"Road to the Showdown' A glance at the Top 15 drivers in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 23, 2004) - The following is a glance at the current top 15 drivers in the championship standings in the NASCAR...
"Road to the Showdown'
A glance at the Top 15 drivers in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 23, 2004) - The following is a glance at the current top 15 drivers in the championship standings in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. The top 15 drivers from each series in the NASCAR Grand National Division - the West Series and the Busch North Series - will be invited to compete in the second annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on Nov. 11-13. The event will be televised live on NASCAR TV on SPEED Channel.
No. 1 - Mike Duncan, Bakersfield, Calif. (No. 9 Lucas Oil/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet), MB Duncan Motorsports. Points: 816. Previous ranking: 1. Duncan appeared to have the dominant car through the mid-stages of the race at Monroe, leading 80 of the 200 laps. The Bakersfield, Calif., competitor ended up finishing third to retain his lead in the championship standings. Next on the series schedule is a stop at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on July 31. In six series races at the state-of-the-art facility, Duncan's best finish was third in 2000.
No. 2 - Austin Cameron, El Cajon, Calif. (No. 16 NAPA/NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet), Bill McAnally Racing. Points: 791. Previous ranking: 3. Cameron held off a late-race charge by Jeff Jefferson at Monroe to score his second consecutive victory and close to within 25 points of Duncan in the championship chase. Cameron, the only active driver to compete in all 10 series races at Irwindale, tasted his first career win there in 1999 and added another victory on the half-mile track in 2002. In addition, he won the inaugural NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale last November.
No. 3 - David Gilliland, Riverside, Calif. (No. 88 RacecarCeilingFans.com Chevrolet), MRG Motorsports. Points: 780. Previous ranking: 2. Gilliland netted his first Bud Pole Award in the West Series with a fast time at Monroe. In addition to finishing sixth, he was the top finishing rookie for the fifth time in five races this season. Gilliland has competed in two series races at Irwindale, with his best finish being 12th in 2002.
No. 4 - Scott Gaylord, Lakewood, Colo. (No. 00 Oliver Gravity Separators/Denver Seminary Chevrolet), Scott Gaylord Racing. Points: 724. Previous ranking: 5. After qualifying 10th at Monroe, Gaylord made a great charge to the front. Despite fading to fifth late in the event, he was able to gain one spot in the standings. The Lakewood, Colo., driver heads to Irwindale, where he has recorded two top-five and six top-10 finishes in eight attempts.
No. 5 - Scott Lynch, Burley, Idaho (No 08 Yerf-Dog/Orleans Racing Dodge). Lynch Mob Motorsports. Points: 707. Previous ranking: 6. Lynch turned in a strong performance at Monroe with his new crew chief, Robert Strmiska - qualifying eighth and finishing seventh. His record at Irwindale - which he considers one of his favorite tracks - includes a win last year, along with two top-five and three top-10 finishes in four races.
No. 6 - Mike David, Modesto, Calif. (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford), Lynch Racing. Points: 703. Previous ranking: 4. Mechanical problems spelled an early departure for David at Monroe, leaving him with a 20th-place finish that dropped him to a No. 6 ranking. David of Modesto, Calif., has run well at Irwindale - accumulating two top-five and three top-10 finishes in four races.
No. 7 - Daryl Harr, St Albert, AB Canada (No. 71 WestWorld Motorsports Chevrolet). WestWorld Motorsports. Points: 631. Previous ranking: 8. Daryl Harr continued his rookie season with another solid performance at Monroe - qualifying 17th and finishing 13th. The 2002 champion in Canada's CASCAR Western Series will get his first look at Irwindale on July 31.
No. 8 - Carl Harr, Edmonton, AB, Canada (No. 02 WestWorld Motorsports Chevrolet), WestWorld Motorsports. Points: 606. Previous ranking: 10. An 11th-place finish at Monroe was enough to move Carl Harr up two spots to the No. 8 ranking - just behind his son, Daryl. Both drivers will be competing at Irwindale Speedway for the first time.
No. 9 - Jose Luis Ramirez, Mexico City, Mexico (No. 17 Del Valle/Guerrero Ford). Performance Motorsports. Points: 605. Previous ranking: 7. Engine problems at Monroe relegated Ramirez to a 24th-place finish and dropped him to No. 9 in the rankings. The Mexico City competitor, one of nine drivers challenging for the Auto Meter Rookie of the Year Award this season, will compete at Irwindale for his first time.
No. 10 - Tim Woods III, Chino Hills, Calif. (No. 54 Chino Hills Ford Ford), T-III Motorsports. Points: 592. Previous ranking 9. A solid effort at Monroe came up short when Woods' entry suffered suspension damage after contact with a tire barrier. He heads to his home track of Irwindale, where his best finish was seventh in 2001.
No. 11 - Nick DeFazio, Newport Beach, Calif. (No. 77 Top Foods/Mission Foods/Lucas Oil Ford), Performance Motorsports. Points: 570. Previous ranking: 12. DeFazio turned in a solid performance in his first effort at Monroe - starting 16th and finishing 15th. The 20-year-old Newport Beach, Calif., competitor will be looking to improve upon the 15th-place finish he recorded a year ago at Irwindale in making his series debut.
No. 12 - David Eshleman, Fontana, Calif. (No. 11 Fleet Refinishes/gotbrakes.com Chevrolet). Eshleman Motorsports. Points: 566. Previous ranking: 11. Eshleman lost one position in the point standings after finishing 17th at Monroe. The former mayor of Fontana, Calif., will be making his second start at Irwindale - following a 19th-place finish there last year.
No. 13 - Gene Woods, Ontario, Calif. (No. 7 Circle K/Monster Energy Drinks Dodge) Gene Woods Racing. Points: 548. Previous ranking: 13. Mechanical woes under the hood left Woods to finish 21st at Monroe. He will be hoping for a better outcome at Irwindale - where his best finish in three attempts was an 11th-place finish last year.
No. 14 - Bobby Hillis, Phoenix, Ariz. (No. 27 First Impression Press Chevrolet), Fierce Creature Racing. Points: 509. Previous ranking: 14. After finishing 23rd at Monroe, Hillis is looking to gain ground in the standings. The Phoenix, Ariz., driver will be competing at Irwindale for the third time.
No. 15 - Jack Sellers, Sacramento, Calif. (No. 15 Aramark Chevrolet) Sellers Racing, Points: 506. Previous ranking: 15. Sellers came home from Monroe with his second consecutive 16th-place finish this season. Ironically, his best finish in eight races at Irwindale was a 16th-place finish in 2000.