July 26, 1999 Gosselin takes Kroger 250 at New River Valley - Earns fourth win of '99 season RADFORD, VA -- 'Super' Mario Gosselin collected his fourth victory of the USAR Hooters ProCup Series season in the Kroger 250 presented by Pepsi ...
July 26, 1999
Gosselin takes Kroger 250 at New River Valley - Earns fourth win of '99 season
RADFORD, VA -- 'Super' Mario Gosselin collected his fourth victory of the USAR Hooters ProCup Series season in the Kroger 250 presented by Pepsi at the New River Valley Speedway when the Lake Wales, FL, driver outdistanced the 31-car starting field to earn the lion's share of the $77,550 in posted awards.
"Michael (Ritch) was really tough in the early stages of the race and then Jay (Fogleman) came on really tough in the end," said Gosselin. After starting from the outside front row, Gosselin pitted the W.J. Plemons Risk Management Chevrolet during an early caution where the DGM Motorsports team fell out of the top-10.
"We were really tight at the start of the race," said Gosselin. "We decided to pit early and made some pretty major adjustments to the car. I was really worried about doing too much. We went for it and it worked out in our favor."
Gosselin pitted on lap 77 and returned to the field 14th. He then piloted his sleek black Chevrolet around the .416-mile oval and captured the lead from from rookie driver David Hyder on lap 109, putting him in a position to collect the Lucas Oil Halfway leader bonus and remain out front to the checkered.
Michael Ritch set the fastest lap of the day putting the Jackaroo Sauces/Competition Motorsports Chevrolet on the point for the Kroger/Pepsi 250. After winning his second Discount Auto Parts Pole Award this year, Ritch showed the field the appropriate line around the New River Valley Speedway for the first 98 circuits of the event.
After pitting, Ritch began to mount a charge back to the front when the rear pinion broke during a restart on lap 115 -- putting him out of the event. "It just wasn't our week," said Ritch. "I felt like we had a pretty dominant car tonight, but luck just didn't seem to be on our side. We've got to catch a little bit of luck if we want to get back into the points race. We'll get them in two weeks at Tri-County."
As a result of Ritch's 25th place posting, he dropped two positions to seventh in the Series standings. With nine races remaining in the $1.5-million series, Ritch can still mount an attack on the point leaders.
Runner-up in the Kroger 250 Jay Fogleman was able to gain 10 points on point leader Bobby Gill, who finished fifth.
"We don't have a win this year and that's really eating at me," said Fogleman. "I really would have liked to have won here, being so close to home.
We tightened up the car a little bit too much on our pit stop. You just can't afford to be off in this Series anymore," Fogleman continued. "It's just too competitive. You've got to be exactly on the set up. We were a little off and finished second, but we're going to keep digging and win some races."
Defending Hooters ProCup Series Champion Jeff Agnew, a Floyd County, VA, native, posted his third straight top-five finish and his fourth for the year. Agnew's third place effort moved him up two positions to fifth in points. Naturally Fresh Spring Water driver Andy Thurman posted his best finish -- fourth place.
"It feels so good," said Thurman. "We've struggled the first part of this year. Everybody has kept their heads up, kept working hard, fought back and we knew it would turn around. I am really happy for Naturally Fresh Spring Water. They've been behind us all year. It just felt great!"
Steven Christian cut 53 points out of a 72-point deficit in the $10,000 Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Race to close to 19 points behind Mardy Lindley, although it was Brian Sockwell that collected the $1,000 Rookie of the Race bonus with a 6th place finish in just his third Hooters ProCup start.
Fifth place finisher Bobby Gill earned the W.J. Plemons Hard Charger Award after improving 16 positions during the 250-lap event.
The Kroger 250 from New River Valley Speedway in Radford, VA, resulted in four lead changes among four different drivers; 1-98 Michael Ritch, 99-104 Jeff Agnew, 105-108 Dave Hyder and 109-250 Mario Gosselin. The 250-lap event also had nine cautions for a total of 64 laps including an 18-lap period to complete the track drying process from a rain shower that delayed the start for two hours.
