USAR: Madison: Northern Division round three preview

St. Amant looking for memorable Memorial Day weekend Veteran atop standings heading into Sears Auto Center 200 at Madison Int'l Speedway Longs, S.C.--There isn't much the Gary St. Amant hasn't seen or done in his racing career. In a career ...

St. Amant looking for memorable Memorial Day weekend

Veteran atop standings heading into Sears Auto Center 200 at Madison Int'l Speedway

Longs, S.C.--There isn't much the Gary St. Amant hasn't seen or done in his racing career. In a career spanning nearly 25 years, the Delaware, Ohio, driver has won the All-American 400, the Snowball Derby and two championships on the ASA National Tour.

But heading into the Sears Auto Center 200 at Madison Int'l Speedway on Saturday, May 26, St. Amant is in uncharted waters. For the first time since moving into the Hooters Pro Cup Series, St. Amant is tied with Clay Rogers atop the point standings in the Sears Auto Center Northern Division. While it may seem a little early for accolades, St. Amant's early-season momentum should cause concern for his Northern Division counterparts.

"It took us about six or seven races last season to get rolling," said St. Amant, driver of the No. 7n JEGS.com/Speedco Chevrolet. "To come out and get two top-five finishes right off the bat just tickles me to death. We've got a lot of new guys on the team, and we've still got some work to do, but we've had a good car in both races."

But at Madison, St. Amant will have another car. The veteran driver has put the finishing touches on a new chassis that will debut in the Sears Auto Center 200.

"I had this feeling in the first two races, and I didn't know what it was," said St. Amant. "Then I realized that it was the first time I'd been to the track without my best piece. We're going to Madison with a new car, and we've got a damn good backup car."

While St. Amant has gotten off to a stout start, several of the perennial frontrunners have stumbled out to the gate.

Benny Gordon, driver of the No. 66n Samuel Metals Ford, has posted two finishes outside the top 20 and slipped to 22nd in points. Jeff Agnew, driver of the No. 73n Mark IV Suzuki/Team 7 Ford, has also suffered misfortune in both events and sits 17th in the standings. Shane Wallace, driver of the No. 38n Sears Auto Center Ford, has finishes of 18th and 21st in the first two events and is 14th in the standings.

But don't expect these drivers to continue this trend. Each one could take the trophy this weekend. Actually, there will be at least 15 drivers in the Sears Auto Center 200 that have a legitimate shot at victory.

Clay Rogers, driver of the No. 29n Bowen Family Homes Chevrolet, is one of the those drivers, but the 2006 Hooters Pro Cup Series champion will have to overcome a bit of jet lag to do so.

Rogers will be competing in the Craftsman Truck race at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on Saturday afternoon and flying into Madison, hopefully in time for qualifying at 4:30 p.m. If not, Clay's brother, Brad, will qualify the car for him.

The Sears Auto Center 200 is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday, May 26. Front gates will open for spectators at 3:30 p.m. Following qualifying for the Hooters Pro Cup Series, fan will be allowed on the frontstretch for the Wraps INK Autograph Session at 5:45 p.m. Following the Sears Auto Center 200, the MIS Limited Late Model division will compete in a 30-lap feature.

For more information, call MIS at (608) 835-8305.

2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series quick Facts for the Sears Auto Center Northern Division

WHAT: Sears Auto Center 200 presented by BFGoodrich Tires

WHERE:                         Madison International Speedway (MIS), Madison, WI

.5.-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Saturday May 26, 2007

DISTANCE: 200 Laps/ 100 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $122,670 (Includes $37,000 Point Fund)

STARTING FIELD: 36 car starting field - 38 cars possible - Fastest 32 cars through time trials -- two provisional position from 2007 Northern Division top- 30 Driver Points Standings and two provisional position from 2007 Northern Division top-30 Owner points Standing. Provisional for past Champion and past Rookie of the Year (only if necessary)

TELEVISION:                 SPEED Channel           Wednesday June 6, 2007 (4 p.m. ET)

Friday, June 8, 2007 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Thursday May 3, 2007:
12:00 a.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begin
2:00 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
2:45-3:15 Limited Late Model Practice
3:30 p.m. Front Gates Opens
3:45 p.m. Limited Late Model Qualifying
4:30 p.m. Sears Auto Center 200 Qualifying for the USAR HPCS
5:45 p.m. Wraps Ink on track Autograph Session for the USAR HPCS
6:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies for the Sears Auto Center 200
7:000 p.m. Sears Auto Center 200
    To Follow Limited Late Model race 30 laps

HPCS Track Qualifying Record at MIS:
Benny Gordon Date: 9/9/05 Time: 18.751 seconds Speed: 95.995 MHP

Past Winners at Madison International Speedway (MIS)

Year                 Race Winner                             Pole Winner

2006 Shelby Howard Benny Gordon
2005 Benny Gordon Benny Gordon

-credit: usar

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Shelby Howard , Jeff Agnew