HUFFMAN THREE OF FOUR IN 2000 GOODY'S DASH SERIES By Bill Desmond JACKSONVILLE, N. C. (April 22) -- Robert Huffman put the White House Apple Juice Pontiac back in victory lane Saturday night, ...
HUFFMAN THREE OF FOUR IN 2000 GOODY'S DASH SERIES
By Bill Desmond
JACKSONVILLE, N. C. (April 22) -- Robert Huffman put the White House Apple Juice Pontiac back in victory lane Saturday night, winning the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring, Bob King's 125 at Coastal Plains Raceway, Jacksonville, N. C. Huffman's win gives the Claremont, N. C. driver three victories in four starts in the 2000 Goody's Dash Series campaign and boosts his career total to 30 wins. He finished fourth in the event at Florida Speed Park on April 8. "We knew we had a strong car tonight, said the three-time series champ, and I am glad the race didn't go one more lap. When we took the checkered flag the car shut off. It was out of gas." "I thought we were going to be ok since we had so many cautions but it took a lot on the restarts. B. J. (Mackey) ran me hard but we had a stronger car on the restarts and could pull away from him. Working those laps cars was also a little tedious because this track is tough coming off that second corner." Finishing behind Huffman was B. J. Mackey with his Horton Homes/Quality Homes Pontiac, Danny Bagwell in his Sterling Casino Lines Mercury, with his best finish since November 1998, Ricky Bryant with his Washington Apples Pontiac, who just nipped Cam Strader for fourth by inches at the finish line and Strader in his Children's Miracle Network/Straight Talk Radio Mercury. Huffman started seventh in the 27 car field that had Jake Hobgood breaking the qualifying mark he set in the inaugural series event at this .4 mile oval in 1999. His lap time of 16.276 Secs (88.474 mph) bested his previous best lap of 16.286 Secs. Joey Miller of nearby Wilmington, N. C., and Hobgood swapped starting positions by virtue of a qualifying draw from their qualifying spots on the front row but Hobgood wasted little time moving to the point on the first lap when the green flag was displayed to start the 125 lap event on the .400 mile oval. However Miller was not to be denied as he raced Hobgood door-to-door for three laps before Hobgood claimed the top spot. While these two were racing for the point, Huffman had his White House Apple Juice machine on the move from his seventh starting spot as he took third from Johnny Chapman on lap six. The first caution was displayed on lap eight when Hobgood's brother Justin made contact with the turn three wall. The incident put him behind the wall for the rest of the race and he became the only retiree in the event as 26 of 27 starters were running at the end of the race. When racing resumed Miller got caught on the high side of the racing surface and before he knew it, was relegated back to sixth position as four cars passed him. Hobgood kept his point position but Huffman was closing fast and took over the top spot on lap 29. Slower cars kept the leaders on their toes trying to work traffic. The second caution waved on lap 34 when Huffman's machine tapped the backend of Bobby Dayton's car in turn two. When that happened, Hobgood, running second, backed off and was tapped from behind by Chapman's car. Hobgood's car spun and when he finally got his car moving again had lost a lot of track position. During the next caution, six laps later, Chapman, running second, took his Randy Humphrey Racing Pontiac to the pits for repairs on the right front fender that was rubbing on the tire. Huffman was in complete command once in the lead and was never seriously challenged for the point until Mackey made his way into the runner-up spot on lap 74 after starting tenth. Mackey was able to close on Huffman's car on restarts of the last three cautions but each time the three-time series champ would pull away. Mackey had one final shot at victory when the final caution waved on lap 121 for debris on the backstretch from the Hobgood and Zach Brewer machines. This caution extended the race for three additional laps giving race fans a green-white-checkered finish. Huffman earned posted awards of $3,600. Rounding out the top ten drivers were Edward Howell, who moved to second in series points, Roger Sawyer, Keith Roggen, Miller and Hobgood. The next event for the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring will be the Spero Farms 125 on May 13 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N. C.