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WOODSIDE GETS FIRST LOOK AT STREET RACE.

Byline: Tim Haddock Auto Racing

Even though Sean Woodside of Saugus has spent most of his racing career competing on tracks in and around Los Angeles, this weekend will mark his first visit to the Ford L.A. Street Race.

The fourth annual event on the streets of downtown Los Angeles at Exposition Park is quickly becoming the most popular race on the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series, but it is an event that has eluded Woodside, who is running his first full season on the Southwest Series.

The defending NASCAR Winston West champion visited the course Tuesday for the first time in part to get a feel for the track and in part to do an interview for Fox Sports. He described the course as a Saugus Speedway version of a road course.

``If you like a lot of bumping and banging, this is the track to go see,'' said Woodside, who won a NASCAR Sportsman points title while at Saugus Speedway before it closed.

After seeing the course, Woodside, driver of the Southwest Tenant Development Pontiac, said he needed some extra practice. So on Wednesday, he went out to Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond to practice driving go-karts on the desert road course.

The L.A. Street Race is unique to NASCAR and to Southwest Series drivers in a number of ways. It is the only NASCAR event of any kind run on a temporary road course. And it is one of two events on the Southwest Series that has pit stops. The L.A. Street Race is a 200-lap event. The only other race that has pit stops on the Southwest Series is the Sears Point Raceway race in Sonoma.

``It's a long race for the team and the pits make it a little bit tougher for some of the other teams,'' said Woodside, who is fourth in points on the Southwest Series. ``But I'm used to the longer races. And I'm used to doing pit stops. I just hope I don't mess them up. It should be a lot of fun.''
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 14, 2000
Words:345
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