July 1, 2000 (Palmdale, Calif.) - Sean Woodside, driver of the #4 Pontiac in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring, made a quick decision to back out of an attempt to pass race leader Matt Crafton after a late-race restart tonight in Mesa Marin Raceway's Firecracker 100.
Although Woodside saw an opportunity to take the lead, he sensed it was chancy. It might have put him in the lead, but it might also have resulted in the leaders making contact and watching their finishing results vaporize as they spun across the track.
An intense restart at lap 97 of the 100-lap event found the top three cars fighting for dominance. Woodside pulled alongside Crafton to challenge for the lead. After deciding against an aggressive assault, he moved to fall back in behind Crafton, but Mark Reed shot by to take the second place finishing position.
Woodside's quick decision resulted in a third place finish for REF Motorsports, the team's fifth consecutive top-five finish at Mesa Marin, and a clean, exciting end to tonight's round of competition for the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring circuit.
"I played it safe, and checked up a little," commented Woodside after the race. "I know we had a great car tonight and we could have held the lead, but I wanted to be there at the end with a top-five finish, at least."
Team owner Bob Farmer commented, "Sean really looks good on this track. His experience shows. I believe everyone on the team left tonight feeling the satisfaction of a job well done."
Tonight's third place finish strengthened the team's fourth place status in the Southwest Series point standings to date, and moved it to within striking distance of third place.
Woodside travels next to Portland Speedway to compete in the track's final NASCAR Winston West event, the July 4th NAPA Auto Parts 200, then will head home to join REF Motorsports in preparing for the July 16th Los Angeles Street Race.
Bob Farmer, owner of REF Motorsports, owns and operates the No. 4 Stick Only Transmissions, Maropulos Racing Engines, Speedway Engineering, Hoosier Pontiac in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring with Sean Woodside as driver. Woodside won the 1999 NASCAR Winston West series championship after finishing second in the point standings in the series in 1997 and 1998. REF Motorsports finished 6th in the Southwest Series points standings in 1999, with six top five and seven top ten finishes during the season. The team is currently 4th in the point standings in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring, with one win, three top five and five top ten finishes.