WS: Stockton: Round three preview

WS: Stockton: Round three preview
Apr 26, 2006, 10:16 PM

* Borneman hopes to recapture early success at Stockton * Historic Stockton 99 Speedway prepares to close its doors * Thompson hopes to debut composite body in Grand National competition DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 25, 2006) -- Johnny ...

* Borneman hopes to recapture early success at Stockton

* Historic Stockton 99 Speedway prepares to close its doors

* Thompson hopes to debut composite body in Grand National competition

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 25, 2006) -- Johnny Borneman'sfirst visit to Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway in 2002 resulted in a win. He followed up that NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series event with a top-five finish the following year.

After missing AutoZone West Series races at the historic quarter-mile oval while running a limited schedule the past two seasons, Borneman, driver of the No. 8 Borneman Plastering/Red Line Oil Ford, is hoping to recapture his early success there as he prepares to return this year.

He will get his chance when the series heads to Stockton for the Basalite 150 presented by Havoline on Saturday, April 29. The $107,460 event is to be televised to a national audience live in high definition on HDNet. In addition, SPEED is to provide an enhanced replay.

Borneman is looking forward to the short track battle at the quarter-mile Stockton track. "It's one of the races I can't wait to go to," he said. "We built a brand new car for Stockton and we're real excited about going there. We have a great setup."

The 28-year-old second-generation driver from Ramona, Calif., is confident he can put on another strong performance there. "We were so close to being on the pole in 2002," he recalled of his first visit to the historic track. "In 2003, we had a car to win -- but got hung up in an altercation. Maybe I've just got a knack for that track or something, but I can't wait."

With such tight quarters, Borneman stressed the need for a good starting spot at Stockton. "The key is qualifying on the front row," he said. "Otherwise, you have a difficult time getting to the front."

Patience can also be a big factor when it comes to short track racing, Borneman pointed out. "The biggest thing is being patient," he said. "It seems like the slower you drive, the better off you are," he said with a chuckle.

Patience is something that Borneman has put more focus on as a driver this year. "Everybody gets flustered. You get in altercations with people and say and do things that you kind of regret later," he said. "I've been working on being a little more patient and relaxed when things like that happen. I think in the long run, it's going to prove better on the track."

"If you get in an altercation, it's tough," Borneman continued. "You've got so many things going on inside that car. Your adrenaline is going 100 miles an hour. I think if you can learn to bottle all that up, you'll do better at the end of the race. That's what I've been really working on as a driver."

After racing only a handful of selected events on the circuit the past two seasons, Borneman is excited about returning to the series full-time this year. "We've got a good budget for this year and we've got a real good selection of cars," he said. "Actually, we're lined up for the first four races. It's nice. You can concentrate on putting the cars together and double checking the setups."

Borneman has competed in more than 50 events in the AutoZone West Series since making his series debut in 2000. In addition to his Stockton victory, he has one other win -- at Tucson in his first full season of competition in 2001. He has one career Budweiser Pole Award.


* The race -- This event is the third race on the series schedule for 2006. It is the first of two visits the series will make to Stockton this season.

* 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 19 NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series races, with 15 of those in the modern era of the series (1971-present).

* Stockton 99 Speedway prepares to close its doors -- The AutoZone West Series will make one final visit in August to Stockton 99 Speedway. Owners of the track -- which is celebrating its 60th season -- announced this will be its final year of operation. It hosted its first AutoZone West Series event on April 17, 1966.

* Possible debut of new body -- Brett Thompson (No. 61 Rich Thompson Trucking/Thompson Motorsports Chevrolet) hopes to be the first to debut the new composite body in NASCAR Grand National Division competition. His team, led by crew chief Rob Dixon, plans to put the finishing touches on the car this week in preparation for racing it at Stockton. The composite body, being phased into use in the division beginning this year, is aimed at cutting costs for the teams.

* Aboard the Midway -- Peyton Sellers (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts/NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet) is schedule for a special visit to the USS Midway, San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum this week. Peyton and car owner Bill McAnally will be participating in a special banquet with their sponsor, NAPA Auto Parts, at the San Diego Harbor landmark on Thursday. The team's #16 Chevrolet is to be on display as part of the event.

