BIRMINGHAM, AL. (May 6 2001) - Stanley Smith and Darrell Brown will be returning to Birmingham International Raceway as competitors on the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring on May 12 trying to derail Wayne Anderson and his Jani King...
BIRMINGHAM, AL. (May 6 2001) - Stanley Smith and Darrell Brown will be returning to Birmingham International Raceway as competitors on the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring on May 12 trying to derail Wayne Anderson and his Jani King Chevrolet in the $49,550 Express Oil Change 200.
Anderson, with three consecutive Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring victories, has jumped from ninth to second in points with his last two wins and could become the new series points leader with Billy Bigley Jr. competing with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in Darlington, S. C. this weekend. "Racing at Birmingham is right at home for me," commented Smith, the 1989 NASCAR All American Challenge Series Champion. "I have raced at BIR recently with other racing organizations but have not raced in a NASCAR short track division since 1990."
Smith, Chelsea, Al., tested the waters of NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 1991 but that was short-lived when he was seriously injured in an accident at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. "It has taken time to get readjusted to driving on a short track," said Smith. "We acquired a great sponsor in Express Oil Change this year and our season started well but ini the last two races, early incidents have put us out of the race."
Brown, the 1984 All Pro Super Series National Champion, is competing on a full-time basis, for the first time, with a NASCAR touring series. Brown, Dora, Al., has raced for years at BIR and has numerous wins at the .625 mile oval despite not having a major sponsor.
"BIR has always been one of my favorite tracks," commented Brown. "We have had good races and we have had some bad races here but the size of this track makes it fun to race on. And think of the history of this track and the names that have competed here. I just consider myself fortunate to be able to race here."
Smith and Brown will be at BIR on Saturday, May 12, trying to qualify their Chevrolet's for the Express Oil Change 200 which carries a purse of $49,550. The last NASCAR race at BIR was a 250-lap event in 1991 won by Randy Porter.
Since this series has not competed at BIR in 10 years, a new qualifying record will be set by the driver winning the Bud Pole. In the first four races in 2001, four different drivers have started from the pole position, Wayne Anderson, Billy Bigley Jr., Scott Carlson and Eddie Mercer. Anderson has been to victory lane three times with Carlson winning the opening event at Mobile International Speedway in March.
Bigley, the defending series champion of the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring, is leading the series points standing by 28 points over Anderson. Bigley will be competing in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Darlington (SC) Raceway in the afternoon and is expected to be here to maintain his series points lead.
Competition has been so keen this year with five different champions in the starting fields. Joining Smith and Brown in the field will be Jody Ridley, three-time series champion, who has returned to full-time competition. Additionally Bigley the 2000 Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion and Anderson, the 1999 Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion are expected at BIR.
Joining these seasoned veterans will be a strong Wireway Husky, Corp. Rookie-of-the-Year contingent of drivers. Richie Beasley, Brewton , Al. is leading the rookie competition after four races with Jody Lavender, Hartsville, S. C. just two points behind. Charlie Bradberry of nearby Chelsea, Al. is third in the rookie standings followed by Roger Parker of London, Ky, Wayne Bowen, Concord, N. C., Jeff Myers, Asheville, N. C., Michael Britt, Cumming, Ga. Chris Fontaine of Lakeland, Fla. and Road Ammons of Acworth, Ga.
Action begins at Birmingham International Raceway on Saturday, May 12, when the stars and cars of the Gatorade All Pro Series take to the track for practice at 1:00 p.m. Qualifying for Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring drivers is set for 6:00 p.m. The Express Oil Change 200 will take the green flag at 8:00 p.m.
Grandstand gates will open at 5:00 p.m. Ticket prices will be $20.00 for adults and children 11 and under $5.00.
The Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring is one of nine NASCAR Touring Series that blanket the United States, bringing special events to many NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks and some NASCAR superspeedways and road courses. NASCAR Touring Series can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. The sponsors include R. J. Reynolds, Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite Trailers, Goody's Headache Powders, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes and RE/MAX International, Incorporated.