Chicago race report

Slaughter Sizzles At Chicago; Speakman Second - Again! CICERO IL, 8-18-01 - With just four races left in the 2001 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series season, defending champion and current points leader Robbin Slaughter seems to have sealed his ...

Slaughter Sizzles At Chicago; Speakman Second - Again!

CICERO IL, 8-18-01 - With just four races left in the 2001 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series season, defending champion and current points leader Robbin Slaughter seems to have sealed his fate. The Columbus, Ohio veteran driver took his third victory this season on Saturday at Chicago Motor Speedway, his eighth career ARCA truck win in three years of competition. Last year, Slaughter was victorious at the next three tracks on the ARCA truck series schedule: Illiana, Salem and Toledo. With a more than 100-point lead over Chad Guinn in second, Slaughter is arguably headed for his second series crown in as many years.

"This is just so hard to believe," Slaughter said, with a big grin. "We really didn't think we were good enough to get up front and win in Chicago, but things went right, and we were really patient."

After Slaughter qualified 10th in the Carmen's Vacuum-Napa Auto Parts Ford, he fought his way up to second place, passing Piqua, Ohio's Jeff Speakman on lap 32 to take the lead. Slaughter crossed the line just 0.187-of-a-second in front of Speakman.

"I'm real sick of coming in second," said Speakman, who took his third second place finish of the season at Chicago in the Pennzoil-National Auto Lube Ford. "Robbin got us on the restart and did a real good job of keeping it down on the bottom of the track and not letting us get underneath him. Our congratulations go out to Robbin. He ran a good race."

Slaughter's win was not without its surprises. With around 12 laps to go, the #6 truck started to push. Slaughter's crew discovered a flat right front tire when the truck pulled into victory lane.

"It was starting to push real bad in middle of the corners, and I just adjusted my line a little bit to take care of that," Slaughter said. "I had to slow down a lot more in turns 3 and 4 to get through good. Speakman caught right back up to me in 3 and 4 every lap. It was sort of touchy there for a while. But the motor just ran great. I'd really like to thank my crew, my crew chief Tom Cumbow, Tom Hooker, my engine builder, Carmen's Vacuum Sales and Napa Auto Parts for sponsoring us, and Ed and Company Racing Chassis. We were definitely hooked up today."

Dayton, Ohio rookie Eugene Crase grabbed a third place finish in the Weiler Welding Ford, moving up five spots from an eighth place qualifying position. The Mannings USA-Hall Electronics Ford of Bill Withers, Columbus, Ohio, followed closely in fourth, while Pataskala, Ohio's Dave Reeb stole fifth in the Accurate Logistics-Avon-Hytek Material Handling-Custom Staffing Ford. Reeb also won the Hawk Best Brake of the Race Award for his performance.

Newcomer Steven Christman, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, took sixth in the Witwer Racing-Kelley Auto Group Chevrolet, while a face from the past, Bob Stoner, of Portage, Michigan, snatched seventh in the Stoner Racing Ford. Ed and Company Hard Charger Tully Esterline, Pettisville, Ohio, finished in eighth place after blowing a motor in practice and qualifying a disappointing 20th with a less powerful engine.

Hamilton, Ohio's John Witham was ninth in the West Park Food Marketing Ford Ranger, with rookie standout Brett Oakley, of Anna, Ohio, on his tail at 10th in the Mar-Flex-Tegtmeyers Trail Sales Ford.

Engine problems plagued the last third of the field, including Old Milwaukee Pole Award winner Pete Wormcastle, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, at 17th and Chad Guinn, Erie, Michigan, at 20th, the current all-time winner in the three-year-old ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series with nine.

Top Ten Qualifiers
1. Pete Wormcastle, 34.958 seconds, 102.981 mph
2. Jack Weethee, 34.975, 102.931
3. Joe Wormcastle, 35.066, 102.664
4. John Witham, 35.127, 102.485
5. Kyle Witwer, 35.220, 102.215
6. Bill Withers, 35.223, 102.206
7. Jeff Speakman, 35.275, 102.055
8. Eugene Crase, 35.300, 101.983
9. Paul Hahn, 35.362, 101.804
10. Robbin Slaughter, 35.495, 101.423.

Unofficial Top Ten Points Standings As Of 8-19-01
1. Robbin Slaughter 1885
2. Chad Guinn 1770
3. Bill Withers 1780
4. Brett Oakley 1760
5. Tully Esterline 1700
6. John Witham 1695
7. Dave Reeb 1550
8. Darren Jones 1550
9. Jack Weethee 1535
10. Stan Maitlen 1470

-ARCA-

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Series ARCA