HICKORY, N.C. -- Rookie sensation Scott Wimmer continued to write his name in the ASA ACDelco Series record books by scoring his second consecutive victory when taking the lead with 65 circuits remaining to win the Jani-King 300 at Hickory Motor...
HICKORY, N.C. -- Rookie sensation Scott Wimmer continued to write his name in the ASA ACDelco Series record books by scoring his second consecutive victory when taking the lead with 65 circuits remaining to win the Jani-King 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Wimmer has now scored two wins in three ASA starts and became on the second rookie in ASA's 33-year history to record back-to-back wins. The Wisconsin driver won the Discount Auto Parts 300 at Lanier National Speedway on April 8.
He joins 1997 ACDelco Series champion Kevin Cywinski as only the second rookie driver to record consecutive wins. Cywinski accomplished the feat in 1996 by winning at Anderson Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile on his way to rookie of the year honors.
Wimmer, driving the W.J. Plemons Investment Chevrolet, was able to power around 1999 ASA Champion Tim Sauter going through turns three and four on lap 235 and completed the pass at the flag stand. From there Wimmer, who made two pit stops, was able to main tain his lead.
At the finish Wimmer collected $16,650 of the $200,200 purse in beating Gary St. Amant by 0.986 second with Rick Beebe coming home in third.
St. Amant and Beebe battled side-by-side for second place from lap 250 through 275 when St. Amant was able to move to the outside to complete the pass.
Sauter led from lap 108 to 234 after starting in the back of the 34-car field because his Chevrolet failed post-qualifying inspection on Friday. With just 60 laps remaining, Sauter gambled to pit for right side tires and was unable to climb back to the fro nt.
Pole sitter Brandon Sperling in the Crookston Poured Walls Chevrolet led the first 70 laps when Wimmer passed him again with the outside pass entering turn three. Sauter inherited the lead when Wimmer pitted for the first time.
"This is unbelievable," said Wimmer. "To race with the caliber of drivers in ASA and to win is awesome. This is a similar track to Lanier and we used the same race set-up.
"I watched the qualifying race and noticed there was a lot of passing on the outside," he said. "Dick Trickle told me to set the car up for the bottom of the race track and I've found that if the car runs good on the bottom it will run on the high side."
Wimmer said he was concerned about St. Amant at the finish because it was a little intimidating.
"I knew I had to have smooth restarts and run a smooth line," he said. "This is the direction I hoped my racing career would take."
With his second place finish, St. Amant maintains a 68-point lead over pole sitter Sperling after three of 20 events. Wimmer is now tenth in points, mainly because he missed the season opening event in Florida.
St. Amant said he got some good advise from several drivers that have raced at Hickory in the past and told him to be sure to come off turn four low.
"I kept the Wynn's Chevrolet on the bottom and found the track was consistent all day," said St. Amant. "During practice I tried to make the track harder than it was."
St. Amant said he didn't think the team had a second place car and was hoping for a top-five finish prior to the race.
"If I could have gotten right behind Scott (Wimmer) and put some pressure on him, I had a chance to win," he said. "He bobbled a few times but his car was good all day. We did the best today with what we had."
Beebe, in the AFCO Pontiac recorded his best finish in 2000, said pit strategy helped bring about a podium finish and at the finish was out of tires.
"At the start the car was loose and the first time we stopped we over did it and the car got tight," said Beebe. "During the next caution we stopped for left side tires and had our pit stops done early. We ran the final 160 laps on the same tires and we we re out of tires at the end."
Beebe said with about 40 laps to go he was running faster than Wimmer, who he believed was using his tires up by staying in the low groove.
"We could have run second without the last caution," he said. "But the tires were gone and we couldn't run the bottom. This is a new team so we're happy with a podium finish."
Sauter, in the Build-A-Mold Chevrolet, led 127 of the 300 laps but elected to gamble with 60 laps remaining which cost him a possible top the finish.
"When we made the first pit stop we thought we would try to go to the end and gamble on fuel and go for the win," he said. "When the caution came out with 60 laps remaining we decided to pit for right side tires and the car picked up a push. We should have stayed out and gone for the best finish we could have gotten."
The ASA ACDelco Series next travels to Montgomery Motor Speedway on May 7 for the running of the Alabama 300. TNN Sports will telecast the race live starting at 1:30 p.m. (EDT).