WS: Stockton II: Round seven preview

* Young Canadian champion experiences rookie learning curve * Event marks midway point of 2004 season * Cameron, Duncan both look to extend marks DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2004) - As a teenager, Daryl Harr (No.

*         Young Canadian champion experiences rookie learning curve

* Event marks midway point of 2004 season
* Cameron, Duncan both look to extend marks

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2004) - As a teenager, Daryl Harr (No. 71 WestWorld Motorsports Chevrolet) experienced success competing in stock cars in his native Canada. Now the 22-year-old driver from St. Albert, Alberta, is tackling NASCAR - as a rookie in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series.

He has never seen many of the tracks on this year's schedule. Next on the circuit, however, is Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway - where Harr scored a top-10 finish when the series visited the tight quarter-mile oval earlier this season.

The Stockton 99 Speedway/Dodge Country, Havoline NAPA Auto Parts 200 on Saturday, Aug. 14, is the seventh event on a 13-race schedule for the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series in 2004. The $107,872 event is to be televised to a national audience on SPEED Channel, on a delayed-basis.

The race marks the midway point of their first full season for Harr and others in the freshman class. Included in that rookie field is Harr's father, Carl Harr (No. 02 WestWorld Motorsports Chevrolet). Daryl initially followed his father into Canada's CASCAR Western Series, where they each won a championship - Carl in 2001 and Daryl in 2002. Now they compete as teammates in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series.

Tackling the West Series has been a much different experience for Daryl than when he joined the CASCAR ranks, however. "I was really fortunate that when I came into (CASCAR), my dad already had three to five years of experience in the series," Daryl said. "I was able to take his notebook and what he had learned through the years and apply that to my car right away. So, I was already a leg up on a lot of the other rookies and other competitors. Now when we come to the West Series, we are both on the same footing as far as experience."

In getting their first look at many of the tracks on the West Series schedule, Harr and his father often compare the tracks to a similar facilities in Canada. "We have not had a lot of testing time in the West Series cars, even in Canada," the younger Harr said. "It's almost a mental comfort to be able to say, 'If I was taking this car to a similar track in Canada, what would I put in it?' So, it definitely helps us prepare for a race. You have to draw on your experience."

Stockton 99 Speedway is a track that draws many comparisons, according to Harr. "Stockton compares to every track in Canada," he said. "We only have one or two tracks that are bigger than Stockton."

Harr attributes his success this year on the NASCAR short tracks - such as Stockton, where he finished ninth in May - to his experience on those tracks in Canada. "That was definitely one of my strengths," he said. "These tracks are similar in size and similar to what we run up here. We're not intimidated by those types of tracks."

Being part of a two-car team with his father aids both of them as rookies in the series, meanwhile. "Me and my dad have a really good communication," Harr pointed out. "It's really nice to work with him, because we speak the same language when it comes to setting up the car. When we bring our heads together to talk about chassis setup or how the car is handling or how the track is changing, it is really easy to confirm what you're thinking. It's very easy to make decisions from there."

Competing against his father on the track can be a different story, however. "It can be frustrating at times," Daryl admitted. "At one point this year I was trying to win a (CASCAR) race and running third or fourth at the time. My dad was just trying to race me. We got side by side and he would not yield to me. I had a faster car at the time and I just wanted to clear him and go on my way."

Something both drivers have to contend with in the West Series, meanwhile, is the travel distance from their home. The trip from Edmonton, AB to Stockton is nearly 1,700 miles. "Sometimes I drive the hauler down with my father," Harr said. "So, it becomes quite a hectic schedule. We have to leave three or four days before an event in California."

In addition to running the full West Series schedule this season, Harr has been busy completing his college studies at the University of Alberta, where he majored in marketing. His study of marketing is important in developing a well-rounded background for racing, he said. "That's what I went to school to learn how to do and I apply to racing," Harr said. "That is a key part in putting a competitive team on the track." He has also taken a hands-on approach with the race cars by working in the shop. "I feel to be a successful driver you also have to know how to work on the car," he added.

NEWS & NOTES

* The race . This event is the seventh of 13 races on the series schedule for 2004, marking the midway point of the season. The driver leading the championship standings after the halfway race has gone on to clinch the West Series title in nine of the past 12 years. The exceptions were 1999 (Sean Woodside), 2001 (Brendan Gaughan) and 2003 (Scott Lynch).

* The track . Stockton 99 Speedway is a quarter-mile paved oval with blended banking of up to 14 degrees in turns one and two and up to 17 degrees in turns three and four. The track has hosted 16 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series races.

* Two visits to Stockton . This race is the second of two visits by the West Series this year to Stockton 99 Speedway. This marks the first time since 1966 for the speedway to host two West Series races in one season.

