FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 2, 1997
HUTTO MAKES IT THREE IN A ROW
CONCORD, NC. David Hutto, of Rock Hill, S.C. continued to demonstrate the driving skills that made him the 1995 Series champion as he piloted his No.16 Love Chevrolet Cavalier to a third consecutive victory in Sunday's American General Finance 200 for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series at Concord Motorsports Park in Concord, N.C. Hutto qualified seventh in the 28 car field but had to take the green flag from the back of the pack after the team decided that it would be best to take the No.16 back to the shop following Saturday's practice and qualifying attempts, in an all night effort to massage a bit more speed out of the Chevrolet. Apparently, the gamble paid off as Hutto was able to quickly, thread his way through the field and take the lead from outside pole sitter, Will Hobgood of Winnsboro, S.C. on lap 56. From that point on, Hobgood and Hutto swapped the lead five more times before Hutto took the point for good on lap 185. Hobgood crossed the line a half second behind Hutto to take the runner-up spot. Brian Sockwell of Brown Summit, N.C. in a year-long battle with High Point N.C.'s Mike Swaim Jr. for the 1997 championship title also took the gamble of starting at the rear of the field for the sake of some in shop massaging, and the gamble paid off for him as well. Sockwell, however, didn't have as much to lose as he had only been able to qualify his battered No.54 Cleaver Brooks/C&C Boiler Pontiac in the 23rd starting position. Sockwell's '97 Sunfire had suffered two, heavy contact accidents during the early practice sessions and was just barely able to be repaired in time to make any qualifying attempt, at all. The team worked till 4:00 am to get the car back in shape and the pay off was a strong third place finish, just in front arch nemesis Mike Swaim Jr. and keeping themselves mathematically in the hunt for the championship. Series veteran, Larry Caudill of North Wilkesboro, N.C. rounded out the top five picking up his fourth top five finish of the season. Chris Hall, of Dawsonville, Ga., in only his second NASCAR Goody's Dash Series start, finished in sixth, two laps off the pace and Doc Brewer received the rookie of the race honors, coming from his dead last starting spot for a seventh place finish. Ned Combs of Newton, N.C. must of felt like he was robbed of a top five finish when a caution on lap 198 sent the scheduled 200 lap event into overtime. When the race restarted for the green, white, checker finish, Combs' No. 9 Pontiac lost power coming down the front stretch while running third. Combs was able to nurse the coasting racer back to the line to finish eighth. Jimmy Gross and Robert Huffman had both, battled mechanical problems all afternoon but managed to finish ninth and tenth, respectively. Danny Bagwell of Cordova, Ala. captured his tenth career Busch Pole Award during the Saturday afternoon qualifying rounds, establishing a new track record of 17.171 sec. at 104.828 mph. in the process. But, the No.10 Amerilube Ford Probe failed to come to full speed at the start of Sunday's main event, effectively handing the early lead to Hobgood.. Rear end problems eventually parked the Bagwell entry after only 44 circuits relegating him to a 25th place finish. Although no championship was decided today, with only one race remaining, several season honors were decided. Charles Powell III clinched his Rookie of the Year honors by amassing an unsurmountable 14 point advantage over Ricky Bryant who clinched the runner-up spot in the rookie race. Will Hobgood, by virtue of his 117 laps led in this event, moved ahead of Mike Swaim Jr. in the season long Laps Led statistic and clinched the honors in that category. Mike Swaim Jr., on the other hand clinched the year ending Gatorade Front Runner Award for laps completed over Will Hobgood. The 21st and final event for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 1997 season will be played out November 9 at the Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex in Homestead, Fla. Many of the year end statistics including the crowning of the 1997 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Champion and the 1997 Busch Pole Award Winner will be decided in what is now, a matter of days.
-30- FOR MORE INFORMATION, Contact; NASCAR Public Relations Tim Myers at 919-552-5823. tm