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Kenly here we come! 1997 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Race Facts WHAT: Austin 200 WHERE: Southern National Speedway, Kenly, NC, 0.400 paved oval WHEN: Saturday night, May 3, 1997 - 8:00 p.m. EDT DISTANCE: ...

Kenly here we come!

1997 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Race Facts

WHAT: Austin 200 WHERE: Southern National Speedway, Kenly, NC, 0.400 paved oval WHEN: Saturday night, May 3, 1997 - 8:00 p.m. EDT DISTANCE: 200 laps (80 miles) POSTED AWARDS: $44,850

FIELD: 30 cars. Starting positions 1-26 will be determined by time trials (2 laps), positions 27-30 will be available to any of the top 30 eligible drivers in the 1997 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Championship point standings, who have entered the event, but have not qualified for one of the original 26 starting positions. If a starting position(s) remains unfilled, then that starting position(s) will become available to the next eligible car from the qualifying procedure for the event.

SANCTION: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR)

PROMOTER: Southern Motorsports, Inc.

CONTACTS: Jim Noltimier, NASCAR, (770) 486-3591 Jerry Reid, Southern National Speedway, (919) 284-1114

SCHEDULE: Saturday, May 3 Registration & Inspection 10:00 a.m. Practice 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mandatory Drivers' Meeting 4:15 p.m. Time Trials 6:00 p.m. Austin 200 8:00 p.m. (approx.)

THE RACE: The Austin 200 is the third of 20 events on the 1997 series schedule and, after two events, the points lead is shared by sophomore drivers Jeff Fultz and Nipper Alsup. Each has notched a win and a fourth place finish to date. Neither has ever finished in the top five at this track.

RECORDS: Track Qual. Record: Wayne Anderson, Wildwood, FL, Chevrolet, 14.672 secs. (98.146 mph), 5/4/96 Fastest Avg. Speed: Toby Porter, Greenville, SC, Chevrolet, 1hr., 12 mins., 49 secs., (66.24 mph), 5/4/96

1996 REVIEW: Greenville, SC's Toby Porter picked up the win in the Centura 200 on May 4, 1996. Rounding out the top five were Mike Cope, Steven Christian, Jim Kelley and Rick Crawford. Only Christian and Kelley will return as Porter, Cope and Crawford have moved on to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

NOTES OF INTEREST: Southern National Speedway is one of the newer short tracks in America and no expense was spared during its construction. This modern facility has a complete press box and VIP Suites. A new wave of area drivers are campaigners in the Slim Jim All Pro Series. Roxboro, NC's Carl Long, a Port City Racing Rookie of the Year candidate, is competing on the series full time this year as is Raleigh, NC's Steve Mendenhall, another Port City Racing Rookie candidate. Two additional Raleigh residents, Dan Matthews and Derrick Gilchrist, are competing full time on the 20 event schedule. Matthews is once again wheeling his Lacy Buffaloe Construction/John Boy & Billy Big Show Chevrolet while Gilchrist is campaigning the Fairfield Inns Chevrolet owned and wrenched by Robert Hamke. This event will mark the second time that the series will compete at Southern National Speedway. This event was originally scheduled as the fourth event on the 20 race schedule but has become the third event with the rescheduling of the Domino's Pizza 200 to May 10, 1997, as a result of the Greenville-Pickens Speedway event being rained out on Saturday night, April 26, 1997. As of April 21, 1997, 42 cars were pre-entered for the 30 starting positions.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Fultz and Alsup are tied for the series lead with 340 points. Each has a first and a fourth place finish after two events.

MEDIA SERVICES: NASCAR Online, NASCAR's Official Internet Site on the World Wide Web can be accessed at http://www.nascar.com and offers up to the minute information on the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series and all of NASCAR's racing divisions.

The NASCAR MEDIAFAX SERVICE is a 24-hour, 7-days-a- week, fax-on- demand system offering results, statistics, press releases, qualifying and race reports and other information. The number to call is 201/302-RACE (media use only).

HEADQUARTER MOTEL: Holiday Inn Express, 115 US Highway 70-A (I-95, Exit 97), Selma, NC 27576, Contacts: Sherry Pounds, Judy Jarvis, (919) 965-4000, 60 rooms, single or double, $42.00

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 27, 1997 Southern National Speedway Next Battleground for NSJAPS DAYTONA BEACH, FL- Over 40 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers have pre-entered the $44,850 Austin 200, scheduled for this Saturday night at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, NC. The Austin 200, originally the fourth event on the 20 race schedule, now represents the series' third event of 1997. The Domino's Pizza 200, originally scheduled for April 26 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, was rained out and has been rescheduled for May 10. In last year's event Greenville, SC's Toby Porter picked up one of four victories that he earned in '96. Porter bested Mike Cope, Steven Christian, local hotshoe Jimmy Kelley and Rick Crawford. Porter, Cope and Crawford have moved on to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series while Christian and Kelley will return to compete this weekend. Two Raleigh, NC residents, Dan Matthews and Derrick Gilchrist, will have an opportunity to showcase their knowledge of this 0.400 mile paved oval. Matthews, driver of the Lacy Buffaloe Construction/John Boy & Billy Big Show Chevrolet, and Gilchrist, the sophomore sensation who drives the Fairfield Inns Chevrolet, each have turned numerous laps at Southern National before graduating to NASCAR Touring Series competition. A couple of area drivers are in the hunt for Port City Racing Rookie of the Year honors and their knowledge of the track could prove to be beneficial. Currently tied for the points lead in the rookie battle, Roxboro, NC's Carl Long, who wheels the Austin Snack Crackers Chevrolet and would like nothing more to win this event sponsored by his car sponsor, and Steve Mendenhall, pilot of the Interstate Batteries/Battery Pros Chevrolet, may figure prominently in the final finishing order after 200 laps. Milford, OH's Jeff Fultz and Huntersville, NC's Nipper Alsup lead the point standings by 77 points over Birmingport, AL's Mike Harmon. Each of the points leaders has notched one win and one fourth place finish after two events. Just as Fultz and Alsup are tied for the series points lead, their respective crew chiefs, Jimmy King and Shane Wilson, are likewise tied for the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Crew Chief Challenge. David Reutimann, Zephyrhills, FL and Shawn Hendricks of Easley, SC are tied for the lead in the Port City Racing Rookie of the Year standings with Long and Mendenhall, all having 13 points each. On Saturday, Registration and Inspection begins at 10:00 a.m. with Practice being held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Time trials get underway at 6:00 p.m. with the green flag waving on the Austin 200 at approximately 8:00 p.m. The starting field will consist of 26 starters, with up to four additional starting positions available to any of the top 30 eligible drivers in the 1997 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Championship point standings, who have entered the event, but have not qualified for one of the original 26 starting positions. -30- For further information contact NASCAR Public Relations at (770) 486-3591. jn 4/27/97

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