* On a roll . Austin Cameron (No. 16 NAPA/NAPA Belts & Hose) has won three consecutive races in the West Series and will be going for his fourth in a row at Stockton. Cameron's crew chief, Doug George, posted the most recent string of consecutive wins in the West Series. He won four in a row en route to winning the championship in 1995. Hershel McGriff holds the modern era record of five straight, established in 1972.

* Cameron commands Stockton . Cameron will also attempt to add to his string of Stockton wins. In addition to winning this event last year, he won a 150-lap race on the historic quarter-mile oval when the West Series visited Stockton earlier this year.

* Also on a streak . Mike Duncan (No. 9 Lucas Oil/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet) has scored 17 consecutive top 10 finishes, dating back to the second race of the 2003 season, and will attempt to add an 18th at Stockton. He is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all six races so far this season.

* Dominating qualifying . Duncan has also been strong in qualifying for 2004. He has won three of five Bud Pole Awards so far this season, including the Stockton race in May.

* Top 10s . Duncan and Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford) are the only drivers to finish in the top 10 in all three recent visits by the series to Stockton.

* Tough newcomer . Since making his debut in the West Series, Kerry Earnhardt (No. 20 NAPA Belts & Hose/NAPA Filters NASCAR Select Chevrolet) has finished fourth and seventh.

* Stockton struggle . The Stockton race in May was the only series race this year in which Scott Gaylord (No. 00 Oliver Gravity Separators/Denver Seminary Chevrolet) finished out of the top 10. He was sidelined by an incident on the back stretch on lap 102.

* Local entry . A regular in the Western Late Model Division of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series at Stockton 99 Speedway, John Moore (No. 25 JM Environmental/SBC Ford) finished seventh in the West Series race in May and will be competing in his third series race in 2004.

* Greyhound support . Jack Sellers (No. 15 Aramark Pontiac) will, again, be making a donation to the Greyhound Adoption Center. At Stockton, he will present the agency - which finds homes for retired greyhound racing dogs - with a check representing the bulk of his winnings from the Stockton race in May.

* Last year's event . In just his second race back after being sidelined for treatment of cancer, Cameron turned in a dominant performance last year at Stockton. After setting a track record in winning the Bud Pole Award, Cameron went on to lead 154 of 207 laps. Despite a late-race caution that extended the race distance for a green-white-checkered finish, Cameron was able to hold on to win by .806 of a second over Steve Portenga.

* Multiple winners . Jack McCoy has the most wins at Stockton with five. He won in 1966, 1968, 1971, 1973 and 1974. Cameron is the only multiple winner at Stockton among active drivers. Other multiple winners in the series on Stockton's quarter-mile oval were Dick Bown and Jim Bown.

* Leading qualifier . McCoy also has five Bud Pole Awards at Stockton, to lead qualifying. The two-time series champion is also credited with leading the most laps of competition at Stockton in the modern era of the series (1971-present). He led in three different races, for a total of 261 laps.

* Most money . Cameron leads the list of money winners in series competition at Stockton, with $16,170.

* Leading the way . Duncan continues to lead the way in 2004. He has had the MB Duncan Motorsports entry out front for 393 laps so far this season.

* Most laps completed . Duncan has completed the most laps of competition, running 906 out of the 908 possible.

* Best average finish . Duncan also has the best average finish of drivers running the bulk of the schedule. His average finish in the six races he has run is 4.83.

* Top money winner . Cameron, meanwhile, leads the way in terms of money won so far this season, with $42,483 in winnings.

* Top rookie . David Gilliland (No. 88 RaceCarCeilingFans.com Chevrolet) continues to lead the chase for this year's Auto Meter Rookie of the Year Award. He has a slight lead over a tightly bunched group of talented freshman drivers.

BIRTHDAYS

Drivers celebrating a birthday in the second portion of August include Travis Powell, who turns 40 on the 26th; John Moore, who turns 41 on the 27th; Brian Richardson, who turns 29 on the 28th; and Lynn Hardy, who turns 38 on the 29th.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

On Aug. 14, 1993, Rick Carelli stretched his lead in the championship standings with a win at Cajon Speedway near San Diego. Carelli beat Bill Sedgwick to the finish line by .56 of a second to score his fifth victory of the season en route to winning the 1993 championship. Dirk Stephens trailed Sedgwick across the line, followed by Bill McAnally in fourth.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Rick Carelli , Brendan Gaughan , Steve Portenga , Scott Gaylord , Jack Sellers , Scott Lynch , Mike David , Daryl Harr , Carl Harr , John Moore , David Gilliland , Austin Cameron , Hershel McGriff