David Hopes To Carry Momentum Into NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown From NASCAR PR
2007 Champion is Looking for Another High
Not everything went as planned for Mike David in the NASCAR Camping World Series West in 2008. Following an outstanding year in which he won the championship in 2007, the 41-year-old Modesto, Calif., driver experienced an up-and-down outcome this year.
David summed it up as a “roller coaster” season: “There were some real good highs and then a couple of DNFs (did not finish), which are the worst lows you can have in racing.”
“We started off the season great,” recalled David, who was in his eighth season of driving the No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery entry for car owner Randy Lynch. “Everything was running great. We were leading the points. We won at Phoenix, which was obviously the highlight of our season this year. It seems like after Sonoma, the wheels fell off our train and it was downhill from there.”
The team was able to rebound late in the year, however, resulting in a couple of runner-up finishes. David hopes to continue that improved performance as they head to next month’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.). The race is scheduled for Jan. 23-24 and the two days of racing – which will also include a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model and Super Late Model race – will be aired live on SPEED beginning at 7 p.m. PT both nights.
”We got it turned around at the end of the year and hopefully we can carry that momentum into the Showdown and have a good run,” he said.
David joins a growing list of short-track stars to sign up for the season’s biggest race on Jan. 23-24. Already committed to the all-star event are NASCAR Camping World Series champions Matt Kobyluck (East) and Eric Holmes (West); along with Jason Bowles, Todd Souza, Jason Fensler and Peyton Sellers; and NASCAR Camping World Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year winners Austin Dillon (East) and Jeff Barkshire (West).
Although Toyota Speedway is one of the tracks where David struggled this year, he is confident he can turn things around and do much better than his 14th-place finish in September.
“I’m excited to go back, because we ran so poorly there at the end of the year,” he said. “I know can run well there.”
In 12 regular-season events at the half-mile Southern California track since 2001 – David has an average finish of 8.33, with four top-five and eight top-10 finishes. But when it comes to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown there, he acknowledges the increased level of competition.
“It’s tough for sure,” said David. Although he finished third in the 2006 event, he failed to crack the top 10 in three other all-star appearances.
“It seems like the last few times we’ve been there, I’ve shot myself in the foot,” he said. “I messed up qualifying one year and crashed another year. I haven’t put it all together. I know we can run well there. I don’t know if I’m trying to hard or what, but it just hasn’t fallen into place for us yet.”
Thirteen drivers overall each earned a secured spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown by winning a NASCAR Camping World Series race this year. Champions of each of NASCAR’s developmental series also earned secured spots in the event. Other positions in the starting lineup will be determined through time trials, limited provisionals for NASCAR Camping World Series regulars, and the “Last Chance Open” race that provides drivers one final opportunity to make the final 40-car starting grid.
In addition to the eight drivers who have announced their plans for the event, other drivers among the 13 winners to earn a secured spot in the event include Trevor Bayne, Eddie MacDonald, Brian Ickler and Aric Almirola.
In addition to Holmes and Kobyluck, champions in NASCAR’s other developmental series include Philip Morris (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series), Scott Steckly (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series), Antonio Perez (NASCAR Mexico Series), Ted Christopher (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), and Brian Loftin (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour).
This will mark the sixth edition of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway.
To purchase tickets for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, fans can go to www.toyotaspeedwayatirwindale.com or call the track at (626) 358-1100.
Mike David (NASCAR Photo)