Infineon Raceway, Jim Bown, Butch Gilliland, Roy Smith and Tim Williamson each had won two poles there.
Last year's event ...
Jason Bowles won a spirited three-way battle around the twisting 1.99-mile road course of Infineon Raceway in last year's event. Bowles held off fierce challenges from Eric Holmes and Jim Inglebright in the closing laps.
Although Holmes was able to edge alongside in the final two-lap dash to the finish, he could not make the pass on Bowles.
Anticipating he would need a strong car at the end of the race, Bowles said he had tried to not abuse his No. 22 Sunrise Ford entry early in the event.
In addition to the threat from Holmes and Inglebright, Bowles had another concern in the closing laps. He had opted to pit early, on Lap 19, for fuel and not change tires. That strategy helped him get out front by Lap 31 and avoid much of the slam-bang action that eliminated some of his competition, but it left him running low on fuel in an event that was extended by four laps because of a late-race caution.
Knowing he might run low on fuel, Bowles had been trying to conserve during the caution laps by shutting his engine off and coasting around portions of the track. He was successful and crossed the finish line with a margin of victory of .350 seconds. Taking second was Holmes. Inglebright was third -- followed by Tom Hubert and Ken Schrader.
The leaders were among the few that managed to avoid being body-slammed, booted off course or spun at some point. The wild action resulted in 12 cautions and two red flags. The final yellow was for the most dramatic incident, when Jeff Jefferson's car launched off the curbing in Turn 7 and barrel-rolled several times. Jefferson quickly scrambled out of his crumpled car.
The Race: Bennett Lane Winery 200
presented by Supercuts
The Place: Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.
The Date: Saturday, June 20
The Time: 12:30 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: SPEED, July 2, Noon PT
Track Layout: 1.99-mile road course
Race Purse: $165,700
2008 Winner: Jason Bowles
2008 Pole: Eric Holmes
Practice 8:30-9:55 a.m., 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Time Trials 1:50 p.m.
Final Notes From Roseburg
Roseburg win -- The win by Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota) in the Toyota/Bi-Mart 150 presented by NAPA at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore., on June 6 was his third win in six races this season. It also marked his ninth career series victory. Holmes also won the Coors Light Pole Award at Roseburg, the 11th in his career.
Back-to-back -- This victory follows Holmes' win at Roseburg last year, matching the back-to-back wins by Austin Cameron in the NAPA-sponsored Bill McAnally Racing entry in 2002 and 2003.
Wire-to-wire -- Holmes led the Roseburg race wire-to-wire. He also led wire-to-wire in his win in Roseville, Calif., in March of 2008.
Bowles, David continue streak -- Jason Bowles (No. 6 Sunrise Ford.com Ford) and Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford) each had a top-five finish at Roseburg, which continued a string of top-10 finishes for both. Each driver has finished in the top 10 in all six races this season. The pair each have a streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes, extending back to last season.
Fast freshman -- The chase for the prestigious Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award this year has developed into a very tight battle between two very talented drivers -- Paulie Harraka (No. 12 NAPA AutoCare/Adaptive One Brakes Toyota) and Blake Koch (No. 21 GodSpeaks.com Chevrolet).