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Breese, Cameron Win at Irwindale

November 09, 2003|Tony Solorzano | Special to The Times

Ron Breese Jr. and Austin Cameron won in the inaugural NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown on Saturday night in front of 5,992 at Irwindale Speedway.

Winning the Grand National Division was especially satisfying for Cameron. The 26-year-old from El Cajon sat out four races during the Winston West Series season while undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"We didn't have a chance to win the championship because of a few hiccups in my career and my life," said Cameron. "But this is the best championship I could have won."

In the first 100 laps, the Grand National race looked more like a driving school with the Busch North drivers making short work of the Winston West drivers. The North easily earned the team championship with seven drivers finishing in the top 10. Joey McCarthy of the Busch North Series led all 100 laps of the team segment.

In the Elite Division's 100-lap event, Breese led 71 laps to not only win the $14,350 individual title, but also lead the International Truck and Engine Midwest Series to the team title.

"We had a flawless car last night and tonight," said Breese, of DeKalb, Ill. "We didn't unload well when we got here and to come back and win like this is incredible."

Featherlite Southwest Series driver Jim Pettit took an early lead over pole-winner Breese. However, Breese took the lead on Lap 24 and held on until a spinout by Kodak Southeast Series driver Johnny Brazier forced a yellow flag on Lap 46, resetting the field.

On the restart, Breese pulled away.

At the end of the 75-lap team segment, the Midwest Series earned the team title and the $20,000 prize, with 10 of its drivers finishing in the top 20.

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