LAKESIDE, California -- NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series 2003 champion Auggie Vidovich returns to one of his favorite tracks, Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, California this Saturday just off a fourth place finish at Phoenix International Raceway October 3.
The evening race for the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series never fails to draw packed stands with more than 34 cars entered for the "Ford Motorcraft Parts 150" race as part of the weekend's "27th annual October Classic" featuring the NASCAR Grand National West, West Coast Pro Trucks, Street Stocks, Cal Spas Supermoto, and NASCAR Late Model Series races. Thirty starting positions will make up the "Ford Motorcraft Parts 150", race thirteen of fourteen. The series then heads to Phoenix International Raceway on November 4 for the final race of the season.
Vidovich loves the high-banked 1/2-mile oval and will again be piloting the No. 11 Centrifugal Technologies Chevrolet this weekend since teaming up with Southwest Series car owner, Rich Fountain. "Rich Fountain has given me a great opportunity to win these last final races of the season along with adding that crew chief, Mike Harvick has put me back in the hunt for wins for the remainder of the races," Vidovich said.
"Finishing fourth in Phoenix at the last race really got the team pumped up for Mesa Marin," quoted Vidovich. Vidovich had practiced in the top five most of the day and followed up with a tenth place qualifying position for the 100-lap race. During the early portion of the race Vidovich paced himself and moved up lap by lap and at times was three seconds off the leader. Without any further yellow flags in the race, Vidovich ran out of laps and time as he was clocking laps faster than the leader at the end.
Currently 23rd in points, twenty-three-year-old Vidovich is aiming to win races as this will be only the sixth race he has entered in 2004. Earlier in the year, he ran a selected race schedule due to a limited budget. He will also be missing the 2nd annual NASCAR Toyota All Star invite-only race at Irwindale this November where he finished eighth out of 40 invited drivers at the inaugural race. "Too bad they don't add the past champion of each division as a wildcard, that would make for an interesting race," Vidovich laughed.
Vidovich finished fourth earlier in the year (March) at Mesa Marin after qualifying seventh and during his 2003 championship year finished fifth, eighth and second at the 1/2-mile. He posted his only Mesa Marin win in 2001.
The Lakeside, California resident was the Southwest Series runner-up in 2001 and 2000 and is actively pursuing moving up to another NASCAR series next year.
The 2003 most popular driver finished second back in July at Pikes Peak International Raceway in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series race driving the No. 59 Ultra Boats, Creative Touch Interiors, Ransom Brothers True Value Lumber and Eibach Springs Chevrolet.
The "Ford Motorcraft Parts 150" race starts at 8:00 p.m. PDT Saturday and will run live on HDNet TV. Check your local cable or satellite company for availability in your area or to sign up for the service so that you do not miss any of the remaining AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series races this year.
For more information on 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series Champion Auggie Vidovich, click on www.vidovichracing.com or RacingWest.com.