USAR: Valdosta: Round two preview, schedule

Pro Cuppers Ready for Georgia Gem Longs, SC-Usually, the first event at a new track isn't the best show for the fans. Often times, a new track's grip doesn't allow for optimum passing opportunities and a one-groove race ensues. But this wasn't...

Pro Cuppers Ready for Georgia Gem

Longs, SC-Usually, the first event at a new track isn't the best show for the fans. Often times, a new track's grip doesn't allow for optimum passing opportunities and a one-groove race ensues. But this wasn't the case at South Georgia Motorsports Park's inaugural event last season.

The South Georgia 250 was action-packed from the drop of the green flag, and the standing-room only crowd saw one of the best Pro Cup races of the season.

Three different drivers appeared to be en route to the win, but, in the end, Shane Huffman withstood the pressure and landed in victory lane.

"I've never been in anything like that," said Huffman, driver of the No. 88 Champion/US NAVY/Snap-On Chevy. "That was one of the wildest races I've ever been a part of. We by no means had a car good enough to end up with the win, but I drove my heart out to keep the car up there. I guess it was just meant to be."

With a handful of laps remaining, the outcome was anything but certain.

Mark McFarland ducked under Huffman on a restart. With neither driver giving an inch, the lead duo barreled off into Turn 3. McFarland's momentum carried him up the track and into Huffman.

As the pair struggled to regain control, Randy Gentry, running third at the time, dove to the inside and took the top spot on Lap 246, but Matt Carter's spin on the next lap erased Gentry's sizable lead and set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Gentry, driver of the No. 19 HarrisonsWorkwear.com Chevy, was less than a mile away from a breakthrough win when his Chevy died on the backstretch under the caution, giving the lead, and win, back to Huffman.

"It was great to put on a show like that in front of capacity crowd," said Tony Cox, USAR series director. "South Georgia Motorsports Park is a great venue for the Hooters Pro Cup Series. With a year of seasoning, the track should put on even a better race for the fans and drivers this time around."

If the first race of the season was any indication, the South Georgia 250 presented by Astro Exterminating & Termidor on Saturday, March 11, should be a barnburner. No less than five drivers had cars capable of winning the Naturally Fresh 250 at USA (Fla.) Int'l Speedway on Feb. 25. And if you add in the fact that four Hooters Pro Cup champions will be in the field on Saturday, the no-holds-barred gala should be one for the ages.

The South Georgia Motorsports Park gates will open to the public at 11:30 a.m., allowing fans can watch the two-hour practice session that runs until 1:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., the Hooters Pro Cup drivers will hit the track for Advance Auto Parts Pole Qualifying.

Once the cars are lined up on the grid, fans will be able to mingle with the starting field during the on-track, prerace autograph session starting at 5:45 p.m.

For more information and ticket information, call SGMP at (229) 896-7000 or visit www.sgmpracing.com.

2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series quick Facts

WHAT: South Georgia 250 presented by Astro Exterminating & Termidor
Race No. 2 of 30 (Southern Division Race 2 of 12)

WHERE:                       South Georgia Motorsports Park - Cecil, GA

.500-mile, progressively-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 7 p.m. (ET)

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/125 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $131,649 (Includes $36,433 Point Fund)

STARTING FIELD: 36 car starting field. 38 cars possible. Fastest 32 cars through time trials. Two provisional positions for top-30 from 2005 Southern Division Driver Points Standings. Two provisionals for 2005 Southern Division top-30 Car Owner Points Standings. Two provisional starting positions available for a past Hooters Pro Cup Series champion and rookie of the year (only if necessary).

TELEVISION:               SPEED Channel, Wednesday, March 15, 2006 (5:00 p.m. ET)

SPEED Channel, Friday, March 17, 2006 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday, March 11, 2006:
11:30 a.m. Front Gates Open
11:30 a.m. Pro Cup Practice Begins
1:30 p.m. Pro Cup Practice Ends
4:30 p.m. Pro Cup Qualifying Time Trials
5:45 p.m. Autograph Session
6:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies
7:00 p.m. South Georgia 250 presented by Astro Exterminating & Termidor

-usar-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland , Shane Huffman