Illiana Motor Speedway race report 2001-09-01

Jack's Back! Weethee Earns First Ever ARCA Truck Win At Illiana SCHERERVILLE, INDIANA 9-1-01: Patience was a virtue for seasoned veteran Jack Weethee, as he earned his first ever ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series victory this weekend at Illiana...

Jack's Back! Weethee Earns First Ever ARCA Truck Win At Illiana

SCHERERVILLE, INDIANA 9-1-01:
Patience was a virtue for seasoned veteran Jack Weethee, as he earned his first ever ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series victory this weekend at Illiana Motor Speedway, dominating the field and leading the last 24 laps of the 100-lap feature.

"I passed five trucks and took the lead just by waiting," said Weethee, a multiple Pro-4 series champion and 20-year racing veteran. "My truck was handling good, but the track was slippery. We're always handling good, but something stupid usually happens. I want to thank my crew, Den's Automotive and Ed and Company for this win."

After qualifying sixth, the Grove City, Ohio driver inched his way up to the front in the Weethee Builders-Amerihost Inns Ford, taking over the lead at lap 77 from series standout Jeff Speakman, of Piqua, Ohio, in the Pennzoil-National Auto Lube Ford. Speakman took a disappointing 12th place finish four laps down after qualifying fourth, leading the most laps of the race (62) and taking Cloyes Gear Halfway Leader honors before a problem with a right rear tire forced him to give up the lead to Weethee.

Hamilton, Ohio's Johnny Witham snuck up behind Weethee to secure a close second place finish after starting at third on the grid behind polesitter Brett Oakley.

"I was running behind Oakley at the start but then he had some trouble and we dropped back," Witham said. "It was a very good track all night, but we lost our front brakes after lap 30, and I couldn't quite keep up with the leaders. I have to thank West Park Food Marketing and the Pate Fab Shop for their support this season."

Current championship points leader Robbin Slaughter, Columbus, Ohio, grabbed a respectable third place finish after qualifying fifth in the Carmen's Vacuum-NAPA Auto Parts Ford. New Haven, Indiana driver Pete Wormcastle finished fourth in the Preferred Incorporated-Witwer Racing Chevrolet, while Bill Withers, Columbus, Ohio, followed closely at fifth in the Mannings USA-Hall Electronics Ford. Hoosier Tire Pole Winner Brett Oakley, a rookie from Middletown, Ohio, stole a sixth place finish in the Mar-Flex-Tegtmeyers Trail Sales Ford, his eighth top-ten finish in nine starts.

Dayton, Ohio newcomer Eugene Crase finished one lap down at seventh in the Weiler Welding Ford with Pettisville, Ohio's Tully Esterline hot on his tail at eighth in the Dum Dum Pops-Rupp Seeds-Nutro Pet Foods Chevy. Dave Reeb, of Pataskala, Ohio, notched a ninth place finish in the Accurate Logistics-Avon Ford Ranger, while Sheffield Village, Ohio rookie Eddy Adams rounded out the top ten in the Eddy Adams Racing Ford, notching Ed and Company Hard Charger honors after a qualifying no-show and starting at the back.

Three points races remain in the 2001 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck series schedule. The series next makes the trek to the half-mile paved oval of Salem Speedway, Salem, Indiana on Saturday, Sept. 8 for a 100-lap feature at 3 p.m. The final two races take place at Toledo Speedway, Toledo, Ohio and Flat Rock Speedway, Flat Rock, Mich.

Series notes - The unofficial top ten in the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series championship points race are: 1. Robbin Slaughter, 2055; 2. (tie) Bill Withers, Brett Oakley, 1985; 4. Chad Guinn, 1945; 5. Tully Esterline, 1890; 6. Johnny Witham, 1880; 7. Jack Weethee, 1765; 8. Dave Reeb, 1735; 9. Darren Jones, 1715; 10. Mark Otting, 1650. The ARCA truck competitors will be honored in Toledo on Nov. 10 at a banquet with the ARCA Auto Value Midget Series.

- Only three points races remain in the truck series schedule, running the next three consecutive Saturdays: Salem Motor Speedway, Sept. 8; Toledo Speedway, Sept. 15; Flat Rock Speedway, Sept. 22.

- Consistency is key for current points leader and 2000 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series champ Robbin Slaughter as he continues to dominate the series this year, having tallied three wins, two pole awards, eight top-tens and five top-fives.

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

- Brett Oakley leads the rookie of the year points standings, and stands tied at second place overall. He is followed by newcomers Darren Jones at ninth and Mark Otting at 10th.

-ARCA-

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