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Keeping Pace

Tue., July 28, 2009, 1 a.m.

NASCAR Camping World Series West News & Notes - Miller Motorsports Park

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Jim Inglebright brings momentum with him, after winning the most recent NASCAR Camping World Series West race – which was at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on July 19 as he heads to Miller Motorsports park in Utah this weekend.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Jim Inglebright (No. 1 Jelly Belly Chevrolet) came within a lap of winning last year’s NASCAR Camping World Series West event at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. But he ran out of gas on the white-flag lap after the race distance had been extended due to a late-race caution.

The veteran West Coast competitor from Fairfield, Calif., will be looking for a little redemption when the series returns to the 3.06-mile road course this week for the Miller Motorsports Park 125 on Saturday, Aug. 1.

Inglebright brings momentum with him, after winning the most recent NASCAR Camping World Series West race – which was at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on July 19. Although the race distance in that event was also extended, again due to a late-race caution, Inglebright had enough gas this time to make it to the finish and capture his third career series victory.

“When we came in under the yellow, we tried to come in toward the latter part of the yellow, so we knew we would have a little in reserve in case we had a green-white-checkered,” said Inglebright, who had just enough gas to make it to the finish line and do a quick burnout after a victory lap. “When we got it back to the shop, there wasn’t much left in the tank.”

In preparing to return to Miller Motorsports Park, Inglebright says his approach will vary from last year’s.

“We are going to treat it a little different,” he said. “We short-pitted last year because the driver didn’t do a very good job qualifying. It kind of forced our hand a little bit to pit early and get track position. So, my focus is to get it qualified a little better and just stay on track with the leaders – pit a little later in the race.”

The spacious Utah track, meanwhile, has quickly become one of his favorites, according to the 47-year-old competitor.

“I love the race track and I love the facility,” Inglebright said. “And the fans treat us great.”

The track itself is one that fits his driving style, he said. “It’s kind of conducive to the way I drive,” Inglebright said. “The race track’s real fast and I like fast tracks. And it’s a road course. For some reason, I’ve really adapted to the road courses.”

He attributes some of that ability to his 13 years of racing motorcycles on motocross tracks, from the time he was 13 years old to the age of 26. “I think the motorcycles definitely had an influence on it,” Inglebright said. “I’ve always said the road courses put a little more into the driver’s hands.”

“You can make up for a car that’s not handling quite as well,” he said. “On circle tracks, if the car’s not right, there’s really not a lot you can do. With a road course, there’s a lot you can do. You can change your line; you can bounce off the curbs; you can lift early or drive it in deeper and try to roll through. There’s a lot you can do to change your driving style on a road course versus a circle track.”

Inglebright, who had to cut back from running the full series schedule this year due to a lack of funding, said it was important for him to include the three road-course races among the events he raced this season.

Looking ahead to 2010, meanwhile, Inglebright hopes to not miss any events. “We’re hoping next year to go back to a full season,” he stressed.

After retiring from racing motorcycles, Inglebright began racing late model stock cars – winning back to back titles in 1991 and 1992 at a track near his home in Northern California. He later concentrated much of his effort in the former NASCAR Southwest Tour, where he finished second in the championship standings in 1995 and won a major event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., for three consecutive years.

He has competed in 58 NASCAR Camping World Series West races, dating back to 1995. In addition to three wins, he has accumulated 16 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes. He also raced on a limited basis in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2000 and 2001. A highlight to his career came when he was tabbed by Richard Childress Racing to drive in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway in 2004.

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.