WWS: Stockton: Round eight preview

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2003) - Johnny Borneman (No. 8 Red Line Oil/Borneman Plastering Ford) knows the importance of track position at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. When the NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series visited the...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2003) - Johnny Borneman (No. 8 Red Line Oil/Borneman Plastering Ford) knows the importance of track position at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. When the NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series visited the quarter-mile oval a year ago, Borneman jumped into the lead from his outside front row starting position and led wire-to-wire to claim his only victory of the season.

He hopes to repeat as the race winner when the series returns to Stockton on Saturday, Aug. 16, for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 by Stockton Dodge Country presented by Havoline. The $106,614 event will be televised to a national audience on SPEED Channel on a tape-delay basis. It is slated to air at 10 a.m. ET on Aug. 30.

Borneman of Ramona, Calif., is a 26-year-old second-generation Winston West Series driver. His father, John Borneman, notched a top 10 finish in one of two visits he made to Stockton when the circuit competed at the historic oval more than two decades ago.

In looking back on last year's event, the younger Borneman pointed out that his team had hit the proper set up on his car when they arrived at the track. "When we tested there that Friday, right off the trailer it was good," he said. "We really didn't do anything. Actually, we played video games the whole time and practiced on race day. It was one of those deals where you unload and you don't touch anything."

In addition to having the right set up, it was also important for Borneman to find the fastest way around the track. "The key is to wait on the gas," he explained. "The whole race I was just three quarter throttle. I never, ever got full throttle. It's just wait, wait, wait on the gas."

Borneman's approach to getting around the track varied, as well. "I had a line figured out that was a little different than everybody else," he said. "It really worked good."

While just .015 of a second off last year's fast time in qualifying, Borneman is hopeful to step things up and win the Bud Pole Award for this year's event. If he does, it would be his second of the season - adding to the one he won earlier in the year at California Speedway.

Despite being out front in last year's race, it was not without some close calls for Borneman. He brushed the wall on more than one occasion while trying to hold off his challengers.

"I shifted on the restart and (the car) stepped out on me a little bit," Borneman said. "I just caught it." In another incident, he got together with a lapped car on a restart.

He attributed an additional encounter with the wall the layout of the track. "It's weird. The front straight away has a bow in it," Borneman said. "The wall is actually bowed."

Borneman is hopeful, meanwhile, of a top finish again this year at Stockton. He is sixth in the championship standings, just 85 points behind the leader in what has developed into one of the tightest overall battles for the title in the history of the series. "We're not that far out of first," Borneman said. "There's still a good chance. It's definitely possible that we could come out in the top three by the end of the year."


Ø The race . This event is the eighth of 13 races on the series schedule for 2003.

Ø The track . Stockton 99 Speedway is a quarter-mile paved oval with blended banking of up to 14 degrees in turns one and two and up to 17 degrees in turns three and four. The track, which is in its 57th year of activity, has hosted 14 NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series races.

Ø Looking back . Brandon Ash broke the track record in time trials to win his second career Bud Pole Award in last year's event. It was Johnny Borneman, however, who dashed into the lead from his starting spot on the outside of the front row. While Borneman was able to run wire-to-wire for the win, a battle ensued behind him for the top five positions. Mike Duncan nailed down a runner-up finish, with local favorite Mike David taking third

Ø Top names . The list of winners in series competition at Stockton 99 Speedway includes some very well known drivers. Jack McCoy tops the list with four victories, while Dick Bown and Jim Bown each had two wins. Drivers with one series victory on the historic track include Ivan Baldwin, Jim Insolo, Marvin Porter, Johnny Steele, Tim Williamson and last year's winner Borneman.

Ø Most poles . McCoy was dominant in terms of qualifying, as well, winning five Bud Pole Awards at Stockton. Jim Bown follows on that list with two.

Ø Show me the money . Last year's winner's purse of $12,585 put Borneman on top in terms of money won in series competition in the modern era.

Ø Running out front . McCoy has led the most laps of competition at Stockton in the modern era of the series (1971-present). He led in three different races, for a total of 261 laps.

Ø Dodge dominance . With five wins, a Dodge has been in victory lane at Stockton more than any other manufacturer.

Ø Stat of the race . Seven of the last eight winners at Stockton have started the race from the front row.

Ø Local interest . A name on the entry list that is well known to fans at Stockton 99 Speedway is Ron Strmiska Jr. The Manteca, Calif., driver and his father - Ron Sr., - have been long-time top competitors at the NASCAR-sanctioned quarter-mile track. Also on the entry list is Kenny Shepherd of Merced - another well-known driver from California's Central Valley.

Ø Making his debut . John Moore (No. 12 JM Environmental Chevrolet) is slated to make his series debut on his home track at Stockton. The Granite Bay, Calif., driver is a former championship motorcycle racer who won the rookie title in the modified division at Stockton 99 Speedway last season and competes in the late model division this year.

Ø Seven for seven . The seven Winston West Series races so far this season have resulted in seven different winners.

Ø Tight battle . The chase for this year's Winston West Series championship is one of the closest overall battles in the history of the series. There is only one point between first and second, while only 48 points separate the top five drivers in the point standings.

Ø Leading the pack . Scott Lynch (No. 08 Yerf-Dog/The Orleans Dodge) has a slight edge in terms of laps led this year in the Winston West Series. The leading Raybestos Brakes Rookie of the Year challenger has led the way for 209 laps - compared to Mike Duncan (No. 9 Lucas Oil/MB Duncan Motorsports Chevrolet), who has led 200 laps and Kevin Richards (No. 85 Monaco Enterprises/Jerry Springer Chevrolet), who has led 197.

Ø Most laps completed . Scott Gaylord (No. 00 Oliver Gravity Separators/Denver Seminary Chevrolet) has completed the most laps of competition, running 1,174 out of the 1,175 possible.

Ø Top money winner . Steve Portenga (No. 77 King Taco Ford) leads the competition in terms of money won so far in 2003, with $48,602 in winnings.

Ø Best average finish . Mark Reed (No. 3 Royal Bath & Body Products Pontiac) holds the best average finish of drivers running the bulk of the schedule. His average finish in the six races he has run is 5.17.

Ø Leading rookie . Lynch continues to lead the standings in this year' s competition for the Raybestos Brakes Rookie-of-the-Year Award. He has been the top finishing rookie in six of seven races.

Ø Dodge returns to victory lane . The victory by Lynch at Irwindale marked the first win for Dodge in the Winston West Series since Aug. 5, 1978 - when Ray Elder won at Craig Road Speedway in Las Vegas.

Ø From the archives . On April 28, 1978, Tim Williamson led all but one lap en route to winning at Stockton 99 Speedway.

Fast Facts

NAPA Auto Parts 200, by Stockton Speedway Dodge Country presented by Havoline,
NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series Race #8 of 13
Stockton 99 Speedway, Stockton, Calif.
8:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 16.

Pre-race schedule: Saturday - Practice, Noon-12:45 p.m., 1:15-2 p.m. Qualifying, 5:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.


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Drivers Steve Portenga , Mark Reed , Scott Gaylord , Scott Lynch , Mike David , Kevin Richards , John Moore , Brandon Ash
Teams Williams