BIRMINGHAM, AL. (April 25 2002) - NASCAR's All Pro Series made their first stop, in a decade, at historic Birmingham International Raceway, in May of 2001, in an event promoted by longtime All Pro founder Bob Harmon. In fact every event the All...
BIRMINGHAM, AL. (April 25 2002) - NASCAR's All Pro Series made their first stop, in a decade, at historic Birmingham International Raceway, in May of 2001, in an event promoted by longtime All Pro founder Bob Harmon. In fact every event the All Pro Series has run at Birmingham since 1980 has been promoted by "Uncle Bob".
However, 2002 will be different for the Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring as Harmon will miss his first race at the historic fairgrounds that has seen the likes of Bobby and Donnie Allison, the late Davey Allison and Clifford Allison, the late Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer, Stanley Smith, Hut Stricklin, Gary Bradberry and now Charlie Bradberry make their mark at the huge 5/8-mile oval.
Harmon is promoting a different race this year and that is his battle with lung cancer which will keep him close to home in Prattville, Al. Harmon's longtime friends, B. J. Parker and Ben Atkinson, will be promoting this event for him and in his honor have named the race, The "Uncle Bob" Harmon All Pro 200. The May 11 event will see 32 cars take the green flag in the third of 13 races on the Hills Bros. All Pro Series 2002 schedule.
Bradberry, a third generation driver, has established himself as a strong competitor after growing up in the shadows of brother Gary, a former series contender and NASCAR Winston Cup driver. He was the series rookie-of-the-year in 2001 and is off to a fast start in 2002 with his sights on a possible series championship.
In 2001 he finished sixth in the final series points standing recording four top five and nine top ten finishes. He ranks fourth in series points in 2002.
"We are excited about the 2002 racing season," said Bradberry from his race shop in Chelsea, Al. "I grew up around racing and it is all I have ever wanted to do. We have been running other races this year just to hone our racing skills and have been fortunate to win a couple so far but the Hills Bros. All Pro Series is tough. There are so many outstanding drivers and the competition level is as high as anywhere I have raced."
"It would be nice to land a good sponsor for our team," continued the driver who really looks more like a tight end on a football team then a racer. His six foot, 195 Lb. frame is huge when he is next to some of his fellow competitors. "My dad has supported Gary and myself through all of our racing years and I know we would do a good job for a potential sponsor.
"We know the track at Birmingham and have many laps there. We are confident about our chances here because it is our home track but it is a tough track. Perhaps we have an advantage with shocks and springs over the others since we run here during an off weekend for the Hills Bros. All Pro Series. You really have to be on your toes and be mindful of other drivers and your position on the track. With a field of 32 cars, racing will be tight."
Bradberry's competition will come from 2000 All Pro Champion Billy Bigley Jr., who has returned to the series after a year on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, David Reutimann who finally has a win to his credit in NASCAR, Jeff Fultz, who has qualified and started more NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division races this year then ever in his career, Eddie Mercer, longtime short track ace, Steven Howard, the defending champion of this race along with several regular Hills Bros. All Pro Series regulars.
The last time Bigley competed here was 1991 when he started outside front row and finished 33rd after being involved in an accident 70 laps into the event. He missed this race last year due to competing with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Darlington Raceway.
Action gets underway at Birmingham International Raceway on Friday, May 10 when the track holds an open practice session for all Hills Bros. All Pro Series teams starting at 2:00 pm when gates will open. Practice will be held from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm.
On Saturday, May 11, the stars and cars of the series will check in at 9:00 a.m. with practice being held from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Qualifying for the top 27 starting positions will start at 6:00 p.m. with the "Uncle Bob" Harmon All Pro 200 taking the green flag at 8:00 p.m.