USAR: Lakeland-USA preview

Lakeland Set to Host Barnburner Event Fayetteville, GA& ...

Lakeland Set to Host Barnburner Event

Fayetteville, GA– The USAR Hooters ProCup Series will conclude its 2001 season on Saturday, November 24 when the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Hooters 300 determines who will win the $250,000 first-place prize and become the national champion.

After learning his team was folding after just one championship event, Hal Goodson was just trying to find a ride to complete the season and collect any type of points bonus he could get. Now, he can possibly collect more money than any other driver this season.

“ I still can’t believe what has happened for me,” said Goodson after winning his second consecutive championship event at Concord Motorsport Park in October.“ Thanks to Bill Plemons and my dedicated crew I have a chance to finish a dream season for any driver and a chance to finish a great season that didn’t look too great several weeks ago.”

USA International Speedway is a track that can offer many surprises and close finishes.

Steve Christian is the defending champion of this event and collected his first career win in the Hooters ProCup Series. Derrick Kelley won last year by .001 over David Pletcher and Brian Vickers collected a win at the challenging .750-mile track.

Bobby Gill enters Lakeland trailing by 19 points over Goodson and feels confident heading into November winning both races at the track earlier this year.

“ USA International is a track that can be very good for you or very bad depending on how your car works for you,” said Gill.

Shane Huffman trails Goodson by 28 points for the championship and Mardy Lindley sits just 50 points out of the top spot.

“ We always seem to run pretty good in Lakeland,” said Lindley.“ We are just going to go down there and try and win the race and let things fall were they may.”“ The points are so tight going into the final race you can’t afford to have any mistakes or let downs,” said Jeff Agnew.“ We are going to take our NGA car down there and give it all we have. We just hope it will be enough.”

The new points format to determine the 2001 USAR Hooters ProCup Series national champion has ensured that nothing will be determined until the checkered flag falls at the completion of the longest race of the season for the Series.

Goodson could finish second and still lose the championship to either Gill or Huffman if they collect bonus points given for each event and win the race. Huffman has won one race in the championship series and Gill has three top-10 finishes in the season-ending series so each should be in contention barring any trouble.

Gill has two wins already this season at USA International Speedway while Huffman and Goodson have managed just season-best finishes of 4th and 11th respectively at the track.

The points are so tight heading into the final race that Goodson could collect his best run of the season at the track, finish in the top-10 and finish fifth in the final point standings.

While the chase is on by a handful of drivers for the $250,000 championship prize, big money is still up for grabs throughout the top-10 positions.

Going in to USA International, Gill leads Huffman by just 9 points for second place and the 9-point advantage is worth an extra $15,000 in point fund money. Huffman leads fourth-place Lindley by 22 points and that’s worth an extra $10,000 to finish third.

Lindley leads Vickers by just a mere five points for the fourth-place position and that is a $7,000 difference. All five drivers in the top-five could gain or lose as much as $222,000 depending on where they finish in the top-five.

“ This is just a couple of the scenarios that could play out at Lakeland,” said USAR Media Relations Director Tim Southers.“ The fans should have one heck of an exciting day watching some of the best short track drivers in America battle for 300 laps with so much at stake.”

While the drivers will battle on the track to determine the national championship, other members of the teams will also get to challenge for their own championship.

The top five teams from the final regular season standings in each division, plus the highest finishing rookie from each division, will go head-to-head in the Goodyear Pit Crew Championship to be held Saturday afternoon before the race.

Goodson, Gill, Huffman, Fogleman and Christian qualified from the Southern division and Jason Sarvis won entry as the highest finishing rookie.

Lindley, Jeff Agnew, Vickers, Charlie Ford and Mike Herman, Jr. all qualified from the Northern division with Donnie Hill entered as the highest finishing rookie driver.

“ Thanks to the fine folks at Goodyear we are pleased to offer this competition for the crews of the respective teams,” added Southers.“ This is a title that means a lot to the crew members and there are 12 teams who want to have bragging rights for the next year. We expect close competition.”

For more information on the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Hooters 300 and the Goodyear Pit Crew Championship please contact USA International Speedway at 1-800-964-7223.

-USAR-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Vickers , Shane Huffman , Jeff Agnew , Alan Kulwicki