WWS: Evergreen: Event preview

Bornemans seek return to victory lane at Monroe DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 24, 2002)-- The last time Johnny Borneman was in victory lane at Evergreen Speedway, his father was celebrating his first win in the NASCAR Winston West Series. The...

Bornemans seek return to victory lane at Monroe

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 24, 2002)-- The last time Johnny Borneman was in victory lane at Evergreen Speedway, his father was celebrating his first win in the NASCAR Winston West Series. The Borneman family still has a newspaper clipping with a picture of John Borneman holding 1-year-old Johnny in his arms during that victory celebration.

Now, 24 years later, the younger Borneman is hoping to take his dad back to victory lane at the fairgrounds track in Monroe, Wash. "It would mean a lot to me," Borneman said. "I know it would mean a lot to him, also. He would like to be able to go back and do it again."

They will get the opportunity when the NASCAR Winston West Series visits Evergreen Speedway on Saturday, June 29, for the Coors Light 200 presented by NAPA and Albertson's. The $129,551 event is the fifth of 10 events on this season's schedule. The race has special meaning to Borneman for another reason as well-- it will be held on the eve of his 25th birthday.

While he is one of the young hard-chargers in the series, Borneman stresses the need for plenty of patience when it comes to running 200 laps on the .646-mile speedway. "You have to be real patient," the Ramona, Calif., competitor said. "You've got to wait and wait to get on the gas. It's a real patient track. It feels like you can go faster and be more aggressive with the track, but you can't. I think that's the whole key that we need to focus on. If we get too aggressive with the car, it just burns the tires up and you can't go anywhere."

Borneman's father has provided him with some other advice, as well. "He said it's a little rough," the younger Borneman admitted. "He said to drive around the bumps. I know the preferred line is through the bumps, but you've got to go around them. Any time you hit the bumps it throws you out of line or gets you sideways."

In Borneman's first race at Monroe, during his rookie season last year, his father provided some special guidance. "He was on the radio, coaching me the whole way," Borneman said. But despite the help, he got caught up in an incident and finished down a lap in seventh place.

Last year's race was reflective of the disappointments Borneman encountered through much of his rookie season in the NASCAR Winston West Series. He had made a spectacular debut in the series in 2000, nearly winning one race and finishing in the top-10 in four of five races he competed in while preparing for his rookie campaign. With such success, Borneman entered the 2001 season with great anticipation.

"Then in the first race at Phoenix, there was a little problem and we went a lap down," Borneman recalled. "Then we had motor problem after motor problem after motor problem. It seemed like we could never catch a break."

Despite those troubles, Borneman finished second in the rookie standings and seventh in the overall championship standings. Nevertheless, he was eager to put his freshman year behind him and get back on track this year. "I was glad that season was over last year and we could get a fresh start," Borneman said. "But we have had some of the same things this year, with an engine problem or getting caught up in an accident. It's been stuff we can't help and that's been a real bummer. Hopefully, it will start to turn around."

Borneman is hopeful the success his father found at Monroe might help him rebound in the second half of the season. He enters the event 10th in the championship standings, just three points out of ninth place and 150 markers back from the lead.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR