Jefferson is Back in The Saddle in Camping World West Series
Three-Time NASCAR Champ Joins forces with MJ2 For 2008 Assault
Jeff Jefferson of Naches, Washington returns to the NASCAR Camping World Series in 2008 searching for another victory and his fourth NASCAR championship. Jefferson will team with Sunoco rookie competitor Jim Warn in a potent two-car effort this season out of the MJ2 Racing stables in the team's inaugural campaign debuting at All American Speedway located in Roseville, Calif. The track is hosting the NAPA Autocare '150' NASCAR Camping World Series event for the first time in 26 years.
Jefferson spent the early part of this decade honing his skills on the now defunct NASCAR Northwest Series, winning three consecutive championship (2003-2005) and building a foundation of success. But Jefferson is no stranger to competition in the Camping World Series as he competed in select events from 1999 through 2006 claiming one victory (Portland, Ore. Speedway) two Pole Awards, seven top five and twelve top ten finishes in 24 starts. He finished 13th in the final point 2000 standings after competing in 11 of 12 races that season.
'It feels real good to be racing in the Camping World Series again,' Jefferson said. 'I grew up around this series and I have a lot of fond memories watching my uncle (Harry Jefferson), Hershel McGriff, Derrike Cope, Chad Little and all the heroes of the west coast racing every Saturday night.'
Jefferson joined MJ2 Racing last season as lead driver and mentor for Jim Warn, who is embarking on his first full season of NASCAR competition in 2008. MJ2 Racing is owned by Mike Warn of Wilsonville, Ore. who recently was honored with the Ridler Award at the Detriot AutoRama for his classic 1960 Rambler with a Ferrari powerplant.
'It is a real privilege to drive for Mike (Warn),' Jefferson said. 'We have built this team from the ground up and Mike has provided all the tools necessary for us to go out and win right out of the box. This is by far the best opportunity I have had to be consistently competitive in the Camping World Series and we really have some high expectations for the team this season. With that said, we are realistic as the competition in the series is as tough as ever with a lot of great teams.'
Starting a new team from scratch takes a lot of hard work and determination, plus you need a lot of luck to go your way. The team is based out of the shop of veteran crew chief Chuck Carruthers in Prescott, Washington, known to many (if not just Chuck) as the Center of the Universe.
Over the winter the MJ2 Racing team purchased six former Kevin Harvick Nationwide Series cars. Carruthers and crew then went to work converting them over to Camping World Series cars which required several modifications, least of which was to the engine bays that house the new NASCAR Spec Engines.
After all the preparation in the shop was completed the team needed a break from mother nature as wet weather intercepted the team during its aggressive pre-season test schedule. 'The weather this winter did not help,' Jefferson stated. 'So much for global warming. We essentially had a two-day test at Lake Havasu and one day at All American. The good thing is the tests could not have gone better and I can't wait for the race this Saturday.'
'I know we have a shot at winning this season I would love nothing more than to get Mike his first NASCAR victory in the first race of the season! All American is a fun little track but it is going to take some luck as there is going to be action at every corner.' While Jefferson eyes victory he also knows that you first have to finish all 150 laps and on a fast and tricky third-mile oval like All American. That will definitely be the challenge for all twenty-four starters.
The NAPA Auotcare '150' is round one of the 13-race Camping World Series schedule and will be televised live on HDNet with enhanced delayed coverage on SPEED Channel (Check local listings for dates and times). All American Speedway is hosting the NASCAR Camping World Series for the first time since 1982 when Jim Bown took home the victory. No active driver has ever won at All American and Jefferson hopes to be the first, etching his name next to Sumner McKnight, Jimmy Insolo, Tim Williamson, Jim Bown and ledgendary champion Jim Robinson.