Flat Rock race report

FINAL 10 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series championship points race are: 1. Robbin Slaughter (2765) 2. Bill Withers (2715) 3. Chad Guinn (2670) 4. Johnny Witham (2655) 5. (r)Brett Oakley (2625) 6. Tully Esterline 7. Jack Weethee 8. Dave Reeb 9.

FINAL 10 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series championship points race are: 1. Robbin Slaughter (2765) 2. Bill Withers (2715) 3. Chad Guinn (2670) 4. Johnny Witham (2655) 5. (r)Brett Oakley (2625) 6. Tully Esterline 7. Jack Weethee 8. Dave Reeb 9. (r)Mark Otting 10. (r)Darren Jones.

Flat Rock Speedway :A fourth place finish at Flat Rock Speedway this past Saturday night was enough for 2000 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series champion Robbin Slaughter to capture the title again, for the second consecutive year. The Columbus, Ohio driver's third-place qualifying effort and top-five finish were a strong end to another winning season.

"I think I'm sort of numb," Slaughter said. "You know, I was nervous all week but once I got to the race track I felt good. And then with Bill (Withers) sitting on the pole, there was a little pressure. We knew what we had to do. We knew that if the truck was okay, then we would be fine in the points. The crew, as usual, worked their butts off."

On the road to the 2001 championship, Slaughter tallied three wins, two pole awards, 11 top-10 finishes and seven top-fives in the Carmen's Vacuum-Napa Auto Parts Ford. After winning last year's ARCA truck crown, Slaughter overheard a comment made by two-time ASA champion Gary St. Amant.

"He said that Mike Eddy had remarked that anybody can win one title, but you really haven't established yourself until you win your second title," Slaughter said. "After I heard Gary make that comment last year, I had been feeling pretty good about winning just one. But now we've got two, well maybe we've established ourselves a bit, I hope. I really have to thank Carmen's Vacuum Sales, Napa Auto Parts, Ed and Company racing chassis, Hooker Engines, my crew chief, Tom Cumbow, my crew, Mike, Don and Debbie Porter, my daughter Niki, who didn't get to come to the races much this year, but she wrote articles for us to put on our website, Amy Cumbow, they all played a part in our success. I couldn't have done it without them."

Not to be overshadowed, the 2000 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck series rookie of the year Chad Guinn snatched his 10th career feature victory at Flat Rock, keeping him at the top of the all-time winners list for the series.

"Well it's about time," said Larry Guinn, Chad's father. "We finally had a little bit of luck go our way. For the last four races, we've had nothing but bad luck, and finally tonight something went our way. I feel bad for (Brett) Oakley for getting a flat, but that's just the kind of luck we've been having."

While in third place, Guinn grabbed the lead on lap 42 of the 50-lap feature after Oakley blew out a tire and Withers, running in second, got caught up behind him.

"It happened so fast," said Chad Guinn. "I just saw Brett get sideways, and Bill seemed to hit the brakes to avoid rear-ending him, and I just went underneath both of them and stood on it and the truck went. This definitely makes up for the last four weeks of us having bad luck."

"It was the outstanding Tom Hooker engine that did it, I'm telling you," said Guinn's crew chief, Chuck Carroll. "We plan on coming back stronger next year, with two trucks, spare motors, the whole deal. We have to thank BFI, Tom Hooker engines, Northland Collision, Made in Toledo Clothing Wear, and Larry and Vicki Guinn."

Old Milwaukee Pole Award winner Bill Withers took second place at Flat Rock and second in the championship points battle. Not too shabby for the 1999 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series champ from Columbus, Ohio.

"I am pretty happy with the finish," Withers said. "We did all we could, we went out and qualified first. The truck was really good. We just got bogged down behind Oakley, and I was too close to him when he got his flat to make a move. Then Chad got me. I'm kind of glad it's over, the pressure's gone now."

Withers attributes much of his success to skilled engine builder Bud Wachholz, of Columbus. His Mannings USA-Hall Electronics Ford ran on the same Wachholz engine all year long, and Withers also won the 1999 championship with Wachholz.

"We put a timing belt on it, that's all we did all season," Withers said. "I have to thank Justin and Leslie for coming along with me, Scott and his wife, Jan, and Mannings, the company Scott works for, who helped finance us all year."

