WS: Tight point battle headed to California Speedway

Only 18 Points Separate Top-Five in West Series Heading into King Taco 200 FONTANA, Calif. (April 26, 2004) --- The NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series will roll into California Speedway for the series third race of the season - the King...

Only 18 Points Separate Top-Five in West Series Heading into King Taco 200

FONTANA, Calif. (April 26, 2004) --- The NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series will roll into California Speedway for the series third race of the season - the King Taco 200 on Saturday, May 1st.

Four drivers sit within 18 points of the series points lead currently held by Mike David with 320 points. David is first in the points after finishing fourth at Phoenix International Raceway in January and fifth at Mesa Marin Raceway in January. Just one point behind him sits Mike Duncan who finished tenth at Phoenix and second at Mesa Marin. David Gilliland is ten points back in third after an 11th-place showing at Phoenix and a win at Mesa Marin. Scott Gaylord is 14 points back with one top-five and one top-ten, while Austin Cameron is 18 points back with one top-five finish. These drivers are easily within reach of leading the points with a good run at the 2-mile, D-shaped oval.

Many drivers look to the 200 mile event at California Speedway as the biggest event of the season. "We are excited to come here and race," said 2002 West Series Champion Eric Norris. "Of all tracks, California Speedway is my favorite because it has the best facility. This is like our Daytona 500 for the Grand National Division."

The reasoning behind this is because California Speedway is the only time the West Series runs with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series. This is the only track Norris anticipates competing at in 2004, but he's taking full advantage of the potential at California Speedway. FOX Analyst Jeff Hammond will be doing the crew chief honors for his No. 85 Monaco Chevrolet team, which visited Gatorade Victory Lane here in 2002.

The other reason, California Speedway is the largest track the series competes on with two-miles of racing surface. They also visit two one and a half mile and one-mile tracks, but the other ten tracks the series visit range between one-quarter to three-quarters of a mile. The superspeedway's 14-degree banking in the corners, 11-degree along the frontstretch and 3-degree along the backstraight all but guarantees the fastest racing on the West Series schedule.

Johnny Borneman III won last year's pole for the King Taco 200 and was the quickest in a test session last month. "We were very good today," said Borneman during his test. "I don't think we could have been better. This is a quick car. This car ran so good last year we put it in a corner and didn't use it anywhere else. We brought it here today and it was fine, picked up where we left off last year."

Last year's race winner Steve Portenga has switched gears this season and is the crew chief for Tim Woods III team. Other notables entered in the King Taco 200 is defending West Series champion Scott Lynch, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Ken Schrader (he won the season opener in Phoenix) and Mexican driver Jose Luis Ramirez.

The NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series takes to the track for the King Taco 200 on Saturday, May 1st at California Speedway. The NASCAR Busch Series 300 and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice will also take place on Saturday. Later that evening the Miller Lite Rock 'n Racing Concert Series presents "LIVE" followed by fireworks. Tickets are $40 and $50 for the Saturday's lineup of excitement at California Speedway.

Traveling to California Speedway is simple when you use Metrolink. Tickets for this alternate travel method must be purchased by Wednesday. For ticket and travel information log onto the speedway's website and click metrolink.

For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE [7223] or log onto www.californiaspeedway.com.

-cs-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Ken Schrader , Steve Portenga , Tim Woods , Eric Norris , Scott Gaylord , Scott Lynch , Mike David , Austin Cameron , Jose Luis Ramirez