Catch all the action of the Kroger/Pepsi 250 on Speedvision, Friday July 30th at 9 p.m.
The USAR Hooters ProCup Series will next visit Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, NC, on Friday, August 6, for the State Fair Brand Corn Dogs 250 at 8 pm.
Kroger 250 presented by Pepsi New River Valley Speedway-July 24, 1999
Fin Start Car Driver Hometown Sponsor Car Run Led 1 2 10 Mario Gosselin Lake Wales, FL W.J. Plemons Investments Chevrolet 250 142 2 5 4 Jay Fogleman Durham, NC JFCO Motorsports Ford 250 0 3 6 73 Jeff Agnew Floyd, VA Cloud's Clothing Chevrolet 250 6 4 19 47 Andy Thurman Concord, NC Naturally Fresh Mountain Spring Water Ford 250 0 5 21 5 Bobby Gill Dalton, GA Naturally Fresh Dressings & Dips Ford 250 0 6 7 16 Brian Sockwell Brown Summit, NC IRMO Grading Chevrolet 250 0 7 3 7 Mike Laughlin Jr. Simpsonville, SC Valenite Tool/Muzzy Broadhead Ford 249 0 8 8 53 David Hyder Trinity, NC Food City Chevrolet 249 4 9 18 30 Mart Nesbitt Asheville, NC State Fair Brand Corn Dogs Chevrolet 249 0 10 10 27 Johnny Rumley Winston Salem,NC Kroger Chevrolet 249 0 11 20 07 Tim Clayton Inman, SC Budweiser Chevrolet 248 0 12 15 0 Steve Christian Sugar Hill, GA Lucas Oil Products Chevrolet 248 0 13 14 36 Trent Owens Harrisburg, NC Richard Petty Driving Experience Pontiac 248 0 14 12 21 Derrick Kelley Auburndale, FL Discount Auto Parts Chevrolet 248 0 15 28 1 John Kinder Spartanburg,SC Hawk Saw Blades Chevrolet 246 0 16 29 09 Jabe Jones Martin, GA Coors Light Chevrolet 246 0 17 25 99 Chris Diamond Hickory, NC Carechem Corp Chevrolet 244 0 18 27 57 Joe Harrison, Jr. Renick, WV Harrison's Automotive Chevrolet 244 0 19 26 14 Charlie Ford Charles City, VA Sun Graphics Chevrolet 244 0 20 23 22 Bill Plemons Jr. Locust Grove,GA Hooters Restaurants Chevrolet 229 0 21 30 31 Mark Whitaker Greensboro, NC Glaze Toothpaste Chevrolet 165 0 22 11 89 Karen Schulz Statesville, NC Food City/Race Scan Pontiac 145 0 23 9 58 Jeremy Bowser Clearwater, FL Merrick Bank Ford 144 0 24 16 25 Scott Wimmer Wausau, WI Jackaroo Gold Sauces Chevrolet 127 0 25 1 23 Michael Ritch High Point, NC Jackaroo Sauces Chevrolet 116 98 26 4 80 Toby Porter Greenville, SC Pepsi Chevrolet 98 0 27 13 05 Mardy Lindley Taylors, SC Aloe Lu-Ya Pontiac 89 0 28 17 95 Stacy Vicars St. Paul, VA H H Hunt Chevrolet 48 0 29 24 37 Don Sprouse Greenville, SC Laughlin Racing Products Ford 40 0 30 22 12 Tim Edwards Arden, NC Edwards Racing Chevrolet 24 0 31 31 52 Jason Bowser Clearwater, FL Eagles Nest Racing Chevrolet 18 0
# of cautions - 9 total, Laps under caution - 64, Total time of race - 1:46:00, Margin of victory - .9 seconds Lap Leaders - 1-98 Michael Ritch, 99-104 Jeff Agnew, 105-108 David Hyder, 109-250 Mario Gosselin Discount Auto Parts Pole - $1,000 - Michael Ritch Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader - $1,000 - Mario Gosselin W.J. Plemons Hard Charger - $500 - Bobby Gill Miller Lite Rookie of the Race - $1,000 - Brian Sockwell