FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 31, 1997 SWAIM SHINES IN PRIMESTAR 100 Mike Swaim Jr. was able to hold off a hard charge from Will Hobgood in the closing laps of the Primestar 100 in Florence, SC to put...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 31, 1997
SWAIM SHINES IN PRIMESTAR 100
Mike Swaim Jr. was able to hold off a hard charge from Will Hobgood in the closing laps of the Primestar 100 in Florence, SC to put an exclamation point on what has truly been, a miracle month of May for the youngster. The twenty-year-old NASCAR Goody's Dash Series driver notched his fourth straight win Friday night, by using patience instead of the throttle on his Pontiac Sunfire. Swaim's race car was not exactly to his liking when Dash Series flagman, Joe George sent the twenty three car field on their way. But, as the laps went by, track conditions started to change slightly and the pace of the competition up front began to take it's toll on the leaders. That's when Swaim began his steady, deliberate move toward the front. "We weren't really picking up. It seemed like everyone was coming back to us on the long green runs," recounted the college sophomore, " I'm not really that good at driving on a slick race track or with a loose race car, but I got a real good lesson here, tonight." Most of the action up front in the first half of the race was supplied by pole sitter Will Hobgood of Winnsboro, SC and Minneapolis, MN's Christian Elder, who started the race outside of Hobgood in the second spot. "Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was a silver hood." said Hobgood. "If it wasn't Christian (Elder), it was Mike (Swaim) right there all the time. Then there at the end,...." Hobgood was now referring to his problems getting around a lapped car during the closing laps. "After I got into the sixteen (Monk Gulledge) I got the tires hot and I just couldn't get back going again. It's a lot harder to find your rhythm when you've got a slick race track, and once I got the car all sideways and heated up the tires, there just wasn't enough time left to try to get it back and go after Mike." Gulledge had led briefly, earlier in the event and was trying, desperately, to avoid going a lap down. Behind Swaim, Hobgood and Elder, Larry Caudill and Ned Combs rounded out the top five at the Florence oval. B.J. Mackey came from his fourteenth starting position to take the sixth spot. Behind Mackey, four rookies, Charles Powell III, Ricky Bryant, Robert Ham and Ernie Yarborough put on a great battle for positions seventh through tenth and those valuable Rookie of the Year points. Christian Elder was named Rookie of the Race for his third place finish. Once again, in this event, the track record was broken repeatedly during the qualifying runs. Twenty two of the twenty three qualifiers broke the existing track record. But it was pole sitter, Will Hobgood who knocked almost a full second off the mark with his fastest lap. As the Mid-Season awards draw closer, Mike Swaim Jr. continues to lead the points battle over Will Hobgood and his son Jake. Jake Hobgood still leads the Goody's Consistency Award standings completing 873 of the 875 laps possible, for a 99.8% rating. Gary Moore and Ned Combs are slowly closing the gap on Hobgood, but still trail the Winnsboro, SC youngster by more than a full percentage point. After eight events, Mike Swaim leads the Busch Pole Awards standings with four poles, three of which, set new track records. Expect to see more track records fall as the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series heads to Hickory Motor Speedway for race number nine of the 1997 season, Saturday, June 7. Traditionally, the Hickory events have drawn a large number of entries and produced fast, close, exciting racing and this upcoming event is expected to follow that trend. -30-
For more information, contact NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Public Relations at 919-552-5823.