Lakeland USA Speedway race report

JAKE HOBGOOD FINALLY TAKES HOME THE GOODY BAG By Bill Desmond LAKELAND, FLA. (October 21 2000)-The Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring visited beautiful USA International Speedway Saturday evening for the next to last event on their 2000...

JAKE HOBGOOD FINALLY TAKES HOME THE GOODY BAG
By Bill Desmond

LAKELAND, FLA. (October 21 2000)-The Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring visited beautiful USA International Speedway Saturday evening for the next to last event on their 2000 racing schedule with another new winner emerging in 2000. Jake Hobgood, who had not won all year, knew what had to be done to get in the record books for this season so he set out to accomplished his goal by winning the Discount Auto Parts presents The Pennzoil 150. "Exciting", said Hobgood when asked how it felt to win his first event of the year after finishing second in the final points standing in 1999. "We have struggled all year but I love this track. It is fast and you can work traffic well because of so much room. We wanted to win these last two events and have a good showing for our sponsors Wynn's and Precision Engine Service. They have been with us so long and we certainly couldn't do this without them," stated Hobgood. "My crew did a great job in preparing this car. I know we have a two car team with Justin's, (Hobgood) but we each have our own crew. And I just can't say enough about how hard my crew worked these last two days to get this car dialed in right. It was flawless out there. We had a scare when that wreck occurred and I went high but the car didn't touch the wall." Finishing behind Hobgood with his third runner-up finish of the year was Ricky Bryant in his Washington Apple Pontiac, B. J. Mackey with his Van Camp's Beans/Horton Homes/Daly Motorsports Pontiac, Keith Roggen in his Ten Brink Underground/Dallas Auto Pontiac and Jimmy Britts with his NAPA Autoparts/Southern Speed/Horsepower by Hedrick Pontiac. The two-day event had qualifying on Friday for the 36-car field and Scott Weaver with his Jim Cook Chevrolet/Weaver Race Cars Pontiac recorded his second Bud Pole Award in 2000 with an outstanding run establishing a new track record for these cars at USA International Speedway. He turned the ¾-mile oval in 22.280 Secs (121.184 mph) eclipsing the previous mark by Charles Powell III of 120.864 mph set in 1997. When the pre-race qualifying shuffle determined starting positions of the top four drivers, Weaver held on to the point with Cam Strader moving from fourth to outside front row. Jake Hobgood remained third with Jimmy Britts dropping to fourth. Weaver brought the 36-car field to the green flag and with racing underway, Hobgood immediately set out to challenge for the lead moving alongside Weaver on lap one to challenge for the point. Hobgood took the point away on the backstretch to move into first place on lap four. From that point he set a blistering pace for the field opening a six to eight car lead on Weaver's machine. Cam Strader, Joey Miller, Robert Huffman and Justin Hobgood rounded out the top six cars. With the size of this track and only an 11-gallon fuel cell, crews knew fuel would be important to the outcome of the event. Strader was the first to stop on lap 32 and Britts followed on lap 34. The 2000 Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring National Championship was on the line between Huffman and Bryant in this event. Huffman was on pace to clinch the title moving into third by lap 45. By lap 60 he was up to second and challenging Hobgood for the lead on lap 60. On lap 66 the two cars crossed the start/finish line with Huffman's car just inches ahead but it lasted momentarily as Hobgood used lapped traffic to perfection keeping Huffman's car in second. Hobgood and Huffman diced back and forth for many laps before the leaders pitted during the third caution for fuel. Hobgood's crew worked fast and got their driver out first with Huffman losing two positions on the stop. When the field went back to green flag racing, Hobgood had the point with Mackey in second, Justin Hobgood running third and Huffman, fourth. The fourth race caution on lap 96 brought out the first of two red flags during the night when the cars of George Crenshaw, Jesse Wade, Roger Sawyer and Mike Watts ended up with heavy damage. When this incident occurred, Hobgood's car went high in turns one and two with Mackey grabbing the lead before the caution waved. When racing resumed Mackey had the point with Justin Hobgood in second, Huffman third, Bryant in fourth and Strader in fifth. Mackey literally ran away from the others on the restart leaving them to dice for position. But yet another caution occurred when Justin Hobgood's machine spun off the banking in turn two, making heavy contact with the inside retaining wall. His night was done. This incident moved Huffman back to second with Bryant in third, changing the complexion of their championship battle. When the green flag waved Huffman made his move for the lead going low in turns one and two. With his car alongside Mackey's in the corner the two touched with the back of Mackey's car kicking up the track. Huffman's car spun and with no place to go Bobby Dayton's car smacked Huffman's White House Apple Juice Pontiac. The two came to rest with Dayton's car on the left rear quarter panel of Huffman's Pontiac. This incident also ended the night for Strader. Huffman will carry a 119-point lead over Bryant into the final event. Bryant went back to the point with Jake Hobgood back in contention. Hobgood knew he had his first victory of the year in sight so he challenged Bryant in turn two on lap 123 to regain the point taking his car to victory lane. One final caution slowed the field again but Hobgood was not to be denied. Rounding out the top ten finishers was Edward Howell, Johnny Chapman, Derrick Kelley, Ned Combs and Joey Miller. Jake Hobgood was the Gatorade "FrontRunner" of the race with Eric Van Cleef being the top finishing NAPA Filter Rookie contender. The final event for this series will be October 28 at Lanier National Speedway.

