Atlanta: Cam Strader race report

Hampton, GA (3-9-02) For the second consecutive ARCA RE/MAX event, rain shortened the race. But not before Damon Lusk and Chad Blount dueled side by side to the final stripe in what would be the closest finish in 50 years of ARCA RE/MAX racing.

Hampton, GA (3-9-02) For the second consecutive ARCA RE/MAX event, rain shortened the race. But not before Damon Lusk and Chad Blount dueled side by side to the final stripe in what would be the closest finish in 50 years of ARCA RE/MAX racing. Lusk, in Steve Palac's Dynatek-One Race America Chevrolet, beat Blount to the finish line by a mere .001 seconds to win the Pork the Other White Meat 400 Saturday afternoon at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Little did the front-runners know, 2001 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Champion, Cam Strader was hovering in the third position like a vulture preparing to pounce, when they least expected it.

"Those guys up front were really getting aggressive with each other there in the last few laps. We knew the rain was coming when the clouds starting getting heavy over the speedway," Strader said. "It's hard to be patient sometimes, but I just wanted to have a good finish for our friends at ConAgra Grocery Products. The Homestyle Bakes, VanCamp's Beans, and Wesson Cooking Oil brands all supported this effort here in Atlanta, and I'm glad we had a good showing for them."

"The Homestyle Bakes Pontiac was a little down on horsepower today, but a third place finish is like a win for us. This is my first ARCA RE/MAX race, and my first time in a 3,400-pound car on radial tires. Not bad for a kid in a used car - huh," he quipped.

Strader qualified his machine in the 16th starting spot, and methodically worked his way to the front as the laps ran down. "We were a little tight at the start of the race, but the Homestyle Bakes crew worked on the car, and it was really handling there at the end. We had already decided what to do to the car on the last stop, and we would have been good to go after that, but the rain foiled those plans for us," he explained.

"I'm just really proud of the guys that work with me on this team. My crew chiefs, Billy Owen and Barry Owen made some great calls in the pits today, and I want to give a very special thanks to the guys at 5off5on for their help on pit road today. 5off5on is an organization that trains people to go over the wall during pit stops and service these cars. I can tell you that they do a great job with their training. I couldn't have asked for better pit stops today, and really appreciate their help."

Strader plans to run a minimum of five ARCA races, also defend his Dash Series title in the 2002 season. "We feel that it's a natural progression toward the Busch Series," he explained. "My plan is to be prepared for a run in the Winston Cup Series in 2005. It's every driver's dream to become part of the most elite racing series in the country. You just have to earn your way and that's what we're building toward.

The ARCA event will be televised on the SPEEDCHANNEL on Monday, March 11th at 8:00pm EST.

-csi-

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Series ARCA
Drivers Chad Blount , Cam Strader , Damon Lusk