USAR: Iowa CS: Gary St. Amant preview

Points leader St. Amant up for his biggest challenge yet NEWTON, Iowa (Sept. 18) -- The pack of racers chasing points leader Gary St. Amant in the Hooters Pro Cup championship series shouldn't expect to see any big changes in the two-time world...

Points leader St. Amant up for his biggest challenge yet

NEWTON, Iowa (Sept. 18) -- The pack of racers chasing points leader Gary St. Amant in the Hooters Pro Cup championship series shouldn't expect to see any big changes in the two-time world champion's approach to this weekend's Soy Biodiesel 225 at Iowa Speedway. After eight regular season races and one post-season event, St. Amant is averaging a series-best 4.6 finish per event. He sees no reason to change his attack.

"Our approach all year has been fairly simple," said St. Amant, who won his two world titles on the now-defunct ASA circuit. "We try to stay very consistent in qualifying and put our JEGS.com/Speedco Chevy in the top portion of the grid. Then we race smart, try to stay near the front and survive until the end. If we have a chance to make a run at the trophy near the end of the race, then we'll do that also. It sounds pretty basic, huh?"

Basic, yes, and very effective. After securing the USAR Northern Division title, St. Amant opened the five-race Championship Series with a strong second-place finish in Mansfield, Ohio, to take sole possession of first place. He now leads Mansfield winner Bobby Gill by 20 markers and former champion Benny Gordon by 60 points.

Over the course of the regular season, St. Amant collected a win, four third-place finishes, one fifth-place result, and a 10th- and 12th-place ending. "Not bad for an old, fat guy," he said with a laugh.

"The bottom line is the JEGS.com crew has given me a great racecar all year. We have somehow found a way to finish every lap of every race and that's a real testament to this group of guys I have helping me, including my father Bud, who builds our motors."

St. Amant is widely regarded as one of the best short-track racers in the country so some wonder how he'll handle the 7/8th-mile tri-oval Iowa racetrack built by NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace.

"We may not have a lot of experience on this track but neither does anyone else because it's pretty much brand new," St. Amant said. "It's a big place and we go a lot faster there than anywhere else we go but we'll be ready to race. We've had a nice little break since Mansfield and we had time to set the car up for those big turns and the bigger speeds. We'll be fine. In fact, I'm really looking forward to the challenge. This is our version of a Superspeedway and I want to have some fun."

Qualifying for the Soy Biodiesel 225 begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The green flag drops at 7 p.m. just after a Fan Appreciation concert with country music star Craig Morton and autograph session with the drivers.

-credit: team jegs

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Series Stock car
Drivers Rusty Wallace