CHAFFIN ARRIVES LATE AND FAST AT USA Lakeland, FL â€“ Chad Chaffin arrived at USA International Speedway with just one hour remaining in the final practice session and was the second to the last car on the high banked Â¾ mile speedway to attempt...
CHAFFIN ARRIVES LATE AND FAST AT USA
Lakeland, FL – Chad Chaffin arrived at USA International Speedway with just one hour remaining in the final practice session and was the second to the last car on the high banked ¾ mile speedway to attempt a qualifying run. When the dust settled the Symrna, Tennessee driver who is tied for fourth in all-time wins at Nashville USA Speedway was the pole sitter for tomorrow’s Naturally Fresh Foods 250 for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series. The pole run was a redemption of sorts for Chaffin and the crew who drove through the night to Lakeland after a disappointing run in a late model race Saturday night in Nashville. Chaffin’s short track expertise has him in the company of such names as Darrell Waltrip, Sterling Marlin and Bobby Hamilton in the Nashville win list and has also earned him 4 career wins and 5 poles in United Speed Alliance Racing events.
Former ARCA champion and track record holder at USA, Bob Schacht appeared to have earned his third career pole in the series, set the second fastest time in making his return to the series following a four race absence.
The top two challengers for the 1998 crown, defending Hooters Pro Cup champion Mario Gosselin from nearby Lake Wales and Floyd, Virginia’s Jeff Agnew make up the second row of the starting grid. The point battle which tilts in the favor of Agnew continues to be a tight race with Justin Labonte and Marty Ward still within striking distance with only five races left in the season following the Lakeland event. Fair Forest, South Carolina’s Jerry Rector starts from the inside of the third row with rookie contender Justin Labonte, son of two time Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte. Labonte, a 17 year old high school student has led in the Hooters Pro Cup Series on three different occasions including the most recent race at USA International on the July Fourth weekend. In that race Labonte , who was then second in points to a sidelined Gosselin, worked his way into the race lead and was pulling away from the field when a piece of debris punctured the oil cooler on his Monte Carlo.
The 34 car field will rumble to the line when the Naturally Fresh 250 gets the green flag at 2:00 PM Monday afternoon at USA International Speedway in Lakeland. USA is located at I-4 exit 20, 5 miles east of Lakeland. An autograph session, which has become a tradition in the Hooters Pro Cup Series precedes racing at 12:30.