Kauffman Rounds Out Regular Season... Hyped For Post Season Former Rookie Of The Year Seeded 14th For Championship Series MOORESVILLE, NC (August 23, 2004) -- Joel Kauffman and the LA West Luxury Vehicles team had their hands full when they ...
Kauffman Rounds Out Regular Season... Hyped For Post Season
Former Rookie Of The Year Seeded 14th For Championship Series
MOORESVILLE, NC (August 23, 2004) -- Joel Kauffman and the LA West Luxury Vehicles team had their hands full when they visited the Adirondack International Speedway (NY) on Saturday night for the USAR Pro Cup Northern Division finale. It was their first visit to the track and they were without the services of their regular crew chief Tim Kohuth, who was in North Carolina waiting on the birth of a daughter.
His substitute was Matt Tuccia, who was loaned to the team from Ultra Motorsports. Tuccia started out the weekend well since Ultra scored a 1-2 finish in Thursday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Richmond International Raceway (VA). He backed that up by helping the LA West team to a seventh-place finish at Adirondack. It wasn't the night that Kauffman had hoped for, but it wasn't a bad one either.
"We were third in practice and the car went pretty good," said Kauffman. "For qualifying, we were on of the first to go out and the local truck series had just raced, so it was pretty slick on the track. We qualified eighth and made it up to fifth before we had a bad pit stop. That put us back to 11th. We only had time to get to seventh before the end of the race. We didn't finish as well as we would have liked, but it was a pretty clean race for us.
"Nobody had been there before and we found that it was a one groove track, " said Kauffman. "You had to either hit someone or wait until they messed up to pass them."
More importantly, next up for Kauffman and his team is the Four Champions Championship Series, a five-race series between the USAR Northern Division and Southern division teams, that ultimately determines the overall USAR ProCup Series champion. The "post season" series kicks off at the Jennerstown Speedway (PA) on September 25th.
All of the driver's points are started over as they are "seeded" from how they finished in the regular season in their respective divisions. Joel finished seventh in the final Northern Division points standings and will head into the championship series seeded 14th, with 126 points. Southern Division champion Clay Rogers is seeded first with 190 points.
"We are looking forward to the Championship part of the season," said Kauffman. "It gives us a chance to throw our bad luck from the season away and have a chance at the end.
"After the five race series last year, I thought that the Southern division teams were tougher," said Kauffman. "This year, if anything I think that the Northern division is a little bit more competitive. We'll be in good shape because I know how a lot of those guys race. A few have been up to our races and the others I've watched race in person or on TV."
The LA West team is gearing up for this run with the best of resources.
"We are going to Jennerstown with a brand new car," said Kauffman. "It is a little bit more advanced. We'll be testing that car this week at Jennerstown. We'll also have fresh motors for every race and our expectations are high. We want to win a pole and a race and finish in the top three or five of the points."
Before the Jennerstown race though, Kauffman will return to his homestate of Indiana and compete in the Sunoco Super Series race at Anderson Speedway on Saturday, September 18. Kauffman was the Sunoco Super Series Champion in 2002 and the series Rookie of the Year in 2001.
Kauffman and Team LA West Racing are competing for the Pro Cup Series championship in 2004.