Huffman wraps up championship at Bristol, needs to start at Atlanta Toyota will earn first NASCAR Championship at Atlanta finale BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2003) - Four-time NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Champion Robert Huffman, with a second-place...
Huffman wraps up championship at Bristol, needs to start at Atlanta
Toyota will earn first NASCAR Championship at Atlanta finale
BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2003) - Four-time NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Champion Robert Huffman, with a second-place finish tonight in the Pabst Blue Ribbon 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway, virtually clinched his fifth title. The driver of the No. 37 White House Apple Juice will officially wrap up the 2003 championship when he starts the season finale in Atlanta on Oct. 24. In its four years of Goody's Dash competition, it will also be Toyota's first NASCAR championship.
"It's a great feeling to come here to Bristol and lock up the championship for me, my team, and for Toyota," said the native of Claremont, N.C. "All the guys on the team, White House Apple Juice, everyone at Toyota and TRD, and my engine builder Don Miller, have all done a great job all season. It's a special feeling to accomplish a fifth championship."
When Huffman takes the green flag at Atlanta, it will be his NASCAR Goody's Dash Series record-tying fifth championship (1990, 1998-2000). His second-place finish at Bristol is his sixth top-five finish in seven races this season, including a series best three victories (Daytona, Charlotte and Kentucky).
With a ninth-place finish at Bristol, 2002 NASCAR Goody's Dash champion Jake Hobgood moved into second place overall, 146 points behind Huffman. The pilot of the No. 64 Germain Toyota Celica earned his fifth top-10 finish of the season. Hobgood has a victory at South Boston to go with a Bud Pole Award at Oglethorpe, Ga.
Brandon Ward drove the No. 11 Rayco Safety Toyota Celica to a race-high 52 laps lead (to Huffman's 48), but an accident on lap 122 dropped him to a 21st-place finish. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-native is still in fourth-place overall (282 points behind Huffman) to give Toyota the top two and three of the top four drivers in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series.
Toyota has participated in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series since 2000. Huffman earned the manufacturer's first victory in 2001 at Kentucky, which was the first by an overhead-cam, multi-valve engine in NASCAR history.
The 2003 season concludes on Friday, Oct. 24 in the Brawny 150 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.