DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — As everyone descended on Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) on Thursday for initial preparations for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, the elite southern California half-mile facility has once again become a melting pot of short-track racing.
In addition to having drivers on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series entry list from five different countries, the ‘Daytona 500 of short-track racing’ will also feature officials from each of NASCAR’s six touring series. For the premiere event at the touring and weekly level, NASCAR brought in the best of the best to help run the show.
“With three different divisions and more than 100 cars on the ground, this is a challenging event to pull off from a logistics and operations perspective,” NASCAR Director of Touring Series Richard Buck said. “We feel it is important to have the knowledge and experience of all our series directors and officials from coast-to-coast here for this event. It is a very capable group, and one that has made the Showdown a success on an annual basis.”
On the track, the diversity of the talent will be just as prevalent as it is off. Of the 46 cars that unloaded on Thursday for the K&N Pro Series event, there will be three reigning NASCAR champions (Eric Holmes, K&N Pro Series West; DJ Kennington, Canadian Tire Series; German Quiroga, Mexico Series) five past champions (Jason Bowles, K&N Pro Series West; Matt Kobyluck, K&N Pro Series East; Greg Pursley, Whelen All-American Series; Andrew Ranger, Canadian Tire Series; Auggie Vidovich, former Southwest Tour) as well as a pair of drivers that have earned titles in their home countries (Lucas Lasserre, France; Miguel Paludo, Brazil).
The two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race fields, while primarily made up from California drivers, will also have a diverse collection of top drivers. The initial Super Late Model entry list includes drivers from Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina and Washington while the Late Model entries feature competitors from Idaho in addition to Arizona and Nevada.
The main event of the weekend will be the 225-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series all-star race on Saturday. It 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.
The competition schedule will begin Friday with the 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race, and include a 50-lap Last Chance qualifier for Saturday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series race. Saturday also features a 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race.
Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED, beginning at 11 p.m. ET on Friday and 10 p.m. on Saturday. 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. Sirius NASCAR Radio will also provide flag-to-flag coverage both nights on Sirius XM Ch. 128 with Pat Patterson and past NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Mike Skinner. Sirius’ broadcast begins at 10 p.m. each night.