LAKESIDE, California -- Sunday's race at PIR will be a new beginning for reining 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series Champion Auggie Vidovich as he returns to action Sunday for the "JC Glass 100" race at the fast one-mile Phoenix superspeedway with a different car number. Vidovich from Lakeside, California will be driving the No. 11 Centrifugal Technologies Chevrolet owned by Rich Fountain for the remaining three Southwest races at Phoenix and Bakersfield and is geared up for the new challenge. Phoenix International Raceway is hosting the "double header" event Sunday featuring the NASCAR West Series (150 laps) and the AutoZone Elite, Southwest Series (100 laps) races.
The No. 11 Centrifugal Technologies Chevrolet will be the car to watch this Sunday and also in the remaining two races for the series season. Vidovich was one of the fastest entries straight off the hauler at the recent Tucson race, September 18, which had to be rescheduled for Sunday, October 10 due to rain. "The 11 car was fast at the start and I was ready to race. Oh well, these things happen and we will just have to carry on the momentum over to this weekend's race at Phoenix," said Vidovich. "I am looking forward to the race at PIR this weekend as we tested again here recently with crew chief, Mike Harvick, and we all feel the No. 11 will be fast right off the trailer just like at Tucson." Twenty-three-year-old Vidovich is hoping to add his name to the other 28 previous Southwest winners at PIR.
This Sunday, Vidovich will return to Phoenix International Raceway along with more than 35 other entries for the second race of three on the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway superspeedway, the same track that Vidovich claimed the 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series Championship last October by 60 points, after holding the series lead from race two on up to the final race at PIR for the 2003 season. Earlier this year in January, Vidovich started 10th at PIR only to drop out early in the race due to an electrical failure.
In 2003, Vidovich posted 8 top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes at with an average finish of 6th place. For the three Phoenix races in 2003, Vidovich finished 3rd, 15th and 13th.
Currently 24th in points going into Phoenix, Vidovich is aiming for wins as he is not contesting a consecutive championship in 2004 due to a limited race schedule. Vidovich is also looking into other NASCAR series racing for 2005.
In 1964, when Phoenix International Raceway was carved out of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains, it was intended to be a new jewel in the crown of American open wheel racing but it wasn't until 1988, when NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing came to PIR, that auto racing in Phoenix really became a major sporting attraction for the "Valley of the Sun."
For more information on Champion Auggie Vidovich, go to VidovichRacing.com and check out the other Vidovich Racing sponsors - Creative Touch Interiors, Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber, and Eibach Springs.
The "JC Glass 100" race starts at 1:00 PM PST Sunday and is scheduled to be televised on HDNet. HDNet produces and broadcasts in 1080i HDTV. Viewers should check their local cable and satellite listings for further information. You can also click on RacingWest.com for race updates.