Anderson Rebounds in 7/Up Slim Jim All Pro 250 Myrtle Beach, SC - June 14, 1997 - After a solid '96 season that saw Wayne Anderson notch his first career win, earn the season championship for most Busch Pole positions won, and culminate his rookie season with a solid sixth place points finish, the Wildwood, FL native started off his '97 campaign in a sophomore slump. All that changed Saturday night as he dominated the $44,400 7/Up Slim Jim All Pro 250 at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Anderson earned his second career NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series victory by streaking to the finish line 0.5 seconds ahead of Steven Christian. In an interview after the event Anderson stated, "There is no team in this series that needed a win more than ours. We've had a fast car this year, but something has always happened that has kept us from earning a good finish. This win tonight should really lift everyone's spirits. I was not at the shop this week, I was testing a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series machine, but the crew did a fantastic job of getting the car ready in my absence," he added. When asked about the final stages of the race he responded, "I saw Steven (Christian) and Ron (Young) in my rearview mirror on that last restart and I just thought to myself, `Well, looks like we have a third place car tonight, with the way our luck has been going,' but the car ran so good that I was able to hold them off." The track record was expected to fall in Busch Pole qualifying as the 0.538 mile d-shaped oval had been repaved during the off season, but the results were not that close. Mooresville, NC's Nipper Alsup, pilot of the Lift Services Wire Rope Specialists Chevrolet, was the only driver, of 40 who attempted to qualify for one of 30 starting spots, to break the 100 mile-per-hour mark. Alsup was the next to last car to qualify, and many heavy hitters before him all came up short in their quest to grab the top starting position. Alsup toured the track in a time of 19.309 seconds, equating to a speed of 100.305 mph, to earn his first career Busch Pole Award. At the drop of the green flag Alsup took off with third starter Anderson and outside front row start Hank Parker, Jr. in hot pursuit. Anderson showed his muscle early as he passed Alsup on lap six to take over the top spot. Parker then ran down Anderson and strutted his stuff by taking the lead on lap 12, holding it until Anderson wrestled back into the lead on lap 22, which turned out to be the first lap of green flag racing after the race's first caution. The caution came about as a result of a backstretch spin by Sean Studer on lap 18. On lap 35 Anderson began to lap slower traffic and by lap 93 he had placed all but 14 other cars at least one lap in arrears. The caution waved again on lap 101 when debris was sited in the racing groove, and it was during this caution period that many front runners pitted, except for series points leader Hal Goodson. The green flag waved again on lap 108 with Darlington, SC's Goodson appearing to have not made the wisest strategic decision. Anderson regained the lead almost immediately, and on lap 119 Goodson's Burdette Chevrolet/Black's Tire Monte Carlo spun into the turn two wall, as a result of having made contact with the Chevrolet of Mike Harmon. Goodson was forced to the infield to make lengthy repairs, and surrendered his points lead and 100% laps completed percentage as a result. Anderson continued to pull off to comfortable margins only to be reeled in by the caution flag on four additional occasions. The race's final caution, displayed on lap 236 for a spin by Nortel Pontiac driver Scott Sutherland allowed Christian, Young and the eight remaining lead lap cars, including Sutherland, to regroup for one last shot at the Porter Cable Power Tools Chevrolet driver, but it was to no avail. Driving the same Frankie Grill chassis that he steered to his first victory last season at Nashville Speedway USA, as well as also propelling his father Dick Anderson to a win at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on May 10, Anderson earned $8375 for the win, and when he was asked if the car had a nickname he quickly replied, "Money!" Christian and Young settled for the second and third spots while Parker persevered to finish fourth. In his first start of the season Cornelia, GA's Gary McCoy finished a strong fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Derrick Gilchrist, Harmon, Jeff Fultz, Steve Allison and polesitter Alsup. A major shakeup in the series point standings took place after the completion of the 7/Up Slim Jim All Pro 250. Goodson dropped from the lead to the third position while Fultz and Harmon each advanced one position to the top two spots, with Fultz holding a thin two point margin over Harmon. Alsup maintained his fourth place status while Young swapped positions with David Reutimann, taking over the fifth spot. Gilchrist remains in seventh while Christian and Parker moved into the eighth and ninth positions. Sutherland also maintained his 10th place status. Reutimann grew his lead in the Port City Racing Rookie competition to 15 points over Steve Mendenhall, who is now just two ahead of Bobby Hamilton, Jr. Easley, SC's Randy Gentry earned the Rookie of the Race accolades as he was the top finishing rookie, winding up in the 12th position as the first car one lap down. Rookie of the Race runner-up laurels went to Reutimann as he was 13th and the only other car to finish just one lap down to the leaders. After directing his team's dominant effort to victory lane, Anderson's Crew Chief Michael Williams earned $300 from Jasper Engines and Transmissions as well as the distinction of Crew Chief of the Race. As a result of his driver, Ron Young, posting a solid third place finish, Larry Rapp has regained the lead in the season long Crew Chief Challenge competition. Rapp now leads Fultz's Crew Chief Jimmy King by four points. The next race for the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers is the Pep Boys 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night, June 21.
For further information contact NASCAR Public Relations at (770) 486- 3591. 6/16/97-jn