B. J. MACKEY SCORES NASCAR CAREER WIN NUMBER THREE by Bill Desmond GREENVILLE, S. C. (July 8 2000) - "It feels great" was the expression of driver B. J. Mackey of Rock Hill, S. C. in victory lane Saturday evening after winning the Expression...
B. J. MACKEY SCORES NASCAR CAREER WIN NUMBER THREE
by Bill Desmond
GREENVILLE, S. C. (July 8 2000) - "It feels great" was the expression of driver B. J. Mackey of Rock Hill, S. C. in victory lane Saturday evening after winning the Expression Unlimited 100 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Greenville, S. C. It had been almost a year for the driver of the Van Camp's Beans/Horton Homes Pontiac to visit victory lane with his last win coming at Hickory Motor Speedway on August 21 1999. "I can't say enough about this Van Camp's team," Mackey said. "This is a new team and thanks to team owner Jeff Daly for having the confidence in me to ask me to drive his car. It takes time to put a new team together and go out and win races but it looks like we are doing something right." "When I saw Cam (Strader) slip coming off turn four I just drove my car low and got a good run on his car to make the pass," said the young driver who started with this series in 1994 at the tender age of 16. This was his third career series win. Finishing behind Mackey was series points leader Robert Huffman with his White House Apple Juice Pontiac, defending race winner Ricky Bryant in his Washington Apple Pontiac, Johnny Chapman in the Old Milwaukee Non-Alcoholic Pontiac and Strader with his Wesson Cooking Oil/Children's Miracle Network Pontiac. Mackey's night started out on a positive note with the Bud Pole qualifying draw used by the series to the delight of race fans. Even though he qualified second fastest, after the draw he started on the point with Bud Pole winner Jimmy Britts moving to fourth. This was Britts' second Bud Pole Award of 2000 when he turned the ½-mile speedplant with a time of 20.933 Secs (85.989 mph). Mackey led the 28 car field into a tight turn one that requires drivers to get off the gas and back into the gas exiting turn two followed by Justin Hobgood, Jake Hobgood, Britts and Huffman. Mackey held the point until Justin Hobbled, with his Wynn's/Precision Engine Service Pontiac, charged to the point until a spin in turn two on lap 26 brought out the second of seven race cautions. Many drivers chose to make their mandatory pit stop during this caution for fuel with the event only going 100 laps. With Hobgood pitting, Strader took the point leading the field until lap 48 when he gave way to Bryant with Huffman running a close second. Throughout the 50-mile event it was Mackey, Huffman, Bryant, Strader, Chapman and first time starter Shane Hmiel challenging for the win. Even though Mackey had been the car to beat throughout the race, polesitter Britts gave other drivers one last shot at the win when his car spun in the late stages to set up a 10-lap shootout for the checkered flag. Eighteen cars finished on the lead lap. Mackey got a good restart leaving Huffman and Bryant, who are one and two in points, battling each other for the runner-up position. With his victory, Mackey jumped to third in series points while Roger Sawyer dropped to fifth after losing 35 laps in the race when the rear-end on his race car broke. These were the first laps Sawyer has not completed all season entering the race with a 99.8% laps completed percentage. Rounding out the top ten finishing positions was: Hmiel, Brent Moore, Eric Van Cleef, Keith Roggen and veteran Ned Combs. Mackey was the Gatorade "Front Runner" of the race for the first time this year while Strader took home his eighth NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year Award in his 10 starts. The next event for the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring will be the Southern National Speedway 125 on July 29 at Kenly, N. C.