By Randy Claypoole Jacksonville, N.C. (June 9, 2001) Cam Strader on a roll as he claims yet another victory in a Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring event. Strader started the day by winning the Bud Pole with a time of 16.437 seconds. He would...
By Randy Claypoole
Jacksonville, N.C. (June 9, 2001) Cam Strader on a roll as he claims yet another victory in a Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring event. Strader started the day by winning the Bud Pole with a time of 16.437 seconds. He would dominate the race leading twice for 128 of the 150 laps in Saturday night's United Rental/Global Systems, Inc. "!50" at Coastal Plains Raceway.
Justin Hobgood jumped out front to lead the first 16 circuits. Strader fought his way into the lead on lap 17 and led until lap 46 when he and most of the lead lap cars made a pit stop under caution for gas only. Eric Van Cleef, in his Toyota Celica, remained on the track and led the field on the restart. Van Cleef held the top spot from lap 47 through 52 before a tenacious Strader grabbed the lead once again.
The race saw four caution periods for a total of 26 laps. Strader set a blistering pace throughout the remaining laps setting a race record average speed of 66.156 mph. "I have an awesome team led by my Crew Chief Barry Owens and great engines prepared by Jan Smith. I am so excited that we are having this much success so early in the season." Strader was the 2000 Rookie of the Year.
There was plenty of action throughout the field as drivers drove hard trying to keep up with Strader. 2001 Rookie of the Year Points Leader Shane Hmiel scraped the frontstretch wall while running in the top five. Though Hmiel barely broke stride the damage was severe enough to cause him to lose several positions. He ended up in tenth place. Justin Hobgood finished in second place. Jake Hobgood came in third. Local favorite, Mike Conover finished in fourth place. Conover is from nearby Greenville, N.C. and races in the Late Model Stock Division at Coastal Plains Raceway. This was only his second start in the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Division. His first start was last October at this same track. He finished in eleventh place in that race. "I am hoping to run more races this year. Finishing in the top five in only our second start is a real boost for our team." Series defending Champion Robert Huffman rounded out the top five. Huffman was running in third and tried desperately to get by Justin Hobgood. With just a few laps remaining Huffman dove under Hobgood in turn one and his car broke loose causing him to get into the side of Hobgood providing both drivers with an anxious moment. After the race Hobgood thanked Huffman for keeping them from wrecking. Neither driver wanted a repeat of their last lap tangle the previous week at Louisville.
<pre> Finishing order, (starting position), driver, laps completed, reason out (if any): 1. (1) Cam Strader, 150 2. (3) Justin Hobgood, 150 3. (4) Jake Hobgood, 150 4. (8) Mike Conover, 150 5. (7) Robert Huffman, 150 6. (5) Joey Miller, 149 7. (11) Roger Sawyer, 149 8. (12) Larry Caudill, 149 9. (10) Eric Van Cleef, 149 10. (2) Shane Hmiel*, 149 11. (14) Tim Nichols*, 148 12. (16) Scott Redmon*, 148 13. (15) Wayne Edwards*, 146 14. (6) Scott Weaver, 145 15. (13) Doug Gainey, 141 16. (20) William Horton Jr., 112, Engine 17. (9) Jimmy Britts, 73, Rear End 18. (17) Bobby Dayton, 65, Accident 19. (18) Davis Myers, 47, Engine 20. (19) Scott Thorton, 29, Engine *Denotes Rookie of the Year Contender
3 Lead Changes Among 3 Leaders: Justin Hobgood 1-16; Strader 17-46; Van Cleef 47-52; Strader 53-150. 4 Cautions for 26 Laps. Bud Pole: Cam Strader - 16.437 seconds/87.607 mph. Time of Race: 54 minutes 25 seconds. Margin of Victory: .540 seconds Gatorade Front Runner: Cam Strader Rookie of the Race: Shane Hmiel
Top 20 in Points: 1. Cam Strader 1007; 2. Roger Sawyer 919; 3. Justin Hobgood 873; 4. Shane Hmiel 851; 5. Joey Miller 820; 6. Jake Hobgood 794; 7. Larry Caudill 787; 8. Scott Weaver 753; 9. Robert Huffman 743; 10. Wayne Edwards 735; 11. Tim Nichols 720; 12. Eric Van Cleef 717; 13. Jimmy Britts 708; 14. Bobby Dayton 657; 15. Scott Redmon 654; 16. Doug Gainey 573; 17. Danny Bagwell 542; 18. Angie Wilson 456; 19. B.J. Mackey 447; 20. Ned Combs 424.
Rookie Of the Year Points: 1. Shane Hmiel 57; 2. Tim Nichols 50; 3. Wayne Edwards 48; 4. Scott Redmon 44; 5. Link Kiser 6; Jeff Underwood 4.
Gatorade Front Runner Points (Top 5): 1. Robert Huffman 9; 2. Cam Strader 5; 3. Justin Hobgood 4; 4. Roger Sawyer 4; 5. Shane Hmiel 2.
Goody's Consistency Top 5 (Laps Completed): 1. Cam Strader 681 (100%); 2. Roger Sawyer 679; 3. Shane Hmiel 678; 4. Justinh Hobgood 672; 5. Larry Caudill 662.