Warn Anxious to Start 2008 West Series Run in California
Oregon Driver, Championship Teammate and MJ2 Ready for West Run
For Jim Warn of Aurora, Oregon this weekend could not come quick enough. He has been waiting for this day for an awfully long time. A day not unlike many aspiring NASCAR hopefuls. A day when he can challenge the best of the best. That day is nearly upon him as he embarks on his rookie campaign on the NASCAR Camping World Series which is set for its 55th season of competition. The NCWS returns to All American Speedway located in Roseville, Calif. which is hosting the series for only the sixth time and first time since 1982 in the running of the NAPA Autocare '150' Saturday night March 29.
Warn spent several years road racing and dabbling in other forms of before moving over the stock cars. In only his third year in full-bodied machines he is making his biggest jump yet. 'It is a little overwhelming at times,' Warn said. 'The entire team has worked so hard all winter and it is hard to believe this weekend is actually here. I am getting real excited and wish the race was tomorrow.'
Warn has been under the guidance of fellow MJ2 Racing team driver Jeff Jefferson, a three-time NASCAR Northwest Tour champion who joined MJ2 Racing a year and a half ago. 'Jim has done real well getting up to speed in the car,' Jefferson stated. 'He is smooth and not afraid to drive a loose car. I have been very impressed with his growth in the few short test sessions we have had and I know he will do well Saturday night.'
While Warn may share Jefferson's optimism, he also knows that Saturday nights NCWS race is a big test for the rookie team. 'I know the cars are good. The crew is awesome. And our setup is right for the race. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous,' Warn said. 'There are always a lot of eyes on the rookies and with us being a new team there are also a lot of expectations.'
Those expectations may seem lofty but the MJ2 Racing team owned by Mike Warn has
Jim Warn is excited to start the West Series season.
a few things hedged in their favor. Like veteran west coast crew chief Chuck Carruthers from Prescott, Washington where the stable of MJ2 Racing Chevrolets are housed. 'Chuck just plain knows how to get things done,' Warn stated. From the moment we started this deal he was in control. He is not afraid to try new things but he doesn't chase something that is not working. He has been able to put a car underneath me that I can drive and man are they fast.'
Though Warn is considered a rookie this season, his crew members are all veterans of the short track wars and have been together for a long time and workedwith the younger Warn this past season competing on the ARCA West circuit. 'We may be a two-car team but we are one big team,' Warn said. 'We work together so well and we have been able to gel with no issues at all.'
Saturday's 150-lap contest will be a test of teamwork for the new team as there are several milestones to achieve and overcome for his right of passage in the west's oldest stock car series. Warn's first obstacle is to qualify for the race. 'If we can qualify in the top half of the field I will be thrilled.'
Qualifying is only the first hurdle. 'Our goal is to obviously make the race but after that I want to complete every lap,' Warn continued. 'If we can do that it will be a big step for us. We tested on old tires and the car held up real well. I have a lot of confidence and if we can have some long green runs I feel we will be there at the end.'
The third hurdle has Warn joining a talented Sunoco rookie class. 'I am definitely going to get to knows the guys running for Rookie-of-the-Year,' Warn said. 'I need to know where those guys are running at all times and if I have a chance to pass them, I need to go for it. I think the race within a race adds a lot of excitement not only for the drivers but for the fans as well.'
Even though Warn has never raced at All American, he likes the track. 'All American is a lot like Southsound Speedway (located in Washington state),' Warn stated. 'There is a lot of room on the backstretch but it races like you will have to make your passes coming out of turn two. I really like the track and feel my experience at Southsound will pay off.'
Warn will need to rely on the team's combine experience as thirty of the regions finest drivers will be on tap to battle for one of 24 starting positions in the NAPA Autocare '150' which will be aired live on HDNet Saturday night at 8:38 pm PT. The NAPA Autocare '150' is the first of 13 races for the Camping World Series West teams.