* Last year's event -- Scott Lynch dominated last year's event, leading wire-to-wire to score his only career victory on the historic track. While Lynch paced the field the entire distance -- there was plenty of action all around him. It began on the first lap as the pack charged into turn three and Steve Portenga, who had started on the outside of the front row, slid high up the banking and bounced off the wall. He regained control as drivers scrambled around him. David Gilliland held second early in the event, before Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford) got by him. Although David was able to pressure Lynch for the top spot several times, he eventually slipped back and gave up the runner-up position to Mike Duncan (No. 9 Lucas Oil/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet). A late caution caused the race distance to be extended to 159 laps for a green-white-checkered finish, with Lynch holding on to win by .459 of a second over Duncan.

* Mr. Consistency -- Duncan has finished second or better in five of the six series races he has competed in at Stockton. He had three consecutive runner-up finishes before winning last August.

* Top names -- With five wins, Jack McCoy tops the list of drivers to taste victory in series competition at Stockton. Dick Bown, Jim Bown and Austin Cameron (No. 88 Chevrolet) each scored two wins. Other notable drivers to visit victory lane with the series at Stockton include Ivan Baldwin, Jim Insolo, Johnny Steele and Tim Williamson.

* Most poles -- McCoy was also dominant in terms of qualifying, winning five Budweiser Pole Awards at Stockton. Duncan, Lynch and Jim Bown follow on that list with two each.

* Out front -- McCoy led 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 -- followed closely by Lynch, who led 247 laps around the quarter-mile oval.

* High marks -- Among active drivers, Duncan has the most top-five finishes at Stockton, with five. He is tied with David for the most top-10s, with six each.

* Most money -- Duncan leads in terms of money won in series competition at Stockton, taking home $29,810 in six races.

* Dodge leads -- With six wins, a Dodge has won at Stockton more than any other manufacturer.

* Stat of the race -- Seven of 15 winners at Stockton in the modern era of the series (1971-present) started from the Budweiser Pole.

* This Week's Series Leaders -- Through two races of the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series season:

* Points leader -- Eric Holmes, 330; Peyton Sellers, 330

* Money won -- Matt Kobyluck, $19,400

* Laps led -- Spencer Clark, 64

* Victories -- Ken Schrader, 1; Andrew Myers, 1

* Poles -- Spencer Clark, 1; Mike Duncan, 1

* Top-five finishes -- Eric Holmes, 2; Peyton Sellers, 2

* Top-10 finishes -- Eric Holmes, 2; Peyton Sellers, 2; Ken Schader, 2; Spencer Clark, 2; Steve Portenga, 2; Jim Inglebright, 2

* Races led -- Matt Kobyluck, 2; Mike Duncan, 2


Drivers celebrating a birthday during the upcoming month of May include Daryl Harr, who will turn 24 on the 5th; Scott Lynch, who will turn 26 on the 14th; Eric Norris, who will turn 41 on the 20th; Steve Portenga, who will turn 36 on the 22nd; P.J. Abbott, who will turn 42 on the 28th; and Ken Schrader, who will turn 51 on the 29th.


What: Basalite 150 by Havoline, NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series Race #3

Where: Stockton 99 Speedway, Stockton, Calif.

When: 8:15 p.m., Saturday, April 29.

Track layout: .25-mile paved oval.
Distance: 150 Laps, 37.5 miles.

Posted Awards: $107,460

TV: HDNet (Live)
SPEED (Enhanced replay)

2005 winner: Scott Lynch.
2005 polesitter: Scott Lynch.

Records: Qualifying: Mike Duncan, May 29, 2004, 63.861 mph, 14.093 sec.; Race: Dick Bown, May 13, 1972, 56.250 mph, 40 min

Pre-race schedule: Saturday -- Practice, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 12:45-1:30 p.m. Qualifying, 5:30 p.m. Note: Times subject to change.


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