The following is a glance at the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series Top 10 in the series championship standings heading into the Ford Motorcraft Parts "150" at Mesa Marin Raceway this Saturday, October 16. The race in Bakersfield, Calif. will be race twelve 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 maintains the top spot by a slim ten point margin after a fifth place performance in the last event at PIR. Pettit finished second at Mesa Marin back in March. Pettit has three wins this season and is looking for win number four and first at MMR.
No. 2 - Craig Raudman (No. 2 HPS/Victory Circle Chevrolet), Victory Circle Racing. Last week's ranking: 2nd. Raudman closed the gap on Pettit with a runner-up finish at PIR October 3. Raudman returns to MMR where he scored only one victory but delivered eight top five performances since 1992. Raudman leads all drivers with 29 career Bud Pole Awards and four this season. Raudman won the Bud Pole at MMR back in March.
No. 3 - Burney Lamar (No. 1 Groeniger Chevrolet), Victory Circle Racing. Last week's ranking: 3rd. Lamar tallied a sixth place effort at PIR October 3 after starting third. It was Lamar's sixth top five finish of the season for the four year series competitor. Lamar has three Bud Pole Awards this season and nine career fast time awards. Lamar finished 29th at MMR back in March.
No. 4 - Eric Holmes (No. 62 KENKO Chevrolet), Beebe Racing. Last week's ranking: 4th. Holmes maintains the fourth position in the standings for the third consecutive race after a dominating victory at PIR October 3. Holmes has eight top ten finishes in eleven starts this season. Holmes finished 7th at MMR back in March and won at Mesa Marin in 2002.
No. 5 - Eddy McKean (No. 19 Magic Valley Pipe & Steel Pontiac), McKean Racing. Last week's ranking: 5th. McKean held on to third at PIR after his right rear tire started to go flat with 20 laps to go. McKean has seven top ten performances this season and finished fifth at MMR back in March. His best Mesa Marin finish came in this race in 2002 where he finished third.
No. 6 - Joe Herold (No. 5 Quality Chevrolet), Herold Racing. Last week's ranking: 7th. Herold continues to have his best season in the series with a strong finish of 13th at PIR October 3. Herold finished 12th at MMR in the spring and position himself for an invite to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in November with another solid performance this weekend.
No. 7- Greg Voigt (No. 9 Auto Pro Racing Engines Chevrolet), Voigt Racing. Last week's ranking: 8th. Voigt finished 12th at PIR and moved up one spot in the standings after eleven races. Voigt has one top five and three top ten finishes this season and finished 17th at MMR in the spring. Voigt finished 4th at MMR in March of 2003.
No. 8 - Doug McCoun (No. 16 Camacho's Cantina Chevrolet), CBA Motorsports. Last week's ranking: 6th. McCoun slipped to 8th in the standings after debris ended his day at PIR October 3. McCoun finished a disappointing 26. McCoun's last win came at MMR in 2002 and is squarely focused on moving back up the standings with another strong run. McCoun has three victories at MMR over the years.
No. 9 - Todd Souza (No. 6 Money By Design Chevrolet), Penney Racing. Last week's ranking: 9th. Souza stays in the ninth spot in the standings after a 18th place effort at PIR. Souza has one top five and two top ten finishes in eleven starts this season and looks to hold onto a top ten final points finish. Souza finished 14th at Mesa Marin back in March.
No. 10 - Rip Michels (No. 12 Stock Building Supply Chevrolet), Michels Racing. Last week's ranking: 10th. Michels continues to lead the Autometer Rookie-of-the-Year standings after eleven with a solid 8th place performance at PIR October 3. Michels scored his first career top ten finish with a 10th place finish at Mesa Marin back in March and has added four other top ten efforts since then.
Charting the Champs: 2003 series champion Auggie Vidovich has returned to the series this sporting new colors taking over the driving duties of the Centrifugal Technologies Chevrolet. Vidovich finished fourth at PIR October 3 in the Rich Fountain owned machine. 2001 series champion Craig Raudman maintains second in the standings after a runner-up finish at PIR. Raudman calls Bakersfield home but has only scored one victory at the high-banked half-mile oval. 2002 series champion Eddy McKean maintains the fifth spot in the standings after a third place performance at PIR October 3.
NASCAR Top 10 this week: 1. Jim Pettit II, 1726; 2. Craig Raudman, 1716; 3. Burney Lamar, 1604; 4. Eric Holmes, 1515; 5. Eddy McKean, 1496; 6. Joe Herold, 1385; 7. Greg Voigt, 1373; 8. Doug McCoun, 1368; 9. Todd Souza, 1328; 10. Rip Michels, 1321.
Races at No. 1: Craig Raudman (5), Jim Pettit II (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 eleven races
Biggest mover among the Top 10: Joe Herold (7th to 6th)
Dropped out of the NASCAR Top 10 this week: None
Past Champions (Point Standing): Auggie Vidovich (23rd), Craig Raudman (2nd), Eddy McKean (5th).