USAR: Peach State: Southern Division round four preview

Pro Cuppers ready for Naturally Fresh 250, Peach State Speedway Longs, SC-Through three races in the Southern Division of the Hooters Pro Cup Series, there has yet to be a repeat winner. But that's not where dissimilarities end. The Pro Cup ...

Pro Cuppers ready for Naturally Fresh 250, Peach State Speedway

Longs, SC-Through three races in the Southern Division of the Hooters Pro Cup Series, there has yet to be a repeat winner. But that's not where dissimilarities end.

The Pro Cup drivers have battled at USA Int'l Speedway, an ultra-fast, .75 mile track, South Georgia Motorsports Park, a progressively-bank, grip-laden half mile, and Montgomery Motor Speedway, a flat, abrasive half-mile.

On Saturday, April 8, at 7 p.m., the best short track drivers in the country will descend on a track that has a little of everything they've experienced this season: Peach State Speedway.

Its high banks provide lots of speed, its pavement has grip, but only for a few laps, and it usually puts on a whale of show for the fans. And it may produce the first repeat winner of the season.

In the first of two events at PSS last year, Shane Huffman performed one of the best poker moves in Hooters Pro Cup history by dropping to the tail end of the lead lap and riding until it was time to go. After catching a timely caution, Huffman went from ninth-and nearly a lap down-to first in 41 laps and beat Clay Rogers to the finish by 1.5 sec. to take his third win of the season.

But even Huffman's rope-a-dope win was upstaged by the Peach State Speedway race in August of last season.

"That was the best race I've ever been a part of," said Mark McFarland, who finished second last year. Why was it so good? There were 18 lead changes in a 250-lap event.

But there was just one winner: Shane Huffman.

After jousting for the lead from Lap 229 to 244, Huffman used a slide-job on Mark McFarland with five laps remaining and held on to win his seventh race of the season.

"Peach State is one of my favorite tracks to run at on the circuit," said Huffman, who won the last event at Montgomery. "We had a good car at Montgomery, but our Peach State car is better."

Huffman may be the odds-on favorite to complete the repeat feat, but don't be surprised to see a new face in a Southern Division victory lane this year.

Clay Rogers is coming off a win at South Boston and thinks he's got something for the field in the Naturally Fresh 250.

"I think we found what we were looking for out of our car in the front end at South Boston," said Rogers. "Once you find it, you can use it at a majority of the tracks we run at. I think we're going to be good at Peach State."

Points leader Shane Wallace feels the same.

"I love Peach State," said Wallace. "It's always been a favorite track of mine, and I we've always run good there. I can't wait for the race."

The Naturally Fresh 250 is scheduled for a 7 p.m. green flag on Saturday night. For ticket information, call (706) 387-7490.

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2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series quick Facts

WHAT: Naturally Fresh® 250 presented by Greased Lightning
Race No. 5 of 30 (Southern Division Race 4 of 12)

WHERE:                       Peach State Speedway - Jefferson, GA

.500-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Saturday, April 8, 2006 - 7 p.m. (ET)

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/125 Miles

TELEVISION: SPEED Channel, Wednesday, April 12, 2006 (5:00 p.m. ET)
SPEED Channel, Friday, March 14, 2006 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday, April 8, 2006: 11 a.m. Pro Cup Practice Begins 1 p.m. Pro Cup Practice Ends 3 p.m. Front Gates Open 4 p.m. Pro Cup Qualifying Time Trials 5:45 p.m. Autograph Session 6:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies 7 p.m. Naturally Fresh 250 presented by Greased Lightning

-usar

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Mark McFarland , Shane Huffman