USAR: Mansfield: Gary St. Amant race report

Southern interlopers help St. Amant maintain Northern lead MANSFIELD, Ohio (June 10) -- Figuratively honking his horn and flashing his lights all night as he tried over and over again to pass slower traffic, USAR Hooter's Pro Cup short track...

Southern interlopers help St. Amant maintain Northern lead

MANSFIELD, Ohio (June 10) -- Figuratively honking his horn and flashing his lights all night as he tried over and over again to pass slower traffic, USAR Hooter's Pro Cup short track star Gary St. Amant kept his Northern Division points lead by fighting his way to a 12th-place finish Saturday night at Mansfield Motorsports Park.

Starting from the 15th slot on the grid after a 16.896-second qualifying effort in his #7 JEGS.com/Speedco Chevy, two-time ASA world champion St. Amant expertly drove his way through a field packed with Southern Division's top drivers. He reached as high as second place on numerous occasions and had runs at the top spot several times but always seemed to get blocked by lapped cars.

Ultimately, a late pit-stop brought on by another competitor's accident left St. Amant back where he started and by the time he managed to regain a few positions the race ended with him in 12th place.

"It was a work-out tonight and that was a hard-earned 12th-place finish," said St Amant, who hadn't finished lower than fifth this year before this event. "The effort paid off because most of the guys in front of us were Southern Division racers so we're able to leave town with the points lead. That's always important.

"It seems like the race was just one of those nights were nothing quite fell into place for us. Of course it could have been worse, and I'm certainly pleased with the work our entire team put in, it was just a fight from the start."

St. Amant tried to make the long-awaited debut of his new Laughlin chassis at this event but its performance in time trials had the savvy veteran electing to stick with the stable and sturdy racecar that has served him so well this year.

"We're fortunate in the fact we don't have to force the new JEGS.com/Speedco car into service," St. Amant said. "We want it to be as perfect as it can be when we race it and there isn't a hurry to get it out there with the way this old one has been running."

Up next for St. Amant is the June 30th tilt at Salem Speedway in Salem, Ind.

-credit: www.teamjegs.com.

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