See y'all at Lanier on Saturday night...think they can squeeze any more people in that place than they had in July? Hope So!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 24, 1997 REPEAT WINNERS RUN STRONG AT LANIER DAYTONA BEACH, FL- Lanier National Speedway's Kroger 200 presented by Old El Paso is the 15th event on the 20 race NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series schedule, and after the preceding 14 events, only two drivers have won more than one 1997 event. Those two drivers have to be looked upon as the favorites to win the 200 lap event as both have notched series wins at Lanier.
Sugar Hill, GA's Steven Christian and Wildwood, FL's Wayne Anderson have each earned a victory at the 3/8th's mile oval with Christian's win coming last year on October 20 and Anderson's came this summer on July 3. Curiously enough, their wins are the only top fives that either has earned in series competition at the Gainesville, GA facility. "When it was repaved it changed the character of the track and it seems to suit my driving style after the paving job," noted Anderson. "I've won three races this year in the Porter Cable Power Tools Chevrolet and two have come on tracks that have been recently repaved, Lanier and Myrtle Beach, with our other win coming at what has to be considered our home track, Volusia County Speedway," he added further. In his other two starts at Lanier Anderson has notched eighth and 11th place finishes. Christian has extensive experience at Lanier as this was the NASCAR Winston Racing Series facility where the BellSouth Chevrolet driver cut his racing teeth before moving into NASCAR Touring Series competition. He has won two of the last three series events, including the last event on August 16 at Caraway Speedway, and would like nothing more than to enter into a tie for the series lead in '97 wins with Anderson. "After winning at Caraway we're coming home to a track that Sammy (Shumate) and I know well. Sammy's looking forward to getting the car ready for this race and I'm looking forward to a good run in front of a lot of friends, family and the folks at BellSouth," the series' sixth place points man stated.
While Christian and Anderson could be considered favorites a host of others are expected to battle for the win. Conyers, GA's Ron Young, currently third in the series point standings, has been inching closer to points leader Jeff Fultz and second place points man Hal Goodson in recent weeks, and the Cofer Bros. Building Materials Chevrolet driver probably has logged more laps at Lanier than any series competitor. Of all current series drivers Young has 122 series starts and sits just seven points behind Goodson and 104 points behind leader Fultz with six events left on the 1997 schedule. Young finished third last October behind Christian and eventual '96 series champion Mike Cope.
Returning to the series for this event is Suwanee, GA's Mike Garvey, who won a series event at this track in 1992, an event which produced the existing race record for a 200 lap event, pacing the race in a time of one hour, four minutes and 11 seconds. Mobile, AL native Rick Crawford, who finished second in the 1996 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series point standings, and is now a leading Cintas Rookie of the Year contender in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, is also expected to return to the series to run in this event.
Local drivers to watch include Debris Brown, Brad Correll and Cornelia, GA's Gary McCoy, who led the first 99 laps in the July 3 event before experiencing rear end problems in his Catalina Cabinetry Chevrolet. On July 3, 17 teams were sent packing as 47 drivers attempted to secure one of 30 starting positions in the Budweiser 200. This weekend similar circumstances should prevail as a large field of series regulars, challenged by a generous group of Lanier local drivers should produce an outstanding 30 car starting field for the 200 lap Labor Day weekend grind. Registration and Inspection for the Kroger 200 begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 30 with Practice scheduled to run from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Busch Pole qualifying gets underway at 6:00 p.m. and the 200 lap slugfest begins at approximately 8:00 p.m. ### In addition to the Kroger 200, Hoosier Tire will once again sponsor the Hoosier Tire Pit Stop Challenge. Several teams from the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series will be pitted against one another in a $500 winner take all contest of pit stop prowess. A timed two tire pit stop will be executed on the front straightaway at Lanier prior to the running of the Kroger 200. Back in July, Ron Young's team, under the leadership of crew chief Larry Rapp, snagged the $500 prize in their homestate and many teams are dedicating extra practice time to their pit stop efforts in order to dethrone the home state favorites. ### REVISED DIRECTIONS ! REVISED DIRECTIONS ! REVISED DIRECTIONS ! On Friday, August 29, BellSouth and driver Steven Christian have organized a driver autograph session at Malibu SpeedZone in Kennesaw, GA. Numerous NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers will have their racing machines on display and will be on hand to sign autographs in an entertaining setting from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Nearly 15 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series race cars are expected to be on display. Malibu SpeedZone is located at 3005 George Busbee Parkway and can be reached by exiting off of Interstate 75 at Exit 117, then turning right on Chastain Road and executing an immediate right onto George Busbee Parkway. The complex is located approximately one half mile on the right. The 12 acre park is dedicated to racing and speed and is loaded with action packed attractions for licensed drivers over 18, plus special children's attractions which can be accessed prior to 9:00 p.m. each day. Inquiries can be directed to the Malibu SpeedZone at (770) 514-8081.
Drivers already expected for this appearance include: Steve Allison Snellville, GA Aucnet Chevrolet Wayne Anderson Wildwood, FL Porter Cable Power Tools Chevrolet Steven Christian Sugar Hill, GA BellSouth Chevrolet John Covan Cumming, GA Outlaw Disc Brakes Chevrolet Carl Long Roxboro, NC Austin Snack Crackers Chevrolet David Reutimann Zephyrhills, FL Sunstate Recycling Chevrolet Scott Sutherland Jefferson, GA Nortel/Northern Telecom Pontiac Ron Young Conyers, GA Cofer Bros. Building Materials Chevrolet
### Austin Quality Foods will be conducting a special promotion during the at-track festivities at Lanier. A promotion entitled "Let's Say Thanks" will take place and will enable those in attendance to express their gratitude and support to the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces worldwide via e-mail through the American Red Cross intranet computer sites. -30- For further information contact NASCAR Public Relations at (770) 486- 3591. jn