Jacksonville, NC (September 29, 2001) NASCAR Goody's Dash Series points leader, Cam Strader, took a huge step on his way to his first NASCAR Championship by winning Saturday night at the Coastal Plains Speedway in Jacksonville, NC. Strader ...
Jacksonville, NC (September 29, 2001) NASCAR Goody's Dash Series points leader, Cam Strader, took a huge step on his way to his first NASCAR Championship by winning Saturday night at the Coastal Plains Speedway in Jacksonville, NC.
Strader qualified 5th and ran within the top 5 positions throughout the event, except when he pitted for fuel on lap 24.
"It's always special to win a race, but our sponsors Wesson Cooking Oil and Peter Pan Peanut Butter were the presenting sponsor on this event," said the jubilant winner. "We have been very blessed this season, and we are very proud of our relationship with our sponsors."
Jake Hobgood won the Bud Pole Award, but Jimmy Britts, started from the pole after the pre-race draw. The lead changed hands three times among three drivers, Britts, Hmiel, and Strader.
Britts stay at the top of the leader board didn't last long as Hmiel blasted into the lead on the first lap of the race. Through the first 140 of the scheduled 150 laps, no one was in contention with Hmiel.
For the second week in a row, the Series' regulars kept the flagman busy with the caution flag throughout the event. There were 9 cautions for a total of 58 laps.
The brothers Hobgood, Cam Strader, Scott Weaver, and Mike Conover all jockeyed for the top five positions for the entire event. Each of the drivers pitted with the exception of Hmiel, whose strategy was to pit later in the event.
On lap 140, Hmiel lost power as he ran out of fuel on the backstretch, handing the lead to Strader.
The final caution came out on lap 144, when Larry Caudill and rookie contender Tim Nichols spun in turn 2. Joey Miller, who made an impressive showing throughout the event, got caught up in the crash that ended his night early.
The late caution and extensive cleanup effort took the finish to a green-white-checkered for the second week in a row. Strader slowed the field down to a crawl on the restart, then lunged out to a three car length lead as they came back to the start-finish line for the final time. Strader's Mercury would prove to be too much for the rest of the field, as he cruised to his fourth victory of the season.
Jake Hobgood, Robert Huffman, Scott Weaver, and Justin Hobgood rounded out the top five at the finish. The race took 1 hour 8 minutes and 56 seconds to complete. Strader finished with a one second lead over second place Jake Hobgood.
"I'm the lucky guy that gets to drive these cars, but the credit goes to the many people that make this deal work," said Strader. "We've worked hard, and tried to maintain our focus on the goals we set for ourselves at the first of the year. The guys on this crew really work hard and give me some great race cars. One thing my parents have always taught me is to make the most of every opportunity, and we are trying to do that. I'm just pumped up that this win helps us pad our points lead a little bit. But, I am still playing it cautious because it's not over until the checkered flag waves at Nashville," said Strader. "As excited as we are, you still have to stop and remember those who suffered in the tragedies in New York and Washington. I want to dedicate this win to them."
The Goody's Dash Series travels to the beautiful USA Speedway in Lakeland, Florida on Saturday, October 19th for the next to last event of the season.