DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - The following is a glance at the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series Top 10 in the series championship standings heading into the Cruise America "125" at Phoenix Int'l Raceway Thursday, November 4. The race in Phoenix, Ariz. will be the final event of 14 on the NASCAR AutoZone Southwest Series schedule:
No. 1 - Jim Pettit II (No. 03 California Hot Wood Ford), Jim Pettit Racing. Last week's ranking: 1st. Pettit extended his point lead with his 4th win of the season and first at TRP. Pettit finished at 5th at PIR last month and needs only to finish 33rd or better in order to claim his first series title in his fourth full-time season.
No. 2 - Craig Raudman (No. 2 HPS/Victory Circle Chevrolet), Victory Circle Racing. Last week's ranking: 2nd. Raudman suffered a disappointing 20th place finish at TRP October 24 after starting on the front row. Raudman leads all drivers with 29 career Bud Pole Awards and four this season. Raudman finished 2nd at PIR last month. Raudman has three career top five finishes at PIR.
No. 3 - Burney Lamar (No. 1 Groeniger Chevrolet), Victory Circle Racing. Last week's ranking: 3rd. Lamar claimed his 10th career Bud Pole Award and 4th of the season October 24 at TRP, but only managed a 13th place finish. Lamar holds a slim three point advantage for the 3rd spot in the standings. Lamar must finish in front of Eddy McKean in order to maintain his position in the standings.
No. 4 - Eddy McKean (No. 19 Magic Valley Pipe & Steel Pontiac), McKean Racing. Last week's ranking: 4th. McKean moved closer to a top three final points finish after a sixth place performance October 24 at TRP. McKean has become the master of the mile in just four years on the series. McKean has three victories on mile racetracks with two at PIR. In the last eight races at PIR, McKean has seven top three finishes.
No. 5 - Eric Holmes (No. 62 KENKO Chevrolet), Beebe Racing. Last week's ranking: 5th. Holmes maintains the fifth spot in the standings despite a 22nd place finish at TRP October 24. Holmes claimed his first victory at PIR October 3 in a dominating performance and needs a top five finish in order to finish the year in the top five. Holmes has two victories and eight to ten finishes this season.
No. 6- Greg Voigt (No. 9 Auto Pro Racing Engines Chevrolet), Voigt Racing. Last week's ranking: 8th. Voigt climbed two spots in the standings after a career best finish of 2nd at TRP October 24. The finish was Voigt's second top five finish of the season. Voigt finished 15th and 12th at PIR this season. Voigt trials fifth place Holmes by only 60 points.
No. 7 - Joe Herold (No. 5 Quality Chevrolet), Herold Racing. Last week's ranking: 6th. Herold continues to have his best season in the series and had a solid 14th place finish at TRP October 24. Herold has finishes of 14th and 13th this season at PIR along with four top ten finishes in thirteen 2004 starts.
No. 8 - Doug McCoun (No. 16 Camacho's Cantina Chevrolet), CBA Motorsports. Last week's ranking: 10th. After two straight DNF's, McCoun need a good run in order to maintain his position in the NASCAR Top 10 and perform he did. McCoun claimed his best finish of the season with a 3rd place finish at TRP October 24. The finish also boosted McCoun two positions in the standings as he looks forward to starting staring his 198 career Southwest Series race. McCoun has four top ten finishes this season.
No. 9 - Rip Michels (No. 12 Stock Building Supply Chevrolet), Michels Racing. Last week's ranking: 9th. Michels continues to lead the Autometer Rookie-of-the-Year standings after thirteen races with a solid 10th place performance at TRP October 24. Michels has seven top ten finishes this season and needs only to start the event at PIR in order to claim the 2004 rookie title. Michels finished 31st and 8th this season at PIR.
No. 10 - Todd Souza (No. 6 Money by Design Chevrolet), Penney Racing. Last week's ranking: 7th. Souza falls three positions after a 17th place finish at TRP October 24. Souza needs a solid run in order to maintain his top ten standing. Souza has a 45-point advantage over Nick Joanides for the 10th spot. Souza has three top ten finishes in 13 starts this season.
Charting the Champs: 2003 series champion Auggie Vidovich scored his second top five finish after taking the wheel of Rich Fountain's Chevrolet with a fifth place finish at TRP October 24. 2001 series champion Craig Raudman had his worst short track finish of the season with a 20th place finish at TRP. 2002 series champion Eddy McKean closed on third place Lamar after a sixth place performance at TRP. McKean has seven top three finishes at PIR in the last eight races.
NASCAR Top 10 this week: 1. Jim Pettit II, 2056; 2. Craig Raudman, 1940; 3. Burney Lamar, 1819; 4. Eddy McKean, 1816; 5. Eric Holmes, 1697; 6. Greg Voigt, 1637; 7. Joe Herold, 1612; 8. Doug McCoun, 1606; 9. Rip Michels, 1601; 10. Todd Souza, 1582.
Races at No. 1: Jim Pettit II (7), Craig Raudman (5), Eddy McKean (1).
New arrivals in the NASCAR Top 10 this week: None
Most weeks in the NASCAR Top 10: Five drivers tied at 13 races
Biggest mover among the Top 10: Greg Voigt (8th to 6th)
Dropped out of the NASCAR Top 10 this week: None
Past Champions (Point Standing): Auggie Vidovich (20th), Craig Raudman (2nd), Eddy McKean (4th).