Hickory race report

JIMMY BRITTS DOMINATES GOODY'S DASH SERIES, HICKORY EVENT By Bill Desmond HICKORY, N. C. (Sept. 16 2000) - Jimmy Britts powered his way to victory Saturday night with the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring, winning the Jim Cook Chevrolet...

By Bill Desmond

HICKORY, N. C. (Sept. 16 2000) - Jimmy Britts powered his way to victory Saturday night with the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring, winning the Jim Cook Chevrolet 125 presented by Galaxy Foods/Pure Wesson Cooking Oil at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway. Britts had not been to victory lane, with the series, since July 4 2000 but on this night he was the car to beat, as he also put his NAPA Autoparts/Southern Speed/Horsepower by Hedrick Pontiac at the point for the third time in 2000. In winning his third Bud Pole, Britts broke the four-way tie between himself, Justin Hobgood, Robert Huffman, and Cam Strader toward the end of year Bud Pole Award with three races remaining on the 2000 schedule. Britts turned the .363-mile oval in 15.222 Secs (85.849 mph). "It has been awhile since we won a race so I am finding it hard to say something. But I do know when we needed horsepower this Hedrick Motor was there for us. We had a couple of scares near the end of the race and I knew who was behind me," said Britts. "Robert (Huffman) has so many laps at this track and I knew he would race me clean. I just had to keep him from passing me on the low side in the corners." "B. J. (Mackey) was strong the first half of the race but I knew that if I stayed close I would be Ok. No doubt his tires started going away because he faded pretty fast once I took the lead." Finishing behind Britts' Pontiac were Huffman with his Apple Juice Pontiac, Roger Sawyer in his Orlando Orange County Auto Auction Pontiac who nipped Mackey at the line by inches, Mackey in his Van Camp's Beans/Horton Homes Pontiac and Strader with his Wesson Cooking Oil/Children's Miracle Network Mercury. The pre-race qualifying draw utilized by the series put Mike Watts with his Select Broker, Inc./Signature Homes Mercury at the point with Mackey on this outside of the front row with Britts starting third and Scott Weaver in his Weaver Race Cars/Jim Cook Chevrolet Pontiac on the outside of the second row. Watts' Mercury was no match for Mackey's Pontiac when the green flag started the race as the young driver took the point in the middle of turns one and two on the first lap. Mackey set a blistering pace opening a five car lead over Britts who wasted little time taking over the runner-up spot. His lead quickly dwindled when the first of seven caution flags flew on lap five when the car of Steven Barfield got loose in turn one. His spin also collected the Toyota of Eric Van Cleef sending his car to the garage for the remainder of the night. Thirteen caution laps between laps 24 and 43 kept the field in check with Mackey at the front followed by Britts in the top two positions. Once racing resumed Mackey continued his strong showing opening a huge lead by the half-way point in the race. But the second half of the event belonged to Britts. He chased Mackey's Pontiac down finally moving into the lead on lap 83 with Huffman also moving around Mackey to take second. With 39-laps of green flag racing, Johnny Chapman brought his Old Milwaukee Non-Alcoholic Pontiac to third and Strader taking the fifth spot. As the race neared completion Britts has an commanding lead on Huffman but that disappeared on lap 111 when the Jesse Wade machine spun in turn four. Huffman was in position to take his fifth win of 2000 however Britts had a good start keeping Huffman's Pontiac in second Huffman would see a second chance for the win when Johnny Chapman made a move on Mackey for third in turn four. Chapman put his car on the low side of the turn but close racing between his car and that of Strader and Sawyer saw Chapman's car get tagged in the right rear. When Chapman tried to get his car under control he got smacked again sending the Old Milwaukee Non Alcoholic Pontiac into the outside retaining wall. "I had the inside spot," said Chapman after the event. "I didn't get hit once, I got hit twice. We had a good race car tonight and should have been in the top five." On the final restart, Britts again had a clean start taking his third career win. Rounding out the top 10 positions were Keith Roggen, Maxie Bush, Ricky Bryant, Scott Weaver and Bobby Dayton. "I just didn't get good starts on those last two cautions," said Huffman after the event. "Jimmy (Britts) has a strong car tonight and deserved the win. He was strong all night." With his second place finish Huffman increased his series points lead to 149 points over Ricky Bryant with three races remaining on the 2000 schedule. Mackey won the Gatorade "Frontrunner" Award by leading the most laps with Strader being the top finishing NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year candidate. The next event for the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring will be a second visit to Coastal Plains Speedway in Jacksonville, N. C. on October 7.

<pre> OFFICIAL FINISH AND LAPS COMPLETED: 1. Jimmy Britts, 125; 2. Robert Huffman, 125; 3. Roger Sawyer, 125; 4. B. J. Mackey, 125; 5. Cam Strader, 125; 6. Keith Roggen, 125; 7. Maxie Bush, 125; 8. Ricky Bryant, 125; 9. Scott Weaver 125; 10. Bobby Dayton, 124; 11. Angie Wilson, 124; 12. Jesse Wade, 123; 13. Ned Combs, 123; 14. Randy Humphrey, 122; 15. Gary Moore, 120; 16. Ricky Woodward, 120; 17. Greg Goodell, 119; 18. Johnny Chapman, 115, Accident; 19. Justin Hobgood, 108, Accident; 20. Jake Hobgood, 107; 21. Doug Gainey, 86, Engine; 22. Mike Watts, 61, Engine; 23. Steven Barfield, 56, Accident; 24. Shane Hmiel, 37, Accident; 25. Mike McConnell, 37, Accident; 26. Tommy Ballard, 23, Radios; 27. Zach Brewer, 16, Wheel Bearing; 28. Eric Van Cleef, 4, Accident. TIME OF RACE: 50 Mins. 07 Secs AVERAGE SPEED: 54.323 mph MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.15 Secs. CAUTION PERIODS: Seven Cautions for 32 Laps LAP LEADERS: Mike Watts, Grid, B. J. Mackey 1-82; Jimmy Britts, 83-125.

GOODY'S DASH SERIES, NASCAR TOURING TOP TEN IN POINTS: (As Of Sept 16) Unofficial 1. Robert Huffman, 2369; 2. Ricky Bryant, 2229; 3. Roger Sawyer, 2145; 4. B. J. Mackey, 2111; 5. Cam Strader, 2098; 6. Johnny Chapman, 2088; 7. Keith Roggen, 1999; 8. Ned Combs, 1925; 9. Jake Hobgood, 1881, 10. Jimmy Britts, 1844.

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Drivers Shane Hmiel , Cam Strader , Angie Wilson , Robert Huffman , Johnny Chapman , Justin Hobgood , Gary Moore