Oglethorpe: Jay Godley, top rookie honors

Godley earns Top Rookie honors. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 12, 2003) - Jay Godley, driving the Malcolmson Construction Pontiac, had a strong run in the Lucas Oil "150" at Oglethorpe Speedway Park on Saturday, April 6th. Godley started the race in...

Godley earns Top Rookie honors.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 12, 2003) - Jay Godley, driving the Malcolmson Construction Pontiac, had a strong run in the Lucas Oil "150" at Oglethorpe Speedway Park on Saturday, April 6th.

Godley started the race in fourth place and stayed in the lead pack for the entire race. This was the first time the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring had ever run on a dirt track.

Jay is running for the 2003 Rookie of the Year title and his third place finish was higher than the other rookies in the field thus earning him Rookie of the Race honors.

"We had a really good car. Track position was essential," said Godley.

When Godley practiced at the facility back in March he experienced tire problems as soon as he went onto the track. Car owner David Malcolmson explained, "The dirt tire we are using has a lot more flex in the sidewall than we were used to. We didn't allow enough room for that and the tire rubbed against the shock causing it to go flat."

When the Richard Broome led team arrived for the race they had all their ducks in a row. The car was fast off the truck and Godley was looking forward to the race.

The leaders pitted during an early caution setting up a sprint to the end. The clay track hardened as the laps counted down producing faster lap times. By the end of the race the cars were running much faster than how they qualified. With two distinct racing grooves the drivers put on quite a show for the fans.

Local media members shared their enthusiasm along with the fans, which remained standing over the closing laps. Victor Fernandez, of the Savannah Morning News, shared that is was the best race he had seen in a while. "With the shorter races there is only one groove, so whoever gets out front usually stays there. But, these guys are running side by side all the way around the track and racing for the lead."

Godley was fast all night and fought hard to get to the front of the pack. Three different leaders encountered difficulties over the course of the race. On lap 103 it was Godley's turn to give the lead a try. Working lap traffic was quite a chore, and often the leaders had to go high to avoid spinning cars. Robert Huffman had been in first since lap 49, but he went high and got into the dust and started to slide. Godley dove underneath him in turn one and took over the top spot. Just two laps later Godley experienced the same fate. His car went high and over the edge of the track. He held on for the ride and kept his car heading in the right direction.

As the end of the race neared, Godley was all over the second place car of Justin Hobgood who was trying his best to get by the leader, Danny Bagwell.

"I was a lot faster than Justin or Danny there at the end. I kept making runs at both of them, but I just couldn't get the grip I needed to get by them," Godley said.

At least two times Godley got into the rear bumper of Hobgood's machine, but Justin was relentless. "Jay raced me hard tonight, Hobgood said."He got into me a couple of times, but it was hard racing. I thank him for racing me clean. Someday I will return him the favor."

Godley also led at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in 2002, before falling out due to mechanical problems.

Next on the schedule is Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 17th. The Goody's Dash Series will run the same night as NASCAR's All-Star event, "The Winston."

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Jay Godley , Robert Huffman , Victor Fernandez , Justin Hobgood