SES: Nashville Race Report

Nashville, Tenn. - October 2, 1999 - Wayne Anderson came into the $117,600 19th Annual Greased Lightning All American 400 needing just a 19th place finish to clinch the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring championship. Not only did he win...

Nashville, Tenn. - October 2, 1999 - Wayne Anderson came into the $117,600 19th Annual Greased Lightning All American 400 needing just a 19th place finish to clinch the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring championship. Not only did he win the championship but he also won the race at Nashville Speedway USA on Saturday night. "I can't thank this whole Jani-King team enough. All season long they've given me great race cars and tonight I was able to reward them with a big win and, as a team, we earned the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring championship," a beaming Anderson stated in victory lane. " I told Frankie Grill, my car owner, over the winter when he approached me about driving for him that we could win five races in 1999. I wasn't being cocky, I just knew that with his team and equipment and my desire to win that we could be a potent combination," added the 31-year-old second generation driver. Mooresville, N.C.'s Freddie Query, the 1998 Slim Jim All Pro Series Champion and two-time and defending All American 400 winner paced qualifying to grab his second Bud Pole Award of the year on Friday afternoon. On hand were 57 other drivers who coveted the $300 award and top starting position but it was not to be as Query toured the 0.596-mile oval in a time of 18.669 seconds at an average speed of 114.928 mph. Rookie Coy Gibbs put his MBNA Chevrolet on the outside of the front row for the 400-lap race. Gibbs timed in at 18.812 seconds. Just as he paced qualifying, Query also paced the early laps of the race, in fact he paced the first 125 laps before making his first pit stop. Early on the RaceCar College Chevrolet driver looked like he was going to make history as he was motivated to become the first three-time consecutive race winner of the prestigious and lucrative race. Query finally pitted when the caution was displayed after a five-car pileup occurred in turn one on lap 124 that involved the cars of Josh Clemons, Ron Breese, Jr., Scott Hansen, Darryl Sage and Tina Gordon. Hansen and Gordon were able to soldier on while the other three drivers were forced to retire over the course of the next 10 laps due to various ailments. When green flag racing resumed Conyers, Ga.'s Ron Young was in command as he had pitted during an earlier caution period. Young kept his Pine Construction Chevrolet out front through the race's halfway point and picked up the $400 Gatorade Front Runner Award in the process. When Series starter Rick Monroe displayed the crossed flags on lap 200 Young was being chased by Scott Kilby, Steven Howard, Bobby Gill and Hal Goodson. On lap 218 Young relinquished the point when he and his closest pursuers pitted during the eighth caution period of the race, which occurred as a result of a fracas in turn one between Scott Henderson and Ken Alexander. Dalton, Ga.'s Gill was handed the lead at this point, and like Query before him, he appeared to be the man to beat as he maintained a sizable lead until lap 295. The caution was waved at that point when Lee Tissot's Pontiac gave up the ghost and dropped liquid onto the racing surface. Gill pitted for Hoosier tires at that point and regular NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racer Hansen was handed the lead. His reign in the top spot was short-lived as one lap after green flag racing resumed Young again took charge. From lap 304 through 323 he maintained the lead until Anderson, the 1996 All American 400 winner, overhauled the leader while both took evasive action to avoid Chuck Winders' spinning Chevrolet. This resulted in the 12th caution of the race. Once the green flag was again displayed, and from that point forward, no one could touch the fleet Wildwood, Fla. driver as he had to survive one more late race caution before arriving in victory lane to accept his second Gibson Les Paul guitar which serves as the winner's trophy. Young held on to finish second while Albertville, Ala.'s Tony Walls, having logged only two practice laps prior to qualifying, made the most of his weekend with a third place finish. Kilby and Query completed the top five. Hansen, Conrad Burr, Ricky Turner, David Bonnett and rookie Benny Gordon rounded out the top 10. Coming into the race Anderson had a 76-point lead over Peerless Woodworking Chevrolet driver Billy Bigley, Jr. and Bigley spent most of his evening hovering in the top five but the 1999 championship was not his to be. On lap 294 Bigley coasted into the pits with ignition problems and ultimately wound up finishing 19th after repairs were effected. Anderson ended up finishing 150 points ahead of Bigley on the strength of five wins, 13 top five and 16 top 10 finishes in 16 starts. Not only did Anderson earn a top 10 finish in every event this year he also completed all 3194 laps that were run in 1999. Both fetes, 100% laps completed and a top 10 finish in each series race, are series records. Bigley held on to the second points position and Goodson did the same for the third spot. Kilby secured a fourth place points finish in his second year of competition while Cincinnati, Oh.'s Jeff Fultz completed the top five. Howard, David Reutimann, Randy Gentry, rookies Gibbs and Rodney Childers completed the top 10 points positions. Anderson's Crew Chief Augie Grill grabbed the $300 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew Chief-of-the-Race honors, and wrapped up the $2,500 annual award for that category. MBNA Chevrolet driver Gibbs finished two positions ahead of Childers in the final race rundown and this enabled the Huntersville, N.C. driver to win the Rookie-of-the-Year Award over Childers. In the closest finish in Series history, Gibbs earned 112 rookie points to Childers' 111. Going into the race Colleyville, Tex.'s Patrick Lawler also had a shot at the Rookie crown but ultimately wound up third.

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