* Lynch hopes to pass the learning curve at Evergreen Speedway * Bonus money from Winston up for grabs * Entries from the Northwest DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 23, 2003) - This year is one of intense learning for Scott...
* Lynch hopes to pass the learning curve at Evergreen Speedway
* Bonus money from Winston up for grabs
* Entries from the Northwest
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 23, 2003) - This year is one of intense learning for Scott Lynch (No. 08 Yerf-Dog/The Orleans Dodge). As a senior at the University of Utah - he is preparing to graduate next month with a degree in communications. He is also studying hard on weekends, trying to learn his way around many racetracks for the first time as a rookie driver in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series.
His next test will be on Saturday, June 28, at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., in the Coors Light 200 Presented by NAPA. The race is to be televised to a national audience on the SPEED Channel cable network. It will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis and is slated to air at 10 a.m. ET on July 12.
Like any top student, Lynch knows the value of having a good tutor. "When I go to a track I've never been to, I usually find someone who has raced there and talk to them about it," Lynch explained. "I try to find out the secret of getting around that particular track."
For Saturday's race, he plans to call on two-time series champion Brendan Gaughan for some advice. Gaughan, who now competes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, won this event in 2000 and 2001. His Orleans Racing team provides support for Lynch, preparing and servicing his car at some events.
Lynch says Gaughan has been a big help to him this year at events where he has been available. "He gave me his thoughts and feelings about the car and asked me how I felt about it and how I would drive it," Lynch explained. "It's tough when you get to a new track," the 23-year-old driver said. "You have to be real careful in the first practice session, because you don't want to tear up a racecar just from inexperience. You need to make sure everything is running smooth and the car is decent and then later on in the day start picking up the pace and trying a little harder. It's real important to get off to a good start when you go to a new track."
That was not the case when Lynch made his only visit to Evergreen Speedway several years ago for a race in the NASCAR Elite Division, Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series. "All that I remember is that we got spun out on the very first lap," Lynch recalled of his brief experience on the .646-mile oval. "It had rained all day long and I got stuck in the mud in the infield."
Needless to say, he is hoping for better results on this visit. The Burley, Idaho, competitor expects the key will be to qualify well and run up front. "I put an emphasis on qualifying," Lynch said. "One of the main things is shooting for the pole at Monroe and a good starting spot. As long as you can hang out with the top five, you are basically going to miss a lot more of the wrecks and not be the cause of certain situations."
Lynch, who ran five races in 2002 in preparation for his rookie effort, says his team entered this season with high expectations after winning the season finale last year. "Our main concern is to finish every race up front and our primary goal is to get the Raybestos Brakes Rookie of the Year Award," said Lynch, who leads the chase for the rookie title. "That's what we're shooting for. As far as the championship goes, if we're there towards the end, then we're going to press hard for it. We want to be competitive and have the respect of the other drivers. As a rookie, it's harder to show up and beat some of the guys that have been there before."
Although Lance Hooper was the only driver in the 49-year history of the series to win the championship in his rookie year, Lynch believes it can be done again. "I think we have a fairly decent shot," he said. "You have to finish up front. You have to be somewhat conservative and look at the big picture. As long as you're consistent and have a strong running car, a strong team behind you and strong sponsors like Yerf-Dog and The Orleans - that's what makes it possible for you to be there and make a big push toward the end."
"I'm totally stoked about where we are sitting right now," he continued. "I' ve had a couple of bad races, but Madera got us back on track. I think as long as we aim to be in the top five in every single race I think it will put us in pretty good position toward the end of the season for a good push toward the championship."
NEWS & NOTES * The race . This event is the sixth of 13 races on the series schedule for 2003.
* The track . Evergreen Speedway is a semi-banked .646-mile paved oval with turns banked eight degrees and four degrees banking in the straights. The track has hosted 35 NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series races in the modern era, since 1971. Its history with the series dates back even earlier, however. The track has been a stop on the circuit since 1964, hosting approximately 10 events between 1964 and 1970.
