Fayetteville, GA (November 30, 2000) -- After experiencing a season most drivers only dream about in 1999, Bobby Gill proved last year was no fluke. The Dalton, Georgia driver became the first driver in the history of the United Speed Alliance ...
Fayetteville, GA (November 30, 2000) -- After experiencing a season most drivers only dream about in 1999, Bobby Gill proved last year was no fluke. The Dalton, Georgia driver became the first driver in the history of the United Speed Alliance Racing Hooters ProCup Series to win back-to-back championships after he outlasted Steven Christian to win the $250,000 first-place prize.
Gill, in just his second season of competition in the southeastern-based touring series, enjoyed another successful season in which he set or tied four USAR Hooters ProCup Series records. Gill became the first driver to win over $100,000 in regular-season earnings, finishing with $108,500. Gill racked up seven wins to tie the record for most wins in a season set by Michael Ritch in 1999.
When Gill won the second race of the year at Florida Speedpark, he tied the mark for most consecutive wins at one track and the most wins at one track. Gill matched that mark in June with his second consecutive win at Lonesome Pine International Speedway and both races at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Gill also moved into second place in all-time USAR Hooters ProCup Series wins with 12.
When the 2000 campaign began, Gill wasn't too sure how successful the season was going to be; he got a late start on the season and suffered his first DNF of the year.
"We weren't too confident after the first of the season," said Gill. "We had some other things working and my car owner and wife Elaine convinced me to go ahead and get the car ready for the season. So we got a late start getting the car ready and had mechanical problems at Lakeland (USA International)."
Gill turned things at around the very next race and put his PGT Industries Ford into victory lane at Florida Speedpark. Gill continued the momentum into Ace Speedway in April when he won the first Hooters ProCup Series race held at the .400-mile track.
After Gill recorded back-to-back wins, the gremlins returned with two DNF's out of the next three races, putting him back to eighth in the points standings.
"We were frustrated at the time because we race to win races and the points take care of themselves," said Gill. "Although we had won two races, we had three DNF's which can kill you in the points standings."
The pivotal point of the season came in June when Gill and his PGT Industries Ford Taurus began a four-race winning streak at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Gill won the Charlie Campbell Memorial/Hooters 250 and won, two weeks later, at Lonesome Pine before sweeping the month of July with wins at Hickory Motor Speedway and New River Valley Speedway.
"We had a good streak in June and July," said Gill. "We were able to get the wins and it moved us from eighth to first-place in the points." Gill led in points the final 10 races of the season and clinched the title at Florida Speedpark in early November. The records didn't stop for Gill at the end of the season at USA International Speedway.
Gill will break the single-season earnings record of $305,000, set by Jeff Agnew during his 1998 championship season, when he accepts his bonus check at the 2000 USAR Hooters ProCup Series banquet in January giving him over $358,000 in earnings for 2000.
Gill will have won over $638,000 in just 40 starts, giving him average winnings of almost $16,000 per start. This also makes Gill the first driver to clear $500,000 in career earnings in the four year-old series.
While Gill continues his assault on the record books in 2001 look for more records to fall as he sits second in all-time wins with 12 and second in career top-10 and top-five finishes. "I think it is going to get tougher and tougher to win in this series with all of the competition we have now," said Gill. "We are going to keep working hard to win races and maybe get another chance at the title next year." The USAR Hooters ProCup Series prepares for its expansion into the North next season with a brand new group of drivers from all across the nation and Canada ready to run for the championship next season. Gill has set the standard for over 100 drivers to reach next year. One thing is for sure, they will have to go through Dalton, Georgia to win the title.