JACKSONVILLE, NC - For the fourth time in five USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division races in 2001 a different winner has been crowned. After going through a tough rookie campaign last season, Shane Huffman felt 2001 could bring a new year...
JACKSONVILLE, NC - For the fourth time in five USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division races in 2001 a different winner has been crowned. After going through a tough rookie campaign last season, Shane Huffman felt 2001 could bring a new year of optimism to his Johnsonville Bratwurst Racing Team. Saturday night the feeling became reality when the Hickory, NC driver led a total of 177 laps en route to win the Naturally Fresh Mountain Spring Water 250 presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling at Coastal Plains Raceway. Huffman took the lead from Hal Goodson on lap 166 when Goodson pitted for tires and led the rest of the way for his first career USAR Hooters ProCup Series win in 30 starts.
"I can't thank everyone enough for this win," said Huffman in victory lane. "I want to thank Johnsonville Bratwurst for making it possible for us to be here tonight. We have had a good car all year and tonight we were finally able to put it all together for the entire race."
USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division point leader Jay Fogleman followed Huffman for second, Bobby Gill, Steven Christian and Lee Tissot completed the top five.
Huffman had one of the fastest cars at Coastal Plains Raceway and the former Hickory Motor Speedway track champion qualified on the outside pole position.
Huffman has already collected three top-10 finishes this season. His best finish during 2000 was 11 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Toby Robertson circled the 4/10-mile tri-oval in 15.892 seconds (90.612 mph) to win his first career Lance Snacks Pole Award. Robertson led the first lap, then watched Huffman pass for the lead where he stayed until lap 88 when the leaders pitted under caution.
The pole award was a much-needed boost for Robertson and the TWR Motorsports team. Robertson had suffered two consecutive accidents before going to Coastal Plains Speedway and winning the pole award. Robertson was forced to the pits early with mechanical problems and had to park his Chevrolet on lap 99.
Goodson, coming off of his first win of the season two weeks ago at Ace Speedway, stayed on the track and took the lead from Huffman holding it until lap 166. He was the final lead lap car to pit for tires and was never able to return to the top spot.
Huffman never looked back during the final 73 laps of the race. Fogleman and Christian battled side-by-side for second place on several occasions, giving Huffman a little more distance from the two.
Fogleman remains in the top spot in the Southern Division point standings with 693 points. Christian sits second with 651 points, while the win Saturday night propelled Huffman to third in the overall Southern Division point standings tied with Gill at 635. Goodson completes the top-five with 619 points.
Derrick Kelley won the W.J. Plemons Hard Charger Award for his sixth place finish after starting 21st. Kertus Davis followed Kelley for seventh, Jason Sarvis and Mario Gosselin followed in eighth and ninth respectively and Goodson completed the top-10.
Sarvis used his top-10 finish to win the Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award and Goodson led at lap 125 to win the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award.
The race was slowed nine times by caution for 61 laps. The most involved accident of the night took place on lap 87 when five cars were involved in a spin in turn two. Mario Gosselin, Chris Gordon, Kevin Sasser, Tom Pistone and Dell Murphy were all involved. Everyone was able to finish the race.
Stacy Puryear and Jon Kerley made the hardest contact of the night when Kerley spun on the backstretch and Puryear hit into the side of Kerley's car. Both drivers were unhurt, however Puryear was unable to continue the race.
The USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division will return to action on Saturday night May 12 when the Series makes its first visit to the Peach State in 2001. Peach State Speedway in Jefferson, Georgia will host the Hooters ProCup Series for the ninth time in the history of the Series.
For more information about the USAR Hooters ProCup Series please visit www.usarprocup.com.
NEWS & NOTES a.. After driving all night from New Jersey to North Carolina, after attending his high school prom, Danny Sammons collected a best-ever 12th-place finish in the Hooters ProCup Series at Coastal Plains Raceway. b.. Hometown favorite Ray Peele, who made his first-ever start in the Series, was cut short when an oil line ruptured forcing him to end his night on lap 73. c.. Lee Tissot collected his fourth-straight top-10 finish Saturday night.