Year-End Season Wrap-Up Slaughter, Davis Conquer ARCA Touring Titles TOLEDO, OH -- Columbus, Ohio veteran Robbin Slaughter raced to his second consecutive ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series title in 2001 while Spartanburg, South Carolina driver...
Year-End Season Wrap-Up
Slaughter, Davis Conquer ARCA Touring Titles
TOLEDO, OH -- Columbus, Ohio veteran Robbin Slaughter raced to his second consecutive ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series title in 2001 while Spartanburg, South Carolina driver AJ Davis nailed down his career-first ARCA Auto Value Midget Series championship.
The chase to the championship was close in both series with Slaughter squeezing out 1999 champ and '01 runner-up driver Bill Withers by just 40 points while Davis won the hard-fought war over three-time champ Gene Lee Gibson by only 35 markers.
In 12 events, Slaughter posted seven top five finishes and 11 top-tens including three wins at the one-mile Chicago Motor Speedway, the half-mile Toledo Speedway and the three-eighths-mile Crystal Motor Speedway clay.
"I had been feeling pretty good about winning just one (championship), but now we've got two," said Slaughter. "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."
Chad Guinn had four wins in '01, more than anyone, however, the Erie, Michigan driver lacked the consistency of Slaughter and Withers and finished third overall. Hamilton, Ohio veteran Johnny Witham finished fourth with three wins over Hoosier Racing Tire Rookie of the Year Brett Oakley who finished fifth. Tully Esterline, Jack Weethee, Dave Reeb, Mark Otting and Darren Jones completed the top-ten respectively. Additional winners in '01 included the veteran Weethee and Paul Hahn.
Davis, who drove for two-time ARCA Auto Value Midget Series champ Rick Harrell throughout the year, won just one event at Columbus Motor Speedway but rarely finished out of the top-five. "It's just now finally starting to sink in," said the 23-year-old Davis. "I'd like to thank the Harrell's for the opportunity to drive first-class equipment and our sponsor Kayo Lumber Company for believing in me. Rick (Harrell) gave me a lot of great advice this year, and fortunately I listened enough that we were able to win the championship."
Gibson, who was chasing his fourth consecutive title, had to settle for second, however, the Richwood, Ohio veteran put up two wins at Dixie Motor Speedway and Sandusky bringing his career-win total to 21 behind all-time winner Jim Hettinger who has 38 and Mike Fedorcak with 32.
Crawfordsville, Indiana driver Sondi Eden finished a solid third in points and won the season finale at Shady Bowl Speedway joining Sarah Fisher and Sarah McCune as the only female winners in ARCA Auto Value Midget Series competition. Third-generation driver Jimmy McCune finished fourth in points and won two events in '01 however a limited schedule effectively kept the Toledo, Ohio driver out of the championship hunt. ARCA Auto Value Midget Series veteran Gary Harrell, in Don Putinta's TJ Roofing Autocraft Hawk, finished fifth. Phil Rutledge finished sixth ahead of Matt Brun in seventh. Brun's consistency throughout the year was good enough to net the New Carlisle, Ohio driver the ARCA Rookie of the Year honors. Richey Jacobs finished eighth while Dave Baumgartner, who won twice at Shady Bowl, finished ninth. Travis Miniea, who won the season finale at Toledo, finished tenth. Additional winners in '01 include Teddy Beach at Toledo, Bobby East at the Indianapolis Speedrome and Matt Maners at Flat Rock Speedway.