April 8, St. Augustine, FL -- Following a battle that lasted the entire 125 laps of the Gold Star Dodge Dealers 125 Saturday night, including a furious final fifteen lap fight where the leaders traded places four times, Justin Hobgood emerged...
April 8, St. Augustine, FL -- Following a battle that lasted the entire 125 laps of the Gold Star Dodge Dealers 125 Saturday night, including a furious final fifteen lap fight where the leaders traded places four times, Justin Hobgood emerged victorious, besting two-time champion Robert Huffman and claiming his first ever NASCAR Goody's Dash victory.
A mesmerized and vocal crowd stood and cheered the tough and ready Hobgood through the final stages of the race as Huffman took the lead on lap 110. Hobgood never relented and passed Huffman on the outside. Huffman battled back and used the outside himself to pass Hobgood in Turn 1 on lap 118. Hobgood returned the favor by charging past the seasoned Huffman coming out of Turn 4 on the same lap, this time using the inside.
With the "two laps to go" sign offered by the flagman, Huffman charged back inside, but met a determined Hobgood in Turn 1 and spun his #37 car into the grass infield, ending his chance for a third consecutive win to start the season.
Local favorite Jimmy Britts, of Orange Park, maintained a top ten run throughout most of the race but faded slightly at the end, finishing the night eleventh. Another crowd favorite, Angie Wilson of Nebo, North Carolina, was tagged in Turn 4 on the race's first lap and was forced to exit the race with a broken right front wheel.
In local division racing action, Brad Pilinko maintained his torrid season start by claiming his third victory in as many races in the Alpha Communications Hobby Stock feature. Chris Manucy challenged Pilinko throughout the entire race, coming up just short and placing second. Jody Stratton, Brad Paulsen and Shae Clay rounded out the top five.
Jody Miller held off a hard charge from Jake Hartley and Jay Farris in the Old Rooster Mini Stock feature, claiming his first victory of the season. Hartley, who trailed Vern Rozier for second most of the feature until Rozier's car faltered late in the race, could not hold off Farris, who slipped past him heading into the last lap, taking second place. Hartley finished third. Kevin Burkett, who traded the outside pole for a shot at a $350 8 Ball bonus, finished fourth, while Frank Andrews rounded out the top five. The 8 Ball, awarded to the driver who starts in eighth place and wins the race, is up to a record $500 going into next weekend.
Wade Lynn won his second consecutive Thunder Truck event, beating out Les Burl and Alan Moore, the defending champion making his first event of the 2000 season. Ron Thomas and Jody Turner rounded out the top five.
The Dwarf cars are on the schedule next Saturday along with the Late Models, Sportsman, Rick's Muffler Modifieds, Thunder Trucks and Alpha Communications Hobby Stocks. Racing begins at 6:45pm.