October 15, 2001 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Set To Invade Lakeland's USA International Speedway Lakeland, FL -- The fifth annual Discount Auto Parts 150 presented by Mobil 1 roars to the green flag Saturday night October 20th.
October 15, 2001
NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Set To Invade Lakeland's USA International Speedway
Lakeland, FL -- The fifth annual Discount Auto Parts 150 presented by Mobil 1 roars to the green flag Saturday night October 20th. Featuring NASCAR's touring sub-compact sedan division, the Goody's Dash Series has proved it's smaller sized cars still pack jumbo sized excitement at any venue they visit. Competing on nearly every type of track seen by any NASCAR touring series, the Dash series using V-6 powerplants have the ideal combination of power, speed and handling on USA's 14 degree banked ¾-mile to keep the fans on their feet.
Several local drivers have been successful in the Goody's Dash Series including the pole winner at this year's race at Daytona, Derrick Kelley, who along with car owner and former series driver George Crenshaw, have announced that they will donate their winnings from Saturday night to the New York Fire Department. In addition, USA International Speedway will also donate all gate admissions for Friday nights qualifying rounds to the National Disaster Fund, which is dedicated to assisting fire and police personnel and their families. In light of the recent terrorist attacks, security has been increased for the Discount Auto Parts 150 presented by Mobil 1.
Other Central Florida drivers who have faired well in the NASCAR Dash Series and at USA International Speedway are also entered including Lakeland's Keith Roggen, who has notched his first series victory last season at Lanier Raceway in Gainesville, GA then backed it up by qualifying second at Daytona in February. Orlando's Roger Sawyer has also proved he knows the way to the checkers by winning 2 races this season. Tony Hargraves of Lakeland is also entered in the Discount Auto Parts 150 presented by Mobil 1.
In 4 races, 4 different faces have guided their cars to Victory Circle. Young David Hutto won the inaugural Discount Auto Parts 150 piloting a Chevrolet owned and prepared by former Grand National driver Haskell Willingham. Mickey York notched a win for the veteran drivers when he took his mount, powered by a back-up engine built from components salvage from the scrap pile at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, to checkers. Hickory North Carolina's Robert Huffman stepped up to win the third annual edition while on his way to his third career championship. Last year, second-generation driver Jake Hobgood demonstrated to former Dash competitor and father Will that the family's racing interests were in excellent hands with himself and brother Justin by winning the century and a half grind.
Heading into the Discount Auto Parts 150 presented by Mobil 1 a sophomore driver is leading points and in convincing style. A 150-point advantage hasn't locked up the championship for Cam Strader but does create a rather large obstacle for second place Justin Hobgood.
Defending series champion, Robert Huffman is currently third in the point standings and is shooting for a fourth title in a row. If Huffman is able to surpass current point leader Cam Strader it would mark his fifth career championship in the Goody's Dash Series and would tie the mark set by Dean Combs. Huffman also leads a contingent of four drivers campaigning the Toyota Celica this season. Toyota has stepped up its program for 2001 with the addition of Huffman's team and the Hickory, NC driver responding by putting the automaker in Victory Circle. The win also marked the first foreign make win in the modern day history of NASCAR.
The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series rookie battle has developed between 2 stout contenders Tim Nichols and Shane Hmiel separated by only one point. Hmiel has two wins in 2001 and is also the son of Steve Hmiel, who directs day to day operations for Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated.
To further highlight the diverse group of competitors, the series currently has two female drivers. Angie Wilson from Nebo, N.C. and Kelly Sutton from Crownsville, Maryland. In 2001 Sutton was a featured guest on Montel Williams and the Today Show.
The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series has also been proving ground and launching board for the careers of several of NASCAR's Winston Cup drivers -- Michael Waltrip, Davey Allison, Hut Stricklin, Larry Pearson, Phil Parsons, Rob Moroso, Shawna Robinson, Morgan Shepherd, Lydon Amick and others.
The racing weekend kicks off on Friday evening with pole qualifying for the Goody's Dash Series and Late Model Sportsman cars at 7 PM followed by a 25-lap Executive Racing School event. An on-track drivers autograph session gets the evenings festivities underway at 6:30 with Discount Auto Parts 150 presented by Mobil 1 going to the green flag at 7 PM. Tim Chitwood's Thrill Show will entertain following the Dash race then make way for the Executive Racing School Late Model 100 and the 35-lap debut of the Executive Racing School EROCK Series.
More information and tickets are available by calling USA International Speedway at (863) 984-7223 or 1-800-984-7223.