<pre> OFFICIAL FINISH AND LAPS COMPLETED: 1. Jake Hobgood, 150; 2. Ricky Bryant, 150; 3. B. J. Mackey, 150; 4. Keith Roggen, 150; 5. Jimmy Britts, 150; 6. Edward Howell, 150; 7. Johnny Chapman, 150; 8. Derrick Kelley, 150; 9. Ned Combs, 150; 10. Joey Miller, 150; 11. Robert Huffman, 149; 12. Zach Brewer, 149; 13. Eric Van Cleef, 148; 14. Angie Wilson, 148; 15. Randy Humphrey, 148; 16. Kelly Sutton, 147; 17. Tony Hargraves, 147; 18. Doc Brewer, 147; 19 Greg Goodell, 144; 20. Doug Gainey, 143; 21. Matt Barnes, 143; 22. Scott Weaver, 129; 23. Scott Krehling, 127, Handling; 24. Scott Redmon, 122; 25. Cam Strader, 114, Accident; 26. Bobby Dayton, 113, Accident; 27. Justin Hobgood, 104, Accident; 28. Jesse Wade, 98, Suspension; 29. Mike Watts, 90, Accident; 30. Roger Sawyer, 85, Accident; 31. George Crenshaw, 84, Accident; 32. Alan Buker, 80, Accident; 33. Ricky Woodward, 74, Accident; 34. Danny Bagwell, 33, Suspension; 35. Wayne Edwards, 31, Mechanical; 36. Greg Harris, 3, Accident. TIME OF RACE: 1 Hr. 30 Mins. 44 Secs. AVERAGE SPEED: 74.394 mph MARGIN OF VICTORY: .527 Secs. CAUTION PERIODS: Six Cautions for 45 Laps; LAP LEADERS: Scott Weaver, Grid - 3; Jake Hobgood, 4-75; Robert Huffman, 76; Jake Hobgood, 77-87; B. J. Mackey, 88-114; Ricky Bryant, 115-123; Jake Hobgood, 124-150.

GOODY'S DASH SERIES NASCAR TOURING TOP TEN IN POINTS: (As Of 10/21/20, Unofficial) 1. Robert Huffman, 2664; 2. Ricky Bryant, 2545; 3. B. J. Mackey, 2456; 4. Johnny Chapman, 2389; 5. Roger Sawyer, 2379; 6. Cam Strader, 2277; 7. Keith Roggen, 2274; 8. Jake Hobgood, 2231; 9. Ned Combs, 2201; 10. Jimmy Britts, 2141.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Cam Strader , Kelly Sutton , Angie Wilson , Wayne Edwards , Robert Huffman , Johnny Chapman , Joey Miller , Justin Hobgood , Matt Barnes