BRISTOL, TN (August 23, 2003) 0x2022 Justin Hobgood blistered the track and established a new qualifying record for the Goody's Dash Series at Bristol. Hobgood turned a lap time of 16.062 for an average speed of 119.462. That is only 6 miles an...
BRISTOL, TN (August 23, 2003) 0x2022 Justin Hobgood blistered the track and established a new qualifying record for the Goody's Dash Series at Bristol. Hobgood turned a lap time of 16.062 for an average speed of 119.462. That is only 6 miles an hour slower than the Winston Cup cars, and over two miles per hour faster than he ran in practice.
The green-flag dropped at precisely 7 o'clock Wednesday evening, under clear skies and draped by a beautiful Tennessee sunset.
Hobgood jumped out to an early lead, but within just two laps he had company in the form of Wade Day and Brandon Ward. On lap 4 Ward battled Day for second place allowing Hobgood to expand his lead by ten car lengths. Ward got by Day and then the two worked to reel the leader back in.
Rookie contender, T.J. Majors encountered mechanical problems on lap 10. On lap 15, Joey Miller spun his car off of turn four. Hobgood backed off and Ward darted into the lead. On lap 22 Ned Combs caught the wall in turn two.
The first caution came on lap when Robert Bruce looped his machine on the front stretch. Several cars took advantage of the yellow flag to make their fuel stop. Rob Huffman, Kelly Sutton, Eric Wilson, John Whaley, Jay Godley, Scott Weaver, and Gary Moore all darted down pit road.
Brandon Ward brought the field back to green, as Wade Day's car slowed suddenly. Day headed for pit road and returned several laps later. On lap 36, Junior Miller spun on the front stretch. When the caution flag came out the leaders made their pit stops. Those pitting were Ward, the Hobgoods, Randy Humphrey, Brian Loftin, and Zach Brewer.
Johnny Chapman took over the lead with Danny Bagwell, Cam Strader, Chuck Gafrarar, Ricky Bryant, Bill Clevenger, Huffman, Wilson, Ward, and Jake Hobgood listed as the top ten.
Mickey York hit the wall in turn one on lap 44 bringing out another caution. Those who had not yet pitted stopped to take on fuel yielding the lead to Huffman on lap 46. On the restart Eric Wilson chased the leader and passed him on lap 51. Brandon Ward followed and moved past Wilson on the very next lap.
Typical to Bristol, there was a lot of beating and banging. The complexion of the race was fast and furious and changed as fast as a time lapsed video.
On Lap 73 Randy Humphrey got crossed up exiting four and made an incredible save. However, Clevenger spun on the backstretch bringing out the caution.
Now past halfway in the event, Brandon Ward and Robert Huffman dominated the field in their Toyota Celicas. Ward held the lead from lap 52 through lap 86 when Huffman darted by him exiting turn four. Huffman led until lap 113. That is when the 2001 Series Champion, Cam Strader put the move on Huffman. In post race interviews Huffman shared that he just didn't have the tires left to go after Strader.
Justin Hobgood spun and hit the inside wall at the end of the front stretch on lap 105.
Jay Godley, fighting mechanical woes, took his car to the garage.
On lap 121, Danny Bagwell spun in turn two while running in 3rd place. Brandon Ward was unable to avoid Bagwell and hit him hard, knocking both cars out of the race.
Cam Strader, from Wilson (NC), led the rest of the way in his Mercury Cougar to gain his second victory of the season (Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway) and his first career win at Bristol.
Rounding out the top ten were: Huffman, Chapman, and last year's winner Scott Weaver. One lap down were: Keith Roggen, Humphrey, Gafrarar, Brewer, and Jake Hobgood. Mike Watts finished in 10th place two laps behind the leader.
The Goody's Dash Series will return to action at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October. Teams will use the down time to begin preparations for the 2004 season.
On hand at Bristol were the new owners of the series. BRDAYTONA, Inc, a motorsports group based in Daytona Beach, co-hosted a BBQ with Bristol Motor Speedway on Tuesday night. The purpose of the event was to share the exciting news that the series would continue under new leadership.
BRDAYTONA's President/CEO Buck Parker spoke to the group sharing the organization's commitment to the series. "Our plans are to have between 16 and 18 races in 2004," Parker said. "We only signed the contract three weeks ago. There is a lot of work to be done, but we are up to the challenge." Parker also announced plans for a weekly television show covering the 2004 race schedule. "Joe Moore (MRN Radio) will produce 26 episodes that will highlight every single race. The format of the show will be exciting and informative, bringing greater exposure to the Dash Series drivers, teams, and sponsors than ever before," commented Parker.
The motorsports group is currently in negotiations with several tracks and sponsors to put the 2004 schedule in place.