Kentucky: Toyota Motorsports race notes

SPARTA, Ky. (July 12, 2003) - Three-time NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion Robert Huffman utilized great fuel mileage to race the No. 37 White House Apple Juice Toyota Celica to victory on Friday, July 11, at the NASCAR Goody's Dash "Kentucky ...

SPARTA, Ky. (July 12, 2003) - Three-time NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion Robert Huffman utilized great fuel mileage to race the No. 37 White House Apple Juice Toyota Celica to victory on Friday, July 11, at the NASCAR Goody's Dash "Kentucky 150." The victory was Huffman's second-career victory at Kentucky Speedway and his third of the 2003 season.

"We qualified third but the White House Apple Juice Celica wasn't quite as good as I wanted at the start," said Huffman, who earned his 41st career NASCAR Goody's Dash Series victory this weekend, second all-time in the series. "We made some adjustments and were able to run great the rest of the race. The Toyota V6's great fuel mileage really helps us get them most out of each pit stop."

Huffman took the lead from Eric Wilson on lap 59 of the 100-lap race and held it the rest of the way to the checkered flag. The victory was an anniversary celebration of sorts as Huffman also earned Toyota's first-ever NASCAR race win at Kentucky Speedway almost two years ago to the day. The win, his third straight on a super speedway this season (Daytona, Charlotte and Kentucky), extends Huffman's championship points lead to 78 with two races remaining on the 2003 schedule (Bristol on Aug. 20 and Atlanta on Oct. 24).

Jake Hobgood, the defending NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion, was able to overcome unfortunate circumstances to bring home the No. 64 Germain Toyota Celica in 11th place overall after also qualifying 11th. Hobgood had to start at the end of the 31-car field after missing a pre-race drivers' meeting. A misunderstanding at the start of the race earned Hobgood a black-flag penalty, which put him down a lap the rest of the night. Hobood, who began the night second in the points standings, is third after Kentucky, 114 behind Huffman.

"We had trouble at the beginning with the black flag stop-and-go, but that was my misunderstanding," Hobgood said. I thought you could pass to the right, but that's my mistake. The Germain Celica was a top-five caliber car tonight, but going a lap down really cost us in the end."

Brandon Ward (No. 11 Rayco Safety/TRD Toyota Celica) ended a streak of two-straight top-three results after his race ended on lap 49 with mechanical problems. His 27th-place finish was only his second of the season out of the top 10. Ward is fourth in the championship points standings going into next month's Bristol race, the site of his first career NASCAR Goody's Dash Series victory in 2001.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Robert Huffman