The 2001 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series rookie of the year, Brett Oakley, finished 14th at Flat Rock after leading the most laps and taking Cloyes Gear Halfway Leader honors. The Middletown, Ohio driver qualified sixth in the Marflex Products-Tegtmeyers Trail Sales-HB Products Ford, working his way up to the lead by lap nine. A blown tire ended his run early at lap 42.

"Everybody gets frustrated, the difference is, when you're on a volunteer fire department, you see people lying in cars half-dead," said Oakley, a firefighter. "You deal with that on a day-to-day basis, so life is not that bad. I come out here and have a good time, no matter how bad or how good it is, because look at the people who have it really bad. I'm proud to say I'm a part of ARCA."

Rounding out the rest of the field at Flat Rock, Fort Wayne, Indiana's Pete Wormcastle took third place, earning Ed and Company Hard Charger honors after qualifying eighth in the Preferred Incorporated Painting and Roofing-Witwer Racing Chevy. Following Slaughter at fourth was rookie Mark Otting, of Plainwell, Michigan, at fifth in the Westfalia-Surge-Prosilac One Step Ford, recording his fourth top-10 and his best qualifying effort of the season at second place.

Canton, Michigan's Paul Hahn snagged sixth in his PPG Certified First Network Quality Rated Auto Body Repair-Hahn's Collision-Fox Auto Parts-Eversole and Associates Ford, while racing veteran Jack Weethee, Grove City, Ohio, finished seventh in the Weethee Builders-Amerihost Inns-Den's Auto Ford. The Pennzoil-National Auto Lube Ford of Piqua, Ohio's Jeff Speakman followed at eighth, while newcomer Eddy Adams, Sheffield Village, Ohio, was ninth in the Nemire Enterprises-The Bootless Joe Show-Lakeside Auto Parts Ford.

Five-time ARCA truck feature winner Johnny Witham, of Hamilton, Ohio, took tenth in the West Park Food Distributors-Pate Fab Shop Ford, while Toledo, Ohio's John Kasmierski finished 11th in the Sonic Racing Ford, the last truck on the lead lap. Lone Toyota competitor Norman Weaver grabbed 12th in the Jasper Import Engines-Fasttrucks.com Toyota after the Clarksburg, West Virginia driver crashed during practice and could not qualify, starting the race at the rear.

The Accurate Logistics-Avon-Hytek Material Handling-Custom Staffing Ford of Dave Reeb, Pataskala, Ohio, was 13th, followed by rookie champ Oakley at 14th and Greenville, Ohio's Stan Maitlen at 15th in the ARC Abrasives-Don's Body Shop Ford. Pettisville, Ohio driver Tully Esterline was 16th in the Spangler Candy Company Dum Dum Pops Chevy after a crash on lap 29 sent him into the wall, while handling problems sent Darren Jones, of Fairfield, Ohio, to 17th in the Pusch's Restaurant Ford. In his first ARCA showing, Ron Wells finished 18th in the Weiler Welding Ford of Eugene Crase, Dayton, Ohio. Crase reported that Wells will be competing full-time in the ARCA truck series in 2002.

The 2001 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series competitors will be honored with trophies, monetary and contingency awards at a banquet at the Radisson Hotel, Toledo, on Saturday, Nov. 10, with the ARCA Auto Value Midget Series.

Series notes

- Last year's ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series rookie of the year, Chad Guinn, started wearing a Superman T-shirt underneath his racing suit this year. Why? "Because he's Superman!" said his crew chief of six-years and number one fan, Chuck Carroll.

- Only one non-points race remains on the ARCA truck schedule- Saturday, Oct. 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

- Six new track records have been set this season by ARCA truck drivers including 2001 ARCA truck series rookie of the year Brett Oakley, who blasted the old record of 21.14 seconds at Illiana Motor Speedway with a time of 21.02. Other 2001 record-setting drivers include Johnny Witham, 15.545 at Dixie Motor Speedway, 17.139 at Toledo Speedway; Jack Weethee, 17.270 at Crystal Motor Speedway; and Jeff Speakman, 14.434 at New Paris Speedway.

- The 2000 rookie of the year, Chad Guinn, holds tight to first place on the all-time series winners listing with 10 victories. Other current ARCA competitors on the list include Slaughter (8), John Witham (5), David Clay (3), and six drivers with one each: Tully Esterline, Paul Hahn, Dave Reeb, Jeff Speakman, Jack Weethee, and Bill Withers.


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