AZ (January 25) -- Eddy McKean started the 2004 NASCAR Southwest
Series right where he finished last season--in the winner's circle at
Phoenix International Raceway. McKean, the 2002 series champion, led
all but one lap of Sunday's season-opening "Winter Heat 100"
en route to the win. Fifty-four cars were on hand looking to capture
one of the event's 42 starting spots. The 100-lap race kicked off the
14-race NASCAR Southwest Series schedule which employs a Hoosier
tire-rule in all its events and is one of five NASCAR Touring
Divisions which Hoosier exclusively provides tires.
The race began with pole-sitter Burney Lamar jumping
the start on the 1-mile desert oval and serving a stop-and-go penalty
which handed the lead to outside pole-sitter Eddy McKean. From there,
McKean led the remaining 99 circuits to capture the win. McKean, who
won three of 14 races in the series last season, pocketed $10,400 in
cash & prizes.
Finishing in second place was fourth starting Tim
Schendel followed by Jim Pettit II, Jeff Jefferson and Craig Raudman
rounding out the top five. Completing the list of top-ten finishers
were Burney Lamar in sixth followed by NEXTEL Cup driver Ken Schrader,
Eric Holmes Dan Holtz and Ed Hoffman.
Last year's NASCAR Southwest Series champion, Auggie
Vidovich, Jr. finished in 40th after electrical problems ended his day
after 23 laps. The race had four cautions for a total of 31
Competitors used Hoosier's Speedway set-up which
included 26.5x11.0-15 2053 tires on the left side and 27.0x11.0-15
2157 tires on the right side. All NASCAR Southwest Series events are
serviced by Hoosier Tire West out of Fresno, California.
The series will next compete on March 13th, at Madera
Speedway contesting a 125-lap race. Ironically, Hoosier Tire West
owner Rick Gerhardt is also the promoter at Madera Speedway which will
host two events this season in the NASCAR Southwest Series.