Slim Jim All Pro Series Returns To South Boston

Daytona Beach, Fla. - April 5 - After a one year hiatus, the Slim Jim All Pro Series, part of NASCAR's Touring Division, returns to South Boston Speedway on Saturday night April 11 for the running of the $44,300 South Boston 200.

As is usually the case with the Slim Jim All Pro Series, an overflow field of drivers is expected, with 30 starting positions being up for grabs during Bud Pole qualifying. Naples, Fla.'s Billy Bigley is the only driver that will have a shot at earning a second pole position when the driver of the Bilstein Shocks/Team ASE Chevrolet takes to the 0.400 mile oval for his qualifying run. Previous pole winners Mike Cope and Wayne Anderson have moved on to the NASCAR Busch Series-Grand National Division and the Craftsman Truck Series respectively while 1992 pole winner Bubba Gale no longer competes on the series.

The possibility of a repeat winner appears to be much stronger as Bobby Gill, points leader Freddie Query and 1997 series champion Hal Goodson have all garnered winning honors in previous speedfests at South Boston. This year Query has come out of the gate smoking as he has one pole, one win and one second place finish after two events on the 19 race 1998 Slim Jim All Pro Series schedule. The driver of the W.J. Plemons Insurance Chevrolet earned the win last weekend in the Albertson's/Greased Lightning 75 at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex but admitted in victory lane that he was glad to get back to the short tracks. This could spell trouble for the rest of his competitors.

In spite of Query's strong start, he will have plenty of competition. Along with previous winners Gill and Goodson Sugar Hill, Ga.'s Steven Christian and Bigley have secured top five finishes at South Boston. Also figuring to be a threat is Sorrento, Fla.'s Ronnie Burkett. After two events the rookie driver sits in second place in overall series points. Trailing Burkett in third is Raleigh, N.C.'s Derrick Gilchrist, who also can be expected to register a strong finish in the Hamke Race Cars & Parts Chevrolet.

South Boston Speedway has held NASCAR Busch Series-Grand National Division and Goody's Dash Series events in addition to the Slim Jim All Pro Series. The track has also served as a springboard for such drivers as brothers Jeff and Ward Burton, as well as Hermie and Elliott Sadler.

Activities get underway at 2:00 p.m. with Slim Jim All Pro Series practice. Bud Pole qualifying begins at 6:00 p.m. with the South Boston 200 getting the green flag at 8:00 p.m.

1998 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Race Facts

WHAT: South Boston 200 WHERE: South Boston Speedway, South Boston, VA, 0.400 mi. oval WHEN: Saturday, April 11, 1998, 8:00 p.m. DISTANCE: 200 laps (80 miles) POSTED AWARDS: $44,300 TV/RADIO: Home Team Sports, Fox Sports South, The Sunshine Network - Tape Delayed - Date/Time TBD

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 final 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: South Boston Speedway, Inc.

SCHEDULE: Saturday, April 11 Team Hauler Parking 8:00 a.m. Registration & Inspection 9:00 a.m. Practice 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mandatory Drivers' Meeting 4:10 p.m. Time Trials (2 laps, all positions) 6:00 p.m. South Boston 200 8:00 p.m.

THE RACE: The South Boston 200 is the third of 19 events on the 1998 series schedule. Consisting of 200 laps, the race marks a return to the short tracks after the last event, the Albertson's/Greased Lightning 75, was run last weekend on the 1.5 mile Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex oval.

RECORDS: Track Qual. Record: Mike Cope, Pinellas Park, Fla., Oldsmobile, 15.100 secs., 95.364 mph, 5/7/94 Fastest Avg. Speed: (200 lap) Hal Goodson, Darlington, S.C., Ford, 1 hr., 4 mins., 51 secs., 74.02 mph, 6/17/95

1996 REVIEW: Wildwood, Fla.'s Wayne Anderson earned one of his five 1996 Bud Pole Awards to lead the 30 car field to the green flag. When the checkered flag fell Mobile, Ala.'s Rick Crawford picked up the victory over Tammy Jo Kirk, eventual 1996 series champion Mike Cope, Toby Porter and Steven Christian. The Slim Jim All Pro Series did not run at South Boston Speedway in 1997.

NOTES OF INTEREST:

Five previous Slim Jim All Pro Series contests have been held at South Boston Speedway. Billy Bigley, Jr. is the only driver pre-entered that has won a Bud Pole at the 0.400 mile oval.

Three previous South Boston race winners are expected to compete, looking for their second win. Bobby Gill, Freddie Query and Hal Goodson picked up wins in 1992, 1994 and 1995 respectively.

Gill, Query, Goodson, Bigley, Jr. and Christian are the only drivers pre-entered that have registered top five finishes at the track in Slim Jim All Pro Series events.

STAT OF THE WEEK: In two 1998 starts, Mooresville, N.C.'s Query has one pole, one win and one second place finish. He now holds the points lead and has streaked to $12,400 in earnings after the first two series events.

South Boston Speedway South Boston, VA 0.400 mile paved oval

TRACK RECORDS Qualifying: Mike Cope, Pinellas Park, Fla., Oldsmobile, 15.100 secs., 95.364 mph, 5/7/94 (200 lap): Hal Goodson, Darlington, S.C., Ford, 1 hour, 4 mins., 51 secs., 74.02 mph, 6/17/95

DATE EVENT BUD POLE AWARDS =09 8/1/92 Amoco Food Shops Skoal 200 Bubba Gale 4/17/93 Amoco Food Shops Skoal 200=09 5/7/94 Express Mart/Skoal 200 Mike Cope, Pinellas Park, Fla., Oldsmobile, 15.100 secs., 95.364 mph 6/17/95 Skoal All Pro 200 Billy Bigley, Jr., Naples, Fla. 7/27/96 Skoal/Amoco Food Stores 200 Wayne Anderson, Wildwood, Fla.,= Chevrolet 4/11/98 South Boston 200

DATE EVENT Top 5 _____ 8/1/92 Amoco Food Shops Skoal 200 Bobby Gill/Charles Stokes/Jody Ridley/Mike Garvey/Hal Goodson 4/17/93 Amoco Food Shops Skoal 200 Brian Rievley/Mike Cope/Scot Walters/Rick Crawford/Tammy Jo Kirk 5/7/94 Express Mart/Skoal 200 Freddie Query/Ron Barfield, Jr./Bobby Gill/Toby Porter/Mike Cope 6/17/95 Skoal All Pro 200 Hal Goodson/Billy Bigley, Jr./Ron Barfield, Jr./Mike Cope/Wayne Willard 7/27/96 Skoal/Amoco Food Stores 200 Rick Crawford/Tammy Jo Kirk/Mike Cope/Toby Porter/Steven Christian 4/11/98 South Boston 200 \