USAR: Montgomery: Southern Division round three preview

Southern Division Motors Toward Montgomery Longs, SC-Two races are in the books in the Southern Division of the Hooters Pro Cup Series, and a clear favorite for the regular-season title has yet to emerge. But with the stunning amount of ...

Southern Division Motors Toward Montgomery

Longs, SC-Two races are in the books in the Southern Division of the Hooters Pro Cup Series, and a clear favorite for the regular-season title has yet to emerge. But with the stunning amount of contenders, it may be a dead heat all season long.

"It's crazy the amount of good cars that are in the series," said Shane Huffman, driver of the No. 88 Champion/US NAVY/Snap-On Chevrolet. "There are15 guys out there that could win on any weekend."

And Huffman is right.

In the first two races of the season, Northern Division defectors, Mardy Lindley and Joey Logano, threw themselves in the limelight of the stout Southern Division. Lindley, driver of the No. 03 Titan Industrial Ford, led the final 85 laps of the season-opening Naturally Fresh 250 at USA (Fla.) Int'l Speedway to pick up his first Southern Division win since 2003, while Logano, driver of the No. 51 Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil Chevy, led the final 47 laps of the South Georgia 250 at South Georgia Motorsports Park to nab his first Southern Division victory.

But the upsurge in new Southern Division winners may come to an end with this weekend with the running of the Manfull Investment Corporation 250 at Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway. It's been five years since the series has visited the half-mile speed plant-and it's been a lot longer since new pavement was in place.

"It's the same old Montgomery," said Huffman, who tested at MMS in the off-season. "The facility has some nice upgrades, but the track surface is still the same; it's going to be about tire conservation."

Few manage tires better than Huffman. In the five races last season Hooters Pro Cup drivers were given a 10-tire allotment due to coarse surfaces, Huffman won four of the events.

"I really like my chances at Montgomery and Peach State," said Huffman of the next two races. "I feel like we can win both of them."

But Huffman, who has a best finish of ninth at MMS, may have his hands full with several other cagy veterans at MMS. In the previous three races at the Alabama track, Bobby Gill, driver of the No. 06 Tidewater Interiors Ford, has won two events. Lindley should also be good there as well. In 2000, Lindley posted a second- and fourth-place finish. Clay Rogers, who had the best car at South Georgia Motorsports Park, will likely be in the fray as well. Rogers, driver of the No. 44 Automotive Development Group Ford, had finishes of third and fifth at MMS in 2000.

The Manfull Investment Corporation 250 at Montgomery Motor Speedway will start at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. Fans are encouraged to come out to watch Advance Auto Parts Pole Qualifying at 5 p.m. and join in the on-track, pre-race autograph session at 6:15 p.m.

For more information the Manfull Investment Corporation 250, call (334) 262-6101 or visit www.montgomeryspeedway.com

***

2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series quick Facts

WHAT: Manfull Investment Corporation 250
Race No. 3 of 30 (Southern Division Race 3 of 12)

WHERE:                       Montogomery Motor Speedway - Montgomery, AL

.500-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 7:30 p.m. (CT)

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/125 Miles

TELEVISION:               SPEED Channel, Wednesday, March 29, 2006 (5:00 p.m. ET)

SPEED Channel, Friday, March 31, 2006 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday, March 25, 2006:
11:30 a.m. Pro Cup Practice Begins
2 p.m. Pro Cup Practice Ends
4 p.m. Front Gates Open
5 p.m. Pro Cup Qualifying Time Trials
6:15 p.m. Autograph Session
7 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies
7:30 p.m. Manfull Investment Corporation 250

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Shane Huffman , Joey Logano