USAR: Lonesome Pine preview

FAYETTEVILLE, GA (June 17, 2000) – As the Hooters ProCup Series readies for its first event in the state of Virginia, many drivers are still searching for that elusive series win. Three drivers, Andy Thurman, Mardy Lindley and Brian...

FAYETTEVILLE, GA (June 17, 2000) – As the Hooters ProCup Series readies for its first event in the state of Virginia, many drivers are still searching for that elusive series win.

Three drivers, Andy Thurman, Mardy Lindley and Brian Vickers, have made their first trips to victory lane this season. 1998 Hooters ProCup Series champion Jeff Agnew is ready to join them. Agnew will lead a full-field of drivers to Coeburn, VA when Lonesome Pine Raceway hosts the Hooters ProCup Series at the Food City 250 on June 24.

Agnew, driver of the #73 Twin City Motor Exchange Chevrolet Monte Carlo, used 11 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes out of 20 races to win the 1998 title without ever visiting victory lane. The Copper Hill, VA driver won two track championships in 1991 and 1992 at Lonesome Pine Raceway and said the race will be one fans should enjoy watching.

"From the fans point of view it will be an exciting race to watch," said Agnew. "Although the race will probably be tough on the drivers." The 3/8-mile track hosted its first Hooters ProCup Series race last season and Agnew used his previous experience to collect the Discount Auto Parts Pole Award. Bobby Gill passed Agnew to eventually gain the win in that race en route to winning the 1999 Hooters ProCup Series championship. Agnew led the first 160 laps of the Food City 250, finishing third.

"The track is somewhat like Ace Speedway," said Agnew. "Lonesome Pine is an older track, but the turns are tight and there will be a lot of side-by-side racing which is what this series is about. This series is known for a lot of action and fans who come to see the race should see plenty of beating and banging."

Thirty-two cars started the race last season and with the same full-field of 32 cars expected for this Saturday night’s race, Agnew said the action will be particularly close.

"Last season 32 cars were plenty on this track," said Agnew. "We have had full fields at every race this season and this Saturday will probably be the same. The track is so tight everyone will have to use patience if they want to be there at the end of the race."

The track was purchased in 1999 by HMS, LLC and management and local fans who enjoyed last season’s race are ready for the 560-horsepower, 3,400 pound monsters to invade northwest Virginia.

"We are excited about the Hooters ProCup Series visiting Lonesome Pine Raceway," said track manager Harold Crook. "Food City is well-known in the southeastern Virginia area as a great supporter of short track racing and the Hooters ProCup Series offers sponsors, fans and drivers some of the best racing any where in the southeast."

The race will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the USA Racing Network. WMVA-AM in Martinsville, Virginia, WKDY-AM in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the flagship station WPCC-AM in Clinton, South Carolina.

The track also has a connection with the Hooters ProCup Series. Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 Winston Cup champion who died in a plane crash in 1993, holds the all-time speed record at the track with a time of 16.000 (84.375 mph). Kulwicki, who was sponsored by Hooters Restaurants when he won his championship, also won his first touring series race at the Lonesome Pine Raceway. The track was built in 1972.

David Pletcher took advantage of Jon Wood’s first DNF of 2000 to take over the lead in the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Standings (927-881). The Pinellas Park, FL driver has five top-10 finishes to his credit for an average finish of 11.3 over the first seven races in the season.

Charles City, VA driver Charlie Ford continues to enjoy his consistent season. The Hooters ProCup Series veteran is eighth in the points standings and has collected three top-10 finishes. He is on pace to break his personal best of five top-10 finishes in a season.

It seems the 2000 season has been either feast or famine for 1999 Hooters ProCup Series champion Bobby Gill. In seven races Gill has three wins, a runner-up finish and three DNF’s which resulted in finishes of 29th or lower.

Despite not visiting victory lane this season, 1997 Hooters ProCup Series champion Mario Gosselin continues to lead the points standings with the help of six top-10 finishes in his seven races.

Jabe Jones hopes to continue his steady improvement as the veteran looks to build on his first top-10 finish of the season last race at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Jones, finished seventh for his first top-10 finish since 1998.

Karen Schulz, the lone female driver in the Hooters ProCup Series, looks to return to action this weekend at Lonesome Pine Raceway. Schulz, whose car was heavily damaged at USA International Speedway on June 3, wants to have a strong finish at a track she regularly competed on when she drove in the Late Model Division several years ago.

Fans in the Coeburn, VA area can come out and see their favorite Hooters ProCup Series drivers as Food City hosts a "Rev It Up" pre-race party at the Food City located at the Marty Shopping Center near the track Friday afternoon from 6 until 8 pm. The giant Food City shopping cart along with the cold air balloon will be on site. Lance will have its simulator available along with drivers Jabe Jones, Andy Thurman, Karen Schulz, Shane Huffman and Sean Studer are just several of the drivers scheduled to appear at the store with their show cars. Admission is free and concessions will be available from Johnsonville Bratwurst and Food City.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Jon Wood , Brian Vickers , Mario Gosselin , Shane Huffman , Jeff Agnew