Rancho Santa Margarita, California (November 6, 2000) - Still stinging from dashed hopes in last Saturday's Albertson's/Osco 125 at Phoenix Internatio nal Raceway, Craig Raudman, driver of the ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, California (November 6, 2000) - Still stinging from dashed hopes in last Saturday's Albertson's/Osco 125 at Phoenix Internatio nal Raceway, Craig Raudman, driver of the #2 Yerf-dog Fun Karts/ITPS Chevrolet in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring and the NASCAR Winston West Series, heads back to Irwindale Speedway, hoping to finish what he started there in October.
Raudman's hopes of a win disappeared on lap one of the season-ending Southwest Series event last weekend at PIR when he unsuccessfully attempted to avoid a multi-car wreck. A total of eleven cars were taken out of the event, although a few of those managed to add a few additional laps to their evening's performance.
Raudman's car suffered extensive right front suspension damage after he spun into the grass, then was struck by another car. Although the team did manage to get him back out onto the track, he was down too many laps to regain a strong position by the end of the event.
"The wreck at PIR was a disappointment to us," Raudman said, "but we're looking forward to Irwindale."
The Home Depot 300 at Irwindale Speedway is the last event for the 2000 season for both the NASCAR Winston West Series and Dave Reed Racing.
Raudman was a favorite to win in the October 7th Southwest Series event at Irwindale. After regaining the lead on lap 92 for what he hoped would be the final time, Raudman lengthened his lead within just ten laps around the 1/2-mile oval to more than ten car lengths.
However, a late race incident and residual oil on the track gave Auggie Vidovich the opportunity to pass Raudman on lap 127 of the 150-lap event, launching a dogfight between Raudman, Vidovich and Matt Crafton that lasted until the checkered flag dropped.
Raudman finished in second place behind Crafton, with Vidovich following in third.
Raudman commented, "We expect the competition to be extremely tough this Saturday. We haven't been on Irwindale in a Winston West car yet, and most of the teams will have either tested or run there at least a couple of times. That will be a disadvantage for us, but we plan to work on tire management, and run as easy and smooth as we can. After our performance at Irwindale in the Southwest car, we know we have what it takes to win there."
The Home Depot 300 will be broadcast by Speedvision on December 2, 2000 at 6:00 p.m. PST and, again, on December 3, 2000 at 10:00 a.m. PST.