Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Daytona 500 of Short-Track Racing

The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, the "Daytona 500 of short-track racing," is a great place to get noticed. David Gilliland won the 2005 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown before embarking on his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in 2007. Joey Logano won his first NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in 2007 that preceded his move to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Joe Gibbs Racing.

This year’s K&N Pro Series Showdown main event will be broken up into three sections – two 100-lap segments preceding a 25-lap dash to the finish. Two-time winner of the Daytona 500, TV personality, and NASCAR car owner, Michael Waltrip has been tapped to take on the role of event Grand Marshal for the eighth running of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

At the first all-star event in 2003, Michael's brother Darrell said that the racing at Toyota Speedway was the best short track racing that he had ever seen. The expectations are for Michael, an avowed short track racing fan, to finally have an opportunity to see the progressively-banked Speedway at its best.

“The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown is the premier event of our short-track calendar,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR managing director of racing operations. “From Austin Cameron’s emotional win in the very first event to last year’s dramatic debut of Sergio Pena, each successive race has continued to build the prestige of the Showdown. This all-star weekend shines the spotlight on our champions and the sport’s rising stars.”

While the 2011 NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown entry list has not been released to date, the event is known to attract the top racers worldwide to what has become the pinnacle of short-track racing in the United States.

This post season race will mark the NASCAR debut of Travis Pastrana. Pastrana is a motorsports competitor and stunt performer who has won championships and X Games gold medals in several events, including supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing.

Among the international drivers expected to compete are 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 champion DJ Kennington and 2010 NASCAR Mexico Series champion Germán Quiroga. Kennington will be joined in the field by fellow Canadian Andrew Ranger, the 2007 and 2009 Canadian Tire Series champion. Quiroga will be joined by compatriots Rubén Rovelo and Daniel Suárez. Outside the NASCAR umbrella heading to California is 2010 RACECAR Euro Series champion Lucas Lasserre of France.

Steve Wallace (NASCAR Nationwide Series driver), Eric Holmes (2006, 2008, 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion), Jason Bowles (2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion), Paulie Harraka (2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year), Jonathon Gomez (2010 SRL Southwest Tour Champion), and Greg Pursley (Winner of two of the final three 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races) have also announced their intentions to compete in the event.

Car owner Steve McGowan will have three drivers competing for the win. David Mayhew (second place in the 2010 K&N Pro Series West Championship), Auggie Vidovich (2010 K&N Pro Series West Race Winner) and newcomer Travis Motley.

K&N Pro Series East drivers Matt Kobyluck (Two-time Showdown winner), Darrell Wallace Jr. (Youngest race winner and first African-American Victor in series history), and Max Gresham (two 2010 race wins) are also expected to enter the race.

A NASCAR hauler parade will kick off the action on Wednesday night with a route through the San Gabriel Valley. "We expect over 50 colorful race car haulers to be a part of the pre-event activities," said Toyota Speedway GM/VP Bob DeFazio.

Two practice sessions and qualifying for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series are set for Friday, January 28. Drivers will have an additional opportunity to qualify for the all-star feature through the 50-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series Open set for 8:30 p.m. on Friday night.

Saturday’s schedule features a special Fan Walk from 12:05 to 3:00 p.m. This event will provide fans an opportunity to meet drivers and get an up-close look at the cars and equipment.

The 225-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series all-star race on Saturday, January 29 is slated to roll at 8:30 p.m. and features secured starting spots for the 2010 champions of NASCAR’s developmental series and race winners of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series from the 2010 season.

Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED, beginning each night at 10 p.m. ET. The coverage will be anchored by Rick Allen and Phil Parsons in the booth, with Dick Berggren and Jim Tretow covering action in the pits.

Tickets for the NASCAR event that effectively finishes one season and opens the next are now on sale. Tickets for this unique annual event can be secured on-line at: or by telephone (626) 358-1100.

Amanda Klingenberg Interviews Andrew Ranger
before the NASCAR All Star Showdown


1 comment:

Unknown said...

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Andrew Smith

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