Lyndon Amick tops tough ARCA field at Lowe's by Don Radebaugh - Concord, NC, 5-20-00 - Lyndon Amick, donning decals in memory of Adam Petty, had his prayers answered Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway with a victory in the ARCA...
Lyndon Amick tops tough ARCA field at Lowe's
by Don Radebaugh -
Concord, NC, 5-20-00 - Lyndon Amick, donning decals in memory of Adam Petty, had his prayers answered Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway with a victory in the ARCA EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100.
With 22 lead-lap cars lined up in the mirror, Amick, in Ken Schrader's Pontiac, held off last-lap charges from Kerry Earnhardt and Tim Steele to win his career-first ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series victory in only his second start. Earnhardt and Steele finished second and third respectively ahead of Justin Labonte and Bob Strait in fourth and fifth.
"I feel very blessed to have won this," said an emotional Amick in victory lane. "We came here knowing we didn't have a sponsor, so we decided to put Adam Petty's name on the hood -- so people would remember him in a positive way, like I'm sure they would anyway. It was pretty emotional inside the car. The race was great. It was the best ARCA race I've ever seen. This definitely raises my confidence for next week's Busch race. It helps tremendously, especially as far as experience goes."
Amick, who started 12th, led the final 20 laps but it was the last one that more than likely concerned him most. After building a sizeable advantage over Earnhardt and Steele, Amick saw it all go away when the yellow flag appeared with less than 10 laps remaining for a wreck involving Brian Ross and Labonte. The two frontrunners were racing for the fourth position when Ross got tapped in the tail from Labonte sending Ross into the wall while Labonte continued on. By the time the track was cleared for racing only one green-flag lap would be left to determine the winner. On the final restart, Amick rocketed out to a 5-length advantage before Earnhardt gathered enough steam to mount a challenge. Earnhardt raced within a couple of feet from Amick's back bumper but could not find a way around in time as Amick flashed beneath the checkered flag with the runner-up finisher in his immediate tire tracks. Ross, who led 11 laps before Amick took over, was able to drive away from the accident and limped home 22nd, the last car on the lead lap.
Steele, who set a new one-lap track record with a speed of 182.340 mph, led at the onset before outside polesitter Darrell Lanigan took control. Lanigan, who opened a huge lead, led the next 22 rounds before the Union, Kentucky driver cut down a right-front tire handing the lead back to Steele. With the caution out to clean up debris from Lanigan's machine, most everyone came down pit road for service shuffling Carl Long to the point for seven circuits before Ross took his turn up front back under green.
Strait's fifth place finish, in a back-up car, was hard-earned having charged from the 32nd starting position with a broken right shoulder resulting from a crash during first round qualifying 2 days prior. The note-worthy accomplishment also brought Strait, who maintains his point lead, the Thermo-Tec Durable Driver top honors. Long racked up his career-best ARCA finish in sixth ahead of Andy Belmont, who won the Hoosier Tire Midwest Hard Charger Award for racing from the 37th starting position to finish seventh. Veteran Mark Gibson, fresh off a victory at Anderson, finished eighth in front of Mike Swaim Jr. and J.R. Robbs who raced from 21st to 10th in his career-first ARCA start.
Double-header action is next in store for the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series with back-to-back short-track shows at Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio on Friday, May 26 followed up with the Jasper Engines & Transmissions 150 presented by Kmart at Flat Rock Speedway on Saturday, May 27. The series then shifts back to superspeedway racing with the Flagstar 200 at Michigan Speedway on Saturday, June 10 and the Pocono ARCA 200 on Saturday, June 17.
CURRENT POINT STANDINGS: Bob Strait 820, Brian Ross 720, Mark Gibson 690, Shawna Robinson 690, Andy Belmont 645, Tim Steele 635, Bobby Gerhart 630, Norm Benning 615, Kirk Shelmerdine 615, Frank Kimmel 565.