True Value 150, Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001 If you're Mike Olsen, the first emotion from Saturday night must be disappointment that a victory in front of the home fans slipped away. Yet, there are several items...
True Value 150, Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001
If you're Mike Olsen, the first emotion from Saturday night must be disappointment that a victory in front of the home fans slipped away. Yet, there are several items on the plus side of the ledger, beginning with the fact that he nearly battled Kelly Moore to a standoff in the point race as well as on the track. Olsen now leads Moore by 189 points with five races remaining. That means Moore needs to gain an average of 38 points per race, a minimum of eight positions, to close the gap.
Olsen's fourth Bud Pole of the season gave him sole possession of the season-long lead in that category, and by leading 116 laps, he took over the top position in the Gatorade Front Runner Award, one point ahead of Martin Truex Jr.
None of these, however, compared to the satisfaction of again racing against his legendary greandfather, Stub Fadden.
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Fadden's 12th place finish was his best since he ran eighth at Thompson in September 1998. He raced three times in 1999 without making the top 20, andof course sat out the 2000 season entirely.
* * * Dave Dion's victory broke a tie with Tracy Gordon for sixth on the all-time Busch North Series win list. Not surprisingly, Dion was the last driver in the garage area signing autographs for fans of all ages. While his stated plans for 2001 did not include superspeedways or road courses, he indicated that he will enter the New Hampshire International Speedway event this month.
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A check of old NASCAR record books shows Dave Dion and Stub Fadden finished first and second in Thunder Road track points in 1977. Dion was also the track champion in 1975, and Fadden took the T-Road title in 1978.
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The finishes by Dion and Mike Johnson gave Ford its second Busch North Series 1-2 sweep. The first was by the same two drivers, in reverse order, at Beech Ridge in July.
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Kip Stockwell used his Thunder Road knowledge to post a fourth-place qualifying effort and ran in the top five during the early stages before electrical problems left him 25th at the finish.
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Louie Mechalides made a successful return to the Busch North Series, driving the Swanson Racing Pontiac to a ninth place finish. Mechalides had been racing elsewhere since making the first two BNS races with his own car. The Swanson machine was the perfect "stealth" racer, painted black with no sponsor logos, and Louie made his way almost unnoticed into the top ten.