Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NASCAR CWS West - Thunderhill Raceway

The NASCAR Camping World Series West is set to kick off its 2009 season with the Allstate Texas Thunder 150 at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, Texas, on Saturday, March 14.

It marks the fifth consecutive year for Full Throttle Productions to put on the series event at the .375-mile Texas track and the second time for the series to launch its season at the facility just south of Austin.

Two drivers from California’s Central Valley account for the past three championships in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. Eric Holmes of Escalon took the title in 2006 and 2008, while his long-time friend and rival, Mike David of Modesto, was the 2007 champion. Both drivers have tasted success at Thunderhill, with Holmes scoring two wins there and David winning a Coors Light Pole Award there.

Although Holmes and David would like to continue that trend in keeping the championship between them, other drivers are focused on claiming the 2009 title as the West’s oldest stock car circuit celebrates its 56th season.

One driver leading the title charge is Jason Bowles of Ontario, Calif. Bowles gave Holmes a fierce challenge in 2008 – matching his four race wins and five Coors Light Pole Awards, but coming up 48 points short in the championship standings. While Bowles returns with car owner Bob Bruncati and championship crew chief Bill Sedgwick, the team’s appearance is different as they change to No. 6 on their brightly-colored Sunrise Ford-sponsored Ford.

Holmes, meanwhile, remains with Bill McAnally Racing – behind the wheel of the No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota. David also remains in familiar surroundings, competing in his ninth season in the series for car owner Randy Lynch in the No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery entry.

Other series veterans expected to challenge for the title this season include Jim Inglebright of Fairfield, Calif., in the No. 1 ESEF Apparel/Jelly Belly Chevrolet; Moses Smith of Tempe, Ariz., in the No. 16 HASA Pool Products/White Flyer Toyota; and Brett Thompson of Jerome, Idaho, in his familiar No. 61 Rich Thompson Trucking Chevrolet.

Several hard-charging second-year drivers are also expected to be in contention this year. They include the 2008 Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Jeff Barkshire (No. 46 Centennial Batteries/SPE Dodge) of Auburn, Wash.; Jim Warn (No. 10 MJ2 Racing/Gran Prix Imports Chevrolet) of Aurora, Ore.; Jamie Dick (No. 88 Viva Auto Group/Johnnie Walker Performance Center Chevrolet) of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Wes Banks (No. 3 Valvoline Ford) of Oakdale, Calif.

Long-time competitor Jack Sellers of Sacramento, Calif., is celebrating his 25th season in the NASCAR Camping World Series West this year. Sellers – who has campaigned a multi-car effort of Jack Sellers Racing for many of those years – had Johnathan Hale of Rio Linda, Calif., behind the wheel of a second car for 10 events in 2008 and is returning with the talented teenager in a second car for 2009.

A talented West Coast veteran driver plans to step up his schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Series West this year, after running select events in recent years. Greg Pursley of Newhall, Calif., returns to the series where he ran full time in 2002. In the meantime, he won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship in 2004. He also added to his racing resume with a win in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race at the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in 2007.

Expected to compete for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award this year are several drivers who have already tasted a bit of success in the NASCAR Camping World Series West – Jonathon Gomez, Paulie Harraka and Blake Koch. Gomez, of Twin Falls, Idaho, registered top-10 finishes in both series starts he made last year. Harraka, of Wayne, N.J., set fast time and finished sixth in the season finale, one of three series events he competed in during 2008. Koch, of West Palm Beach, Fla., also captured attention in that event – qualifying fourth quickest.

Moses Smith #16 Hasa Pool Products/White Flyer Toyota

5 comments:

Racing News Digest said...

Z,
Is any of this going to be televised. I just checked SPEED and they don't have it listed.

RaceGirl00007 said...

I don't believe NASCAR has worked out their TV contract yet, unfortunately. They can afford to show back in the day 25653 time, but not the development series. Make sense.

Good luck to Moses!

Racing News Digest said...

yeah there were some "not very important" racing events over the off season and I could not believe that they were not televised.

I make sure I have the SPEED channel so I can watch racing, not show back in the day 25653 times!

Oh yeah Z.... Tell Moses we are all rooting for him!!!

Firecracker! said...

z.,

I really enjoyed this article! I am getting anxious for this season to begin. Someone said SPEED was to show the race on March 25, but I haven't checked yet, myself. I would have guessed the 26th. Didn't they show the races on a Thusday morning, last year???

Anyway, thanks for the article...it helps build the excitement level! :)

My best to you, yours, and Moses for this race. I hope to be around the computer...waiting for info!

Firecracker!

z. Smith said...

Yes the excitement is building. I will be attempting "At The Track" live. I hope my new laptop cooperates!

Someone told me it would be on SPEED, March 25, 3 p.m. ET - however their schedule shows something else. There will be no live coverage I know about.