SANDUSKY OH, 9-23-01 -- Three-time ARCA Auto Value Midget Series champion Gene Lee Gibson inched a little closer to a fourth series title Sunday afternoon at Sandusky Speedway by winning the 25-lap ARCA/NAMARS co-sanctioned feature...
SANDUSKY OH, 9-23-01 -- Three-time ARCA Auto Value Midget Series champion Gene Lee Gibson inched a little closer to a fourth series title Sunday afternoon at Sandusky Speedway by winning the 25-lap ARCA/NAMARS co-sanctioned feature event.
Gibson, who started fifth in his own Gilmore Construction-Gilliland Body Shop entry, maneuvered his way into second at the halfway mark and began to give chase to polesitter Aaron Pierce who led from the onset. However, a battle for the top-spot would not be necessary as Pierce's engine failed on the 16th circuit handing the lead to Gibson. From there, Gibson cruised under the checkered flag as the winner with Donnelsville, Ohio driver Teddy Beach in second.
Third-generation driver Jimmy McCune hustled hard from the 10th starting position and finished third in Dave Cowing's Brayton-powered Drinan entry with Richey Jacobs, in the Jacobs Racing Mopar Beast, trailing in fourth. ARCA Midget veteran Gary Harrell, in Don Putinta's Dove Racing-TJ Roofing Autocraft Hawk, completed the top-five finishers.
Markham, Illinois driver Rich Corson finished sixth ahead of Matt Brun in the Champion Auto Service-Auto Value Hawk in seventh. Current ARCA Auto Value Midget Series point leader AJ Davis raced Rick Harrell's Kayo Lumber Brayton Hawk home in eighth in front of Sondi Eden, who steered her Dave Stetler Chevy-Olds-Cadillac Stealth to the finish in ninth. Open-wheel legend Mel Kenyon, 68, completed the top-ten finishers.
With one final event remaining at Shady Bowl Speedway on October 7, the championship points battle is still up for grabs. Davis leads Gibson by a slim 25 points heading to the season-finale. If Gibson were to overhaul Davis in points, the second-generation driver would become the first driver in history to win four consecutive ARCA Auto Value Midget Series championships. Other than Gibson, Les Scott is the only other driver who has won three consecutive ARCA Midget titles.