HUFFMAN TWO FOR TWO IN 2000 GOODY'S DASH EVENTS By Bill Desmond MONTGOMERY, AL. (March 18) â€“ Robert Huffman waited till the last six laps of the Montgomery Motor Speedway 125 Saturday evening to flex his muscle and take the lead from B. J.
HUFFMAN TWO FOR TWO IN 2000 GOODY'S DASH EVENTS
By Bill Desmond
MONTGOMERY, AL. (March 18) – Robert Huffman waited till the last six laps of the Montgomery Motor Speedway 125 Saturday evening to flex his muscle and take the lead from B. J. Mackey then hold off Mackey to win his second event of the young 2000 Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring racing season. Huffman won the Discount Auto Parts 200 presented by Rapidfire at Daytona in February. With his win, Huffman takes an early season points lead over 1991 series title holder Johnny Chapman by 35 points. Finishing behind Huffman's White House Apple Juice Pontiac and Mackey's Horton-Quality Homes/Advance Auto Parts Pontiac were NAPA Rookie contender Cam Strader in his Children's Miracle Network/Finish Line Racing School Mercury, Ricky Bryant with his Washington Apples Pontiac and Johnny Chapman in his Randy Humphrey Racing Pontiac. Huffman's patience payed off for the three-time series National Champion. "We knew we would have to pit for fuel but figured we could go all the way on a set of tires," said Huffman. "Although I had never raced here I have heard the track was hard on tires so I didn't want to burn up tires early. I was content to ride but keep the leader in sight." "I knew B. J. was stout but I figured his tires were worn as hard as he had been driving. The last 20 laps I ran hard and kept my foot in the gas. I figured I could catch him if someone didn't spin in front of me," stated Huffman. While Huffman stayed in the top ten all evening, six different drivers took their turn at the point with NAPA Rookie contender Strader showing lots of strength in only his first series event. Strader, put his Barry Owen's prepared Mercury on the Bud Pole establishing the series qualifying mark at 20.930 Secs (86.001 mph). "I can't say enough about what Barry (Owens) has taught me in such a short time," commented Strader. "He has worked to get this Mercury running strong cause we didn't make the field at Daytona. The car just wouldn't run." No doubt Strader learned fast because he was in contention the entire event leading 61 circuits, earning the Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award, and he was the top NAPA Rookie of the Year contender. Edward Howell with his Environmental Energy Fuels Pontiac took the point from his outside front row starting position with Huffman and Strader breaking from the fourth place car of Mackey. When the first caution waved on lap 11 for a spinning car in turn four, Strader was able to get around Howell's car to assume the lead. He held the top position opening as much as a 10 car lead over the rest of the field. While he was breaking the wind, the car on the move was B. J. Mackey who moved around Howell and Huffman to take the second spot on lap 40. Mackey was looking for a caution to close the gap between himself and Strader and that came on lap 50. But Strader was equal to the task when racing resumed and kept Mackey's car at bay until the the fifth caution when he along with Huffman, Chapman, Mackey, Justin Hobgood and Ned Combs pitted for fuel. Close racing brought out another caution on lap 81 when Mike Watt's car got tapped from behind as he tried to stay on the lead lap resulting in the cars of Trab Crews, Bryant and Watts spinning giving the lead to the Toyota Celica of Eric Van Cleef. When the cars lined for the restart Mackey was in fourth, Huffman in fifth and Strader shown sixth. However Van Cleef's stint at the top lasted only six laps before Bryant charged into the lead. With 25 laps to run, Mackey and Huffman started their charge for the win with Mackey closing fast on Bryant's back bumper by lap 106. The next lap he went low in turn four to take the lead with Huffman closing fast. Twelve laps later, Huffman had his car glued to Mackey's back bumper finally going low in turn three on lap 119 and into the top spot. Mackey made one more charge on the last lap but slower traffic coming to the checkered flag relegated him to the runnerup position. "My tires were slick and I couldn't get any bite off the corners, "said a dejected Mackey after the event. "Our car was probably the fastest one out there but we had a good run. I'll take it." Rounding out the top ten finishers were Justin Hobgood, Zach Brewer, Van Cleef, Combs and Gary Moore. The next event for the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring, will be the Gold Star Dodge 125 at Florida Speed Park in St. Augustine, FL. on April 8 2000.
OFFICIAL FINISH AND LAPS COMPLETED: 1. Robert Huffman, 125; 2. B. J. Mackey, 125; 3. Cam Strader, 125; 4. Ricky Bryant, 125; 5. Johnny Chapman, 125; 6. Justin Hobgood, 125; 7. Zach Brewer, 125; 8. Eric Van Cleef, 125; 9. Ned Combs, 125; 10. Gary Moore, 124; 11. Edward Howell, 124; 12. Angie Wilson, 124; 13. Roger Sawyer, 124; 14. Ricky Woodward, 124; 15. Keith Roggen, 121, Fuel; 16. Mike Watts, 120; 17. Greg Goodell, 119; 18. Tommy Ballard, 112; 19. Doug Gainey, 111, Overheat; 20. Joey Miller, 109; 21. Randy Humphrey, 94; 22. Jake Hobgood, 85, Accident; 23. Trab Crews, 59, Accident; 24. Len Yokum, 54, Wheel Bearing; 25. Jimmy Britts, 25, Accident; 26. Scott Weaver, 19, Engine; 27. Danny Bagwell, 8, Ignition. TIME OF RACE: 1 Hr. 08 Mins. 56 Secs; AVERAGE SPEED: 54.400 MPH; MARGIN OF VICTORY: .257 Secs; CAUTION PERIODS: Eight Cautions for 50 Laps; LAP LEADERS: Strader – Grid; Edward Howell, 1-11; Cam Strader, 12-72; Zach Brewer, 73-80; Eric Van Cleef, 81-86; Ricky Bryant, 87-107; B. J. Mackey, 108-119; Robert Huffman, 120-125.
GOODY'S DASH SERIES, NASCAR TOURING, TOP TEN IN POINTS: (As of March 18 – Unofficial) 1. Robert Huffman, 360; 2. Johnny Chapman, 325; 3. B. J. Mackey, 308; 4. Ned Combs, 293; 5. Edward Howell, 290; 6. Roger Sawyer, 274; 7. Angie Wilson, 257; 8. Keith Roggen, 252; 9. Gary Moore, 249; 10. Randy Humphrey, 246.