Salem, IN (April 4, 2004) -- Louisville, Kentucky native Chuck Barnes Jr. started is 2004-race season with a bang with a victory in the Taco Bell 50 at Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana on a very cool Sunday afternoon. Barnes Jr., the 2003 Sunoco...
Salem, IN (April 4, 2004) -- Louisville, Kentucky native Chuck Barnes Jr. started is 2004-race season with a bang with a victory in the Taco Bell 50 at Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana on a very cool Sunday afternoon. Barnes Jr., the 2003 Sunoco Super Series Rookie Of The Year, was competing in the Kentucky Clutch & Performance Late Model Division, in which he will make selected starts in 2004 at Salem Speedway. The victory was Barnes Jr.'s sixth Late Model victory at the famed High Banks of Salem Speedway.
"We came here and tested on Thursday and the car felt great," remarked Barnes Jr. "We didn't qualify as well as I wanted, but it paid off with a great starting position thanks to the inverted start. Joe Williamson got me on the start of the race so I just rode behind him a waited to make my move. I could tell Joe's car was starting to go away so I decided to try and pass him and it worked, once I got out front the car was great, I really didn't have to push it that hard to keep it out front. There's no better way to start the season than with a victory and my car in one piece!"
Barnes, in his Clifty Farm Country Hams/Sunoco/Hawk Performance Port City Monte Carlo, started on the outside front row with two time Salem Speedway Late Model Champion Joe Williamson on the pole thanks to the five-position invert rolled by Eiklor Flames Hot One Fast Qualifier Pete Mayden. Barnes took the lead from Williamson on lap 13 and never looked back. Keith Gardner and Pete Mayden later passed Williamson for second and third. Gardner was involved in a heated battle for second with Mayden during the closing laps. Gardner managed to get second in what was a photo finish with Mayden, Williamson hung on to get fourth.
The 21-year-old Barnes will now prepare for the Sunoco Super Series season opener at Anderson Speedway on Saturday, April 17th. Barnes hopes use the momentum of his Salem Speedway victory to improve on last seasons Sunoco Super Series results which not only included taking the Rookie Of the Year honors but an 8th place finish in season points and a season high finish of third at Mount Lawn Speedway. The Sunoco Super Series will visit Salem Speedway on Sunday, October 24th for the 125-lap season point's championship event.