The NASCAR Camping World West Series, which has two races in the Northwest later this summer, holds its third race of the 2009 season on Thursday at Phoenix International Raceway. Eric Holmes is the series points leader but Mike David is the defending race champion and looks to make it two straight in Phoenix.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - After encountering minor issues in the first two races this season, Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Toyota) is looking for a good finish to turn his season around in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. He hopes to accomplish that when the series heads to Phoenix International Raceway this week for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150 presented by Shamrock Farms on Thursday, April 16.
David won the prestigious event on the one-mile track last year. “It was a pretty big deal,” he said. “That’s our biggest track we run on out here. I’ve been going there a lot of years – from the early 1990s – to help my buddies with their cars in the Copper Classic.”
In addition to his victory there, David has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 10 series races at PIR. Scoring a repeat win, last accomplished by Ken Schrader in 2003 and 2004, would be a major boost to David and the Lynch Racing team. “It’s actually pretty important to us to get our season turned around,” David said. “We’ve had a real good car the last two races, just unfortunate circumstances in both races kind of soured our finishes. So, we’re looking forward to Phoenix to get back on track. To win there would be big for the team, to get our momentum going again.”
The key to getting around the D-shaped track, meanwhile, is no different than anywhere else, according to David. “Just like every track, your car has got to handle and be consistent,” he said. “That’s why we did so well there last year. We were not the quickest qualifier, but our car stayed fast for the whole race. That’s a key.”
After winning the NASCAR Camping World Series West championship in 2007 – the 42-year-old Modesto, Calif., competitor experienced an up and down season last year. And while he is looking for better finishes than the two seventh-place finishes he registered in the first two races this season, David is pleased with advances the team has made. “I’m real proud of what we’ve got done so far and how well the cars are doing,” he said. “We’ve just got to get some racing luck and get it turned around.”
If that happens, he expects to be able to give longtime friend and rival Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota) a battle for the title again this year. “If we can get our season turned around and get it headed in the right direction, I think we’ll give him a run for it,” David said.