May 16, 2000 (Palmdale, Calif.) - With three top five finishes at Pikes Peak International Raceway in the NASCAR Winston West record books, Sean Woodside has shown that he knows how to handle Fountain, Colorado's one-mile oval. This Sunday, ...
May 16, 2000 (Palmdale, Calif.) - With three top five finishes at Pikes Peak International Raceway in the NASCAR Winston West record books, Sean Woodside has shown that he knows how to handle Fountain, Colorado's one-mile oval. This Sunday, however, the reigning Winston West champion will test his skills in PPIR's Sunstate Equipment Company 100 in a Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring car.
Winston West cars are essentially Winston Cup cars, with a less powerful 9.5:1 engine compared to the Cup's 12:1 engine. Southwest Series cars are smaller and lighter than the Winston West cars, and are very quick to accelerate, especially out of the turns. Handling a Southwest Series vs. a Winston West car feels, to some drivers, like handling a sports car vs. a full-sized, albeit powerful, sedan.
In addition to getting used to a different style of car, Woodside has quickly learned that the Southwest Series is a highly competitive series, including both seasoned regulars and hot, up-and-coming drivers. The Southwest Series is notable for the drivers, such as Ron Hornaday and, more recently, Kurt Busch, who have used the series as a launch pad into NASCAR's national divisions.
Woodside has already made his presence in the Southwest Series known, however. Although he has only competed regularly in the series since the beginning of the 2000 season, when he joined Bob Farmer's REF Motorsports, Woodside has already collected a win and is currently in third place in the point standings.
"The caliber of the drivers is quite a bit higher in the Southwest Series than in the average Saturday night series," Woodside commented. "In the Winston West series, strategy and finesse help you win races. In the Southwest Series, you really have to drive the car to stay in front."
The Sunstate Equipment Company 100 at PPIR is of special interest to this seasoned short-track racer. Woodside compares Pikes Peak International Raceway to driving a short-track, except that it's a little bigger.
He commented, "These one-mile ovals are like 'big short tracks'. They're a lot of fun. We're running faster than we would at a traditional short track, but we still get into a lot of the intense, side-by-side racing that the fans like to see."
Fans at PPIR can look forward to seeing Woodside put on a great show. Hopefully, this weekend's race will give Woodside the opportunity to add another strong performance to his record, and show that he can master PPIR regardless of what kind of car he's running.
Bob Farmer, owner of REF Motorsports, owns and operates the No. 4 Stick Only Transmissions, Maropulos Racing Engines, Speedway Engineering, Hoosier Pontiac in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring with Sean Woodside as driver. Woodside won the 1999 NASCAR Winston West series championship after finishing second in the point standings in the series in 1997 and 1998. REF Motorsports finished 6th in the Southwest Series points standings in 1999, with six top five and seven top ten finishes during the season. The team is currently 3rd in the point standings in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring, with one win and two top five finishes.