Huge payday for Junior Hanley in Sunoco 150; Canadian legend wins $7,515 with bonus from Rug Doctor Rents Columbus, Ohio (September 21, 2002) - Winning his 16th career event in the Sunoco Super Series, Canadian Legend Junior Hanley collected ...
Huge payday for Junior Hanley in Sunoco 150;
Canadian legend wins $7,515 with bonus from Rug Doctor Rents
Columbus, Ohio (September 21, 2002) - Winning his 16th career event in the Sunoco Super Series, Canadian Legend Junior Hanley collected $7,515 for his most recent victory in the Sunoco 150 at Columbus Motor Speedway. Driving the Rick Cole Enterprises / Big Rigs Truck & Trailer Maintenance Chevrolet, Hanley earned a $3,600 bonus from Rug Doctor Rents after first grabbing the Tobacco Depot Fast Qualifier Award and then winning the Sunoco 150. Hanley inherited the top position after early race leader Robbie Dean was forced to visit pit road when his number 77 Ford began overheating under the caution on lap 64. Hanley then held off Joel Kauffman to win his sixth event of the 2002 season.
"I started with low air pressure and the car wasn't that good, but it came around. I was good on the outside, but I was even better on the bottom. It took a few laps to get going and then the car was good," said Junior Hanley. "For me to win the points, I'll have to be real lucky. Joel will have to have some problems and then I could have some trouble at Indianapolis Raceway Park," added Hanley about his hopes of winning the Sunoco Super Series Championship. Hanley trails Kauffman by 47 points with two events remaining on the schedule.
As the Sunoco 150 began, inside-front row starter Brent Downey got a super jump on Robbie Dean, as the number 25 Commonwealth Engineering Chevrolet roared into the lead. J.R. Roahrig settled in third spot with Kauffman in the LA West Luxury Vehicles / Choo Choo Customs Chevrolet and Hanley rounding out the top-five.
On the seventh lap heading out of turn two, Dean turned underneath Downey and was scored as the race leader on the lap eight. Once in the top spot, Dean was able to stretch his lead over the remaining top-five runners. On the 13th go-around, Roahrig wheeled the Gaerte Engines Dodge into second place, getting by Downey. Kauffman, Hanley and local favorite Donnie Hill passed Downey one lap later.
On lap 22, Hanley began his charge to the top of the leader board. The former three-time ACT Champion muscled around Joel Kauffman. Hanley drove on the outside of Kauffman and battled with the 16-year-old for two laps before Hanley completing the pass for third position.
The initial caution flag occurred on lap 28 when Evan Jackson and Tim Phillips made contact that resulted with Phillips hammering the third turn wall. The Kalamazoo, Mich., competitor was finished for the evening with rear end damage.
When racing action resumed, Dean continued to show the way, as Hanley continued his march to the front. Hanley bypassed Roahrig on the 42nd circuit and then set his sights on the race leader. As he caught Dean and began to apply some pressure on the leader, the caution then waved on the 62nd circuit when Eddie Van Meter went spinning.
Under this caution period, Dean's machine was overheating and he visited the pit area. The former track champion wasn't a factor the remainder of the Sunoco 150. Hanley inherited the lead on lap 65 with Kauffman, Roahrig, Hill and Downey comprising the top-five.
The remainder of the race, Hanley appeared to be cruising towards his 16th career victory in the Sunoco Super Series, but received a late-race challenge from Joel Kauffman. With six laps remaining, Kauffman bumped Hanley in the rear end, but allowed the race leader to gather his mount back exiting the fourth turn. Kauffman made several more attempts to grab the victory, but settled for second position. Roahrig finished third with Hill and Downey rounding out the top-five.
Junior Hanley was the fastest of 24 competitors and established a track record with a lap of 13.975 seconds / 85.782 mph. Jim Crabtree Jr. was the winner of the Lane Automotive/K&N Performance Filters Hard Charger, finishing in seventh position after starting in 17th slot. Andy Ponstein was the Hubler Group/Blake Carburetion Rookie of the Race. Hanley and Crabtree were the winners of the Goodyear Performance Awards. Joel Kauffman was the winner of the Sweet Move of the Race. Hanley was awarded the Rug Doctor Clean Sweep Award, collecting $3,600 bonus.
The next Sunoco Super Series event is the Car Brite 200 Presented By LA West Luxury Vehicles at Winchester Speedway on Saturday, October 5. For up-to-the-minute coverage, fans can visit the official series website at www.sunocosuperseries.com.