Lonesome Pine: Race report

Zach attack... Brewer grabs win at Lonesome Pine. COEBURN, VA (May 11, 2002) - Zach Brewer, of Winston-Salem, NC dodged bullets and a wild finish to collect his second career Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring win in Saturday's Food City "150"...

Zach attack...
Brewer grabs win at Lonesome Pine.

COEBURN, VA (May 11, 2002) - Zach Brewer, of Winston-Salem, NC dodged bullets and a wild finish to collect his second career Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring win in Saturday's Food City "150" at Lonesome Pine Raceway. "My crew put a good car under me. I want to thank all of my sponsors. The whole time I was out there racing tonight, I was thinking about Adam Petty. It has been two years since Adam passed away. I miss him a great deal. I want to dedicate this win to him. And, I'd like to say Happy Mother's Day to my mom," stated Brewer.

Act I - To Be Or Not To Be?

Justin Hobgood, of Winnsboro, SC, collected his first Bud Pole Award of the 2002 season. Hobgood's lap time of 17.411 put him at the front of the twenty-four car grid until the pre-race draw. Hobgood's blind selection shuffled the top eight starters. He ended up in the 8th position, while Danny Bagwell's draw moved him from 7th to the top spot. "I wish we could have qualified better, thought we could have. The track has a new sealer on it and it affected us some during our run. We just need some luck to come our way. I have been hanging around Rob Huffman all day, hoping some of his luck will rub off on me," commented Bagwell. "I even got him to sign my car."

Huffman had enjoyed a streak of luck that has given him two wins and three top fives in the first three events of 2002. But, somewhere between his home in Claremont, NC and the top of the mountain at Lonesome Pine, Lady Luck disappeared. Huffman qualified a disappointing 17th, the slowest of the four Toyota teams. By lap 8 he was on pit road with problems. "We had the top link on the rear end break. And you know, that is just part of racing. I guess I was pretty fortunate that nothing tore up. The car is in one piece, so maybe we can come back next race and do better," said Huffman. He finished 18th, breaking a streak of four top five finishes dating back to the last race of 2001.

Zach Brewer bettered his starting position by drawing the outside pole. On the initial start, Bagwell and Brewer battled through turns one and two. Jake Hobgood went low on the track and exited turn two in the lead, having passed the machines of Brewer and Bagwell.

The first of eight caution periods came out on lap 19. Zach Brewer looped his car in turn three. He quickly gathered it up and rejoined the field. On lap 31 Scott Weaver moved past Jake Hobgood for the lead. Weaver showed the way for the next thirty-six circuits. While working lap 67 he got into the rear of Tim Nichols. Nichols was trying to stay in front of the leader and Weaver was trying to stay ahead of a hungry pack of wolves. Nichols ended up in the wall. Weaver looped his car and rejoined the field. The leaders took advantage of the yellow flag to make a gas stop. Jay Godley took over the lead on lap 68.

Act II - The Monkeys

The complexion of the race had more twists and turns than the road course at Daytona. At the end, a lot of drivers were wondering who opened the monkey cage. Series' defending Champion, Cam Strader and teammate Kelly Sutton exited the race on the same lap for the second event in a row. This time however, they were joined by Mike Watts. Ironically, Watts' team rents space at Strader's shop. Strader said (with a frustrated grin), "I really don't want to talk about it. All I have to say is, Please help get this monkey off my back." Sutton explained, "There was another driver that crowded us on the front stretch. It squeezed Mike Watts into Cam and I." Sutton is running for the Mag Clip Rookie of the Year honors. She also is trying to shake the monkey loose.

David Hutto was very strong, But he started the race without gloves. He was black flagged and sent to pit road to correct the infraction. He was running in the top five at the time. His team reacted quickly and Hutto lost only a lap. But, his car was smoking and he ended up back on pit road to repair an oil leak, thus causing him to lose several laps. Later in the race, Hutto was able to pass the leader under green flag conditions, but His race ended on lap 80 when the leak could not be repaired.

Randy Humphrey encountered engine problems late in the final practice. His team frantically replaced the engine just in time for Qualifying. He fought his way to an 11th place finish. Mag Clip Rookie Contender Arlene Pittman had a good run going, until her engine went up in smoke. Another of the Mag Clip Rookie Contenders, Brandon Ward, was sidelined due to ignition problems.

Monkeys for some provides opportunity for others. Nick Pistone and Brian Loftin scored their best finish in their chase for the Mag Clip Rookie title. Adam Dean and Shane Riffel, making their first Goody's Dash Series start, finished in the top ten. Richard Callihan started 23rd and finished in 14th.

Act III - Who, What, and When?

It was a race filled with excitement. Track promoter, Larry Barbare said, "The fans sure got their money's worth."

The last few laps of the race were reminiscent of watching your favorite movie in fast forward. A lot transpired and it made for nothing less than a wild conclusion.

Zach Brewer moved into the lead on lap 78. While Brewer was leading the event it appeared that he was not wearing his gloves. Officials displayed the black flag, just as they had to Hutto for the same infraction. But Brewer was wearing a black glove on his left hand and a red glove on his right. In the glare of the evening sun, it appeared that he did not have a glove on his right hand. Once Officials confirmed that he was indeed wearing a glove, they withdrew the black flag.

Though Brewer was leading the event, he looked like a comet with a long tail. Several other drivers were determined to get to the front. Scott Weaver, having recovered from the spin early in the event, showed muscle by working his way through the lead pack. On lap 133 he was battling with Chuck Gafrarar. Weaver went low entering turn three and had to get hard on the brakes to keep from running into Gafrarar's machine. Weaver, once again found himself facing the wrong direction.

The Hobgood brothers were running nose to tail, with Jake in second and Justin in third. As they raced for position, Justin touched the rear of Jake's car in the middle of turns one and two. On the exit of turn two, Jake lost traction and tagged the wall. Justin moved into second. He started working the rear bumper of Brewer. With just a couple laps remaining, Hobgood went to the bottom coming off of turn four. As he stood on the gas his car fishtailed out of control. From there, Brewer cruised to the finish. Danny Bagwell came in second. Mag Clip Rookie of the Year leader, Chuck Gafrarar finished in third. Jay Godley, Jake Hobgood, Justin Hobgood, Brian Loftin, Nick Pistone, Adam Dean, and Shane Riffel rounded out the top ten.

Other Notes:

*Jake Hobgood moves into first place in the 2002 Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Points Championship. Since Rob Huffman did not finish on the lead lap, Hobgood is the only driver that has completed every lap in the first four events. He also announces that he and his wife are expecting their first child.

*Chuck Gafrarar extends his lead in the Mag Clip Rookie of the Year points. Gafrarar was the highest finishing rookie for the third consecutive race.

Next Race: Lowes Motor Speedway, Thursday, May 23, 2002. The Goody's Dash Series event will follow Bud Pole Qualifying for the Winston Cup Series.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Adam Petty , Cam Strader , Jay Godley , Rob Huff , Justin Hobgood