Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The King Taco 200 - News & Notes

The race … The King Taco 200 is the eighth event on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule in 2009.

The procedure … The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 200 laps (100 miles).

The track … Toyota Speedway at Irwindale is a half-mile paved oval with blended banking of six, nine and 12 degrees in the corners and banking of six degrees in the straights. The track has hosted 18 NASCAR Camping World Series events, dating back to June of 1999.

The records … Qualifying: Butch Gilliland, June 19, 1999, 100.722 mph, 17.871 seconds; Race: Jason Bowles, Aug. 16, 2008, 76.255 mph, 1 hour 18 minutes 41 seconds.

Hall of Fame festivities … Leading up to the King Taco 200, special events are planned by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. A golf tournament is scheduled for the afternoon on Friday, July 3. The 2009 induction and dinner, meanwhile, will be at Toyota Speedway on Friday evening, beginning with no-host cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Irwindale winners … Austin Cameron leads winners at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, with five victories.

Other Irwindale winners … NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and two-time NASCAR Camping World Series West champion Brendan Gaughan follows Cameron on the list of winners at Irwindale. Gaughan swept all three series races there in 2001. With his sweep of both events there last year, Jason Bowles (No. 6 Sunrise Ford.com Ford) joined Bobby Dotter and Steve Portenga on the list of multiple race winners, with two victories each.

12 pole winners at Irwindale … The 18 visits to Irwindale resulted in 12 different drivers winning a pole. Cameron, Bowles, Mike Duncan, Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota), Scott Lynch and Sean Woodside are multiple winners, with two each.

Getting back to Victory Lane … The Bill McAnally Racing team dominated competition at Toyota Speedway between 2001 and 2007, winning eight of 11 races. Eric Holmes has registered three second-place finishes and one third-place finish in the past five races there, but has yet to win at the Southern California facility.

Front runner … Brendan Gaughan has the most top-five finishes at Irwindale, with six. The Las Vegas native also led the most laps, running out front for 674 laps.

Most top 10s … Scott Gaylord scored the most top-10s at Toyota Speedway – finishing in the top 10 in 11 of 13 races he competed in there.

Widespread competition … In the 18 races at the Southern California track, 157 different drivers have taken the green flag. Austin Cameron and Jack Sellers (No. 15 Aramark Chevrolet) top that list, each starting 16 of those races. Other drivers to compete in NASCAR Camping World Series West events at Toyota Speedway include Kurt Busch, who finished 22nd in the inaugural series race there in June of 1999; Ron Hornaday Jr., who finished fourth in that event; Mike Wallace, who finished fifth behind Hornaday; and Matt Crafton, who finished a close second to Bobby Dotter in 2000.

Comparing the finishes … Among drivers who have raced in four or more races at Irwindale, Eric Holmes has the best average finish of 3.4 in five races.

Manufacturers’ battle … Chevrolet has been in Victory Lane for 14 of the 18 races at Irwindale.

Going the distance … The 18 events have varied in distance. Seven were 250-lap races (two in 1999, two in 2000 and three in 2001); seven were 200 laps (one each in 2002 and 2003, two in 2006, one in 2007 and two in 2008); three were 150 laps (both in 2004 and one in 2005) and one was 300 laps (the season finale in 2000).

Start of the race … Five of the 18 races at Toyota Speedway were won from the pole position, including both events by Jason Bowles last year.

By Kevin Green, NASCAR

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