GREEVILLE, SC (June 30, 2003) - The car count at the Goody's Dash Series events continues to hold steady. While the series awaits an announcement regarding its future, the competitors continue to support this exciting racing ...
GREEVILLE, SC (June 30, 2003) - The car count at the Goody's Dash Series events continues to hold steady. While the series awaits an announcement regarding its future, the competitors continue to support this exciting racing series.
Greenville-Pickens Speedway is a relatively flat half-mile oval similar to that of Martinsville. It holds a rich history for NASCAR. The staff knows how to promote an event and the fans are among the most super-charged anywhere. Add into the mix a highly competitive race and you have the makings for one very exciting evening.
After practice and qualifying it was quite obvious that the race was going to be a tight one. With the 2003 schedule being an abbreviated edition of the normal Goody's Dash Series line-up, there is little room for error with regard to going after the final NASCAR championship for this incredible series.
Justin Hobgood blistered the field to take the Bud Pole. In the pre-race draw, Rookie of the Year contender Jay Godley was shuffled to the top starting spot. Returning from a short hiatus was the 2001 Series' Champion, Cam Strader.
Strader started on the outside pole and proved quickly that he has not lost his racing form. He drove hard into turn one and took over the lead exiting turn two on the very first lap.
The cars stayed close together, with two and three-wide racing throughout the entire event. This produced several cautions and a cluttered track on most of those unfortunate mishaps. Mickey York's night ended early when he and several cars were collected in turn one. Kelly Sutton was among those who sustained damage. But, her pit crew quickly ripped the torn sheet metal from the front of her car and she was finished in tenth place.
NASCAR called for the teams to make a mandatory pit stop between laps 40 and 60. They were also required to jack one side of the car up. Another testament to how much effort is made to put on an entertaining show for the fans.
On lap 68, Robert Huffman and Johnny Chapman bumped in turn one. Huffman later commented about the incident, "I was tight in the middle of the turns and I guess he wasn't trying to stay off of me. But, it was just one of those hard racing deals. The 75 car ran over the front end trying to miss me. With everything that happened we are happy to finish in 6th place and hold on to the points lead."
Wade Day, making his second appearance in the Goody's Dash Series, used quick pit strategy to place his machine in first place. He would hold the lead the rest of the way, taking the checkered flag.
NASCAR disallowed his win after the car failed post-race inspection. There was some discrepancy regarding the intake manifold. Thus the controversy.
Cam Strader was awarded the win. Strader was strong all night and led several laps in the middle stages of the event.
Overcoming adversity was Jay Godley. The driver of the #18 Malcolmson Construction Pontiac finished in 7th place. "We have torn a couple cars up this year. I was discouraged when the car broke at South Boston. We lost the brakes here tonight with about 40 laps to go. I spun the car trying to get it slowed down. We salvaged a decent run, gained in the rookie points, and now we are ready to head for Kentucky." Godley said.
Danny Bagwell had a rough night. He had a solid run going until he and Johnny Chapman tangled late in the event. "We had to rout and gouge to get by. No one was giving anybody any room, and there isn't much to work with here. You have to be very aggressive here, and I don't know, maybe I was being too aggressive or if it was somebody behind me. It was nothing intentional, just racing. Johnny and I were working together trying to get back to the front. Then we got tangled up and he didn't have anywhere to go. It knocked the radiator around and it lost all of the water."
Jake Hobgood, Joey Miller, Brandon Ward, and Randy Humphrey all finished in the top five.
Jake gained a few points on Huffman for the Points Title. Justin was the first car one lap down.
With just three races left on the schedule, the stage is set for the run to the Championship. Huffman is looking forward to Kentucky, having won there before. Jake Hobgood is the defending champion at Kentucky and is also trying to defend his 2002 Goody's Dash Series Crown.
The Goody's Dash Series will race at Kentucky Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2003.