* Last year's event . After capturing his third Bud Pole Award in time trials, Austin Cameron set the pace from the drop of the green flag. He remained out front until the first caution, when many of the leaders pitted for fuel and fresh tires. Kevin Richards was the first of several other drivers to run out front. He gave way to Dan Obrist, who later relinquished the lead to Eric Norris. Series rookie Mike David held command of the race from lap 103 to 151. Cameron eventually regained the lead on lap 152 and appeared headed for victory, but ran out of fuel while leading on the last lap. Norris, running in Cameron's wake in the closing laps, charged ahead for the win. Johnny Borneman took second, with Mike Duncan finishing third. Cameron coasted to an 11th-place finish, meanwhile.
* Bonus money . A combined $50,000 from the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., will be paid out through the first portion of the NASCAR Winston West Series Leader Bonus Program to the top 15 drivers in the championship standings based on the first six events. The prize money is part of the $350,000 point fund award from Reynolds' Winston brand.
* Hometown entry . Hometown driver Tom Moriarity is slated to make his series debut on Saturday. Moriarity is a former regional champion in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and has won seven championships at Evergreen Speedway - four in the super stock division and three in the mini stock class.
* Northwest entries . Entries for this event include Mt. Vernon, Wash., driver Ed Watson (No. 55 Creekside Retirement Ford), who finished fourth in last year's race, and Portland, Ore., competitor Dan Obrist (No. 12 Obrist Recycling Chevrolet), who finished ninth a year ago.
* Many different winners . Twenty-one different drivers have won a series race at Evergreen Speedway since 1971. Richards is the only previous winner expected to enter this event.
* Winner destined for title? . Since 1983, there have only been two regular competitors in the series who reached victory lane at Monroe and did not win the series championship during their racing career. For the past three seasons, the winner of the event went on to win that year's championship.
* Most wins . Ray Elder has the most wins at Evergreen Speedway, with five. He visited victory lane in 1971, twice in 1972 and twice in 1975.
* Most poles . Bill Elliott holds the record for the most Bud Pole Awards at the Monroe facility, with four. Those came in 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990.
* Top marks . Roy Smith leads the lists for most top-five finishes (nine) and top -10 finishes (14) in series competition at the track since 1971.
* Show me the money . Bill Sedgwick leads in terms of money won in series events at Evergreen Speedway in the modern era. He has winnings of $108,351 in 10 races.
* Running out front . Chad Little has led the most laps of series competition around the Monroe track since 1971, staying out front for 1,183 circuits.
* Return performance . Jack Sellers (No 15 Aramark/Dayco Belts Chevrolet) has taken the green flag in 14 series races at the .646-mile track, more than any other active driver in the series. His best finish there was ninth in 1991.
* Manufacturers' battle . Ford tops the list of manufacturer wins at Evergreen Speedway, with 10.
* Stat of the race . Eight of the 35 winners at Evergreen Speedway since 1971 started from the Bud Pole. Of the 200-lap events, six of 17 were won from the Bud Pole Bud Pole.
* Etc. . Some of the Winston West Series teams will have their haulers on display special press luncheon will be held total of 281 different drivers have competed in the 35 series races at Evergreen Speedway since 1971.
* Blow out the candles ... Johnny Borneman will be celebrating his 26th birthday on Monday, June 30. Drivers celebrating a birthday during the upcoming month of July, meanwhile, include Brendan Gaughan, who turns 28 on the 10th; Bobby Dotter, who turns 43 on the 11th; Brandon Ash, who turns 26 on the 17th; and Jack Sellers, who turns 59 on the 24th.
* From the archives . On July 12, 1964, Bill Amick reached victory lane in Monroe, Wash. - one of 10 series wins he captured that year.
What: Coors Light 200 Presented by NAPA, NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series Race #6 of 13
Where: Evergreen Speedway, Monroe, Wash.
When: 8:35 p.m., Saturday, June 28.
TV: SPEED Channel (tape-delay, July 12, 10 a.m. ET)
Pre-race schedule: Saturday - Practice, Noon-1 p.m., 2-3 p.m., Qualifying, 5 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.