Huffman grabs career win mumber 40. CONCORD, NC (May 19, 2003) - Robert Huffman wrestled away the lead on lap 6 to take the win at Lowe's Motor Speedway in front of the largest crowd ever to see a Goody's Dash Series event. "I knew that I...
Huffman grabs career win mumber 40.
CONCORD, NC (May 19, 2003) - Robert Huffman wrestled away the lead on lap 6 to take the win at Lowe's Motor Speedway in front of the largest crowd ever to see a Goody's Dash Series event.
"I knew that I needed to be out front," Huffman said. We had a good race car, but there were others that were good as well. Out front was the place to be."
The third race of the 2003 season was staged on one of the circuits premiere facilities and also as a support race for NASCAR's annual all-star event, "The Winston."
Randy Humphrey, from nearby Cornelius, won the Bud Pole in his Eastwood Homes Pontiac Sunfire with a speed of 152.992 mph. "Winning the pole here at Charlotte is a big deal for our race team," commented Humphrey.
The race got underway just before 6pm in front of nearly 100,000 race fans who were waiting to see NASCAR's top drivers compete in one of the most exciting events of the season. With the media in attendance and NASCAR's elite looking on, it provides a tremendous opportunity for the competitors in this stepping stone division to showcase their talent.
Randy Humphrey led the field to green and held on to the lead for the first five laps. As the field completed lap one Humphrey led with Scott Weaver, Robert Huffman, and Mickey York in tow. As the cars exited turn four, while working lap five, Huffman made his move around Humphrey to lead at the line. "My car was really good in three and four," said Huffman. "That was where I was able to make up so much time and could pass with ease."
The first of six caution periods came on lap 11 when Maxie Bush and Angie Wilson spun into the grass on the front stretch. Several cars took the opportunity to pit for fuel. Huffman was among several of the leaders who never pitted, crossing their fingers that their initial supply of fuel would take them to the checkered.
Danny Bagwell and Jay Godley were among those that pitted early. This placed them deep into the field and increased their concerns of fighting heavier traffic. On lap 26 six cars spun in the dogleg bringing out the third caution. Involved were Brian Loftin, John Whaley, Mike McConnell, Greg Goodell, and Brandon Ward. All the drivers were able to continue.
McConnell crashed hard on lap 30, bringing out the longest caution period of the event. With laps ticking away under the caution it limited the race to only 20 laps of green flag racing. So, position in the field became crucial during the final few laps. On lap 40, Bagwell and Jake Hobgood touched causing Bagwell to slide. As he gathered up his machine to continue, Zach Brewer had no where to go and hit Bagwell in the front quarter panel, ending the day for both drivers.
As the field restarted on lap 45, Randy Humphrey's car lost fuel pressure. He tried getting his car out of the racing groove, but the cars behind him quickly stacked up bringing out yet another caution. John Whaley hit the wall hard along with Allan Powell, Scott Weaver, and Mike Watts. Weaver was the only driver able to continue, though he sustained enough damage that he was only able to limp to the finish.
The field went green on Lap 55 with Huffman holding off Ricky Bryant, David Heitzhaus, and Chuck Gafrarar. They would finish in that order. Rounding out the top ten were: Johnny Chapman, Mickey York, Justin Hobgood, Jake Hobgood, Greg Goodell, and T.J. Majors.
Jay Godley brought his car home in 12th place after starting 29th. "We lost an engine during practice and then had to find a different gear to give us more speed," said Godley. Godley also ran the race with a heavy heart of concern over his father who is recovering from an incident involving a water buffalo that has been raised at their farm. "He was in pretty bad shape, but he is holding his own. It is a miracle that he is alive. Our thoughts and prayers are with him."
Huffman's win was his fourth win at Charlotte and career win number forty. "We are exciting about winning and even more excited about leading the points race. I would love to give Toyota their first NASCAR Championship.
The next race will be at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway on Saturday, June 14, 2003.