Veteran Mickey York Wins Discount Auto Parts/Pennzoil 150 Lakeland, FL -- Mickey York; the 51 year old veteran from Asheboro, NC; ended a four year drought by driving his Pontiac to victory circle in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Discount Auto...
Veteran Mickey York Wins Discount Auto Parts/Pennzoil 150
Lakeland, FL -- Mickey York; the 51 year old veteran from Asheboro, NC; ended a four year drought by driving his Pontiac to victory circle in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Discount Auto Parts/Pennzoil 150 Saturday night at USA International Speedway. The 1992 series champion struggled through adversity during the day in preparing for the 150 lap grind around the high-banked 3/4 mile speedway when his primary engine broke a timing belt forcing York and his crew to install a backup powerplant. 23 year old Jake Hobgood, who earlier in the day was disappointed with his qualifying run, slipped by the 2-car last lap battle for second between Ricky Bryant and Danny Bagwell to claim the second place honors. Bagwell fought hard to recover from the final lap slugfest in turn two with Bryant and posted his Ford in the third spot.
The race began with outside front row starter Robert Huffman getting the jump on the field and taking the lead in turn one. Pole sitter George Crenshaw, who missed the track record by only .001 of a second, settled in to second before the rear-end beneath his Bad Frog Beer Pontiac began to falter. York, who started mid-field, struggled during long green flag runs and nearly went a lap down just past the halfway mark in the event.
Robert Huffman, who had already clinched the 1998 series championship prior to arriving for the race, was ready to race for another win which would raise his total to 9 checkered flags for the season. Huffman proved dominate all evening long and was only challenged by his season-long rival David Hutto who came into contention just prior to halfway. Both Huffman and Hutto battled for the top spot unaware that NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro competitor Jimmy Britts from Orange Park, Florida was charging through the field. Britts having climbed to third looked to have a car to contend with until the top three met their demise exiting turn two while working lap 93. Keith Wilson spun his Pontiac in turn two in front of the leaders and slid backwards up the banking into the path of then leader Hutto. Hutto's car slammed into the side of Wilson and the two slid into the path of Huffman. Britts, who trailed by about 10 car lengths to the leaders, was left with a narrow path to the outside of the crash and unsuccessfully tried to squeeze through. The race was brought to a red flag while safety crews cleaned up the accident scene. When the red was lifted most of the field headed to pit road and York, who was within 25 car lengths of going one lap down, emerged as the leader.
York would never relinquish the lead in spite of several attempts from Bagwell to slip by. Following the race, York exclaimed that "Doc" Tom Brewer was his "best friend" during the course of the event. Brewer fought to get a lap back from the leader creating a buffer between York and Bagwell. Over the final 10 laps Bagwell would become distracted in the battle for second with Ricky Bryant and when the two collided on the final lap they allowed fourth place Hobgood to get by and snatch second from them. York was able to cruise back to start-finish and his 28th career win powered by an engine built from salvaged parts of former Busch Grand National V6 engines used by Dale Earnhardt. Hobgood's second place run was marred by a skip in the engine and a failing power steering unit.
The NASCAR Goody's Dash series moves next to the Homestead Motorsports Complex for their final event for 1998.
The 1998 racing schedule at USA International Speedway will be complete with the running of the Discount Auto Parts/ Alan Kulwicki Memorial 300 on November 28th for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series. The battle for the championship appears to be headed to the final event at USA as rookie Jeff Agnew leads defending champion Mario Gosselin by 110 points with 3 races remaining. The Alan Kulwicki Memorial is the fourth and final race in the four champion series for 1998 which offers big bonuses to driver who can post repeat victories in the selected events. Michael Ritch, seven time winner so far during the 1998 season has already won two of the four designated races and earned a $25,000 year end bonus. Ritch has the chance to turn it into $100,000 by winning the final event of the season. Jay Folgeman, currently fifth in the points race is the other winner of a Four Champions series race and could spoil Ritch's opportunity while gaining a $25,000 for his own Durham, NC team. For more information about upcoming racing at USA International Speedway contact the speedway office.