Bristol Race Story

Bristol Race Story
May 8, 1997, 12:19 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUNE 21, 1997 SOCKWELL GOES TWO FOR TWO ON TV Brian Sockwell of Brown Summit, NC apparently has an affinity for winning "the big race". The sophomore NASCAR Goody's Dash Series campaigner notched his second career ...



Brian Sockwell of Brown Summit, NC apparently has an affinity for winning "the big race". The sophomore NASCAR Goody's Dash Series campaigner notched his second career win in Friday night's Goody's Dash 150 at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Sockwell's only other series win so far this year, came at the season opener, at Daytona, in February. Both of his wins have happened before live, nationally televised audiences. Sockwell was one of seven drivers involved in nine lead changes over the coarse of the event. In fact, for much of the evening, it appeared that leading the race was the worst place to be. Car after car fell victim to either accidents or mechanical failures while in the lead. But the twenty-three-year old was able to overcome the leaders' curse and drove the Cleaver Brooks / C & C Boiler Pontiac Sunfire to victory. "Man, this is just unbelievable." said the ecstatic Sockwell from atop his race car in victory lane. "We won at the big "D" and we won at the big "B", now we just need to win at the big "C"." The big "C", referring to the upcoming race at Charlotte in July. Pole winner, Christian Elder and outside pole sitter, Will Hobgood were the first to taste the wrath of Bristol as they got together in turn two, just seconds after the start of the race. As the rest of the field scattered to avoid the incident, Mike Swaim Jr. was able to grab the lead. The four time winner paced the field for the next forty five laps. That's when the leader's curse again, took it's toll. Going into turn one, the right front wheel on Swaim's number twenty eight suddenly left the race car sending the youngster hurtling up the banking and bringing out the third caution of the evening.. When green flag racing continued, Sockwell paced the field until he pitted during a brief caution period for debris on lap fifty six. At that point, Ernie Yarborough's Ford Probe inherited the lead and the Chapin, SC driver led until his engine let go in a massive cloud of smoke on lap seventy. Jr. Miller also tried his hand at leading this race, but he was quickly overhauled by Christian Elder. Elder's time at the front was also short lived as only eight laps later, he too, experienced mechanical problems and spent several laps in the pits. Jake Hobgood took the lead following Elder's misfortunes but he posted only three laps at the point before his Pontiac Sunfire slowed with rear end problems. This was a particularly troublesome situation for Jake since he was in line to receive a $5,000 bonus from Series title sponsor, Goody's for having completed the most laps to this point in the season. The young Winnsboro, SC driver made several pit stops to try to fix the problem, but he continued to lose valuable laps. By race end, he was sixteen laps down to the leader and in a dead heat for the SOCKWELL, CON'T.

Consistency Award with Series veteran, Gary Moore. The two will split the $8,000 total for the first two positions of the Goody's Mid-Season Award. Brian Sockwell took over the point when Jake's problems began but he had a very close encounter with the turn three wall on lap 112 and although he never made contact with the concrete barrier, he did give up the lead to Will Hobgood. Sockwell made a late race pit stop to adjust the handling on the fifty four car and came back out of the pits with a rocket ship. He quickly closed the gap between himself and the elder Hobgood. Then, coming off turn four and coming to the white flag, Sockwell dove to the inside of the ill- handling Hobgood. The two made contact and Will Hobgood went on a wild slide down the front straightaway making heavy contact with the inside retaining wall. "We had a tire going down or something." said Hobgood about the incident. "I was trying to get out of the way. I just didn't get there fast enough." Sockwell was the only car on the lead lap as the checkers fell. He was followed across the line by rookie point leader, Charles Powell III, and 22 year veteran Larry Caudill. Rounding out the top five, was the second place driver in the rookie standings, Ricky Bryant and another long time veteran Ned Combs. The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series teams will take a week off following the Bristol event to get ready for Summerville Speedway's Wild Fire 250 weekend coming up July 5. More fireworks on, and off the track in that one, guaranteed. -30- FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact NASCAR Public Relations, Tim Myers at 919-552-5823.

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Drivers Christian Elder , Brian Sockwell , Gary Moore
Article type News