Langley race story

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AUGUST 17, 1997 SOCKWELL MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW Brian Sockwell, of Brown Summit, N.C. fought off the hard charging B.J. Mackey from Rock Hill, S.C. in this week's Cook's ...



Brian Sockwell, of Brown Summit, N.C. fought off the hard charging B.J. Mackey from Rock Hill, S.C. in this week's Cook's Moving Service 100 for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. to claim his fourth victory in the 1997 season and his second win in as many races for the Cleaver Brooks / C&C Boiler Pontiac Sunfire. Sockwell, who has a reputation for turning it on when the TV cameras are on did just that, and thrilled the sold out grandstand crowd and the national TV audience with a picture perfect performance. Starting the 100 lap feature from the pole, his fourth this season, Sockwell led 75 of the 104 total laps, relinquishing the lead only one time to Mackey for 29 laps through the middle 1/3 of the race. "B.J. gave me all I wanted in this one." said Sockwell. "It got real slick there towards the end. I don't know if it was the track changing or if the car just got real loose, but I could see the 71 car closing in. I was ready for this one to be over." Mackey's last lap charge for the lead almost resulted in his unsponsored Pontiac Sunfire spinning as the two leaders exited turn four and charged towards the checkers. But the young driver was able to recover to hold on to his second place spot. "We're real pleased with the run." Mackey said, after the race. We qualified second and finished second. All in all, it was a good run for the team. We really needed to have a good showing here because we're still running on a race to race budget. This will really help."

Behind Sockwell and Mackey, Will Hobgood, Charles Powell III and Ned Combs rounded out the top five in the Cook's Moving Service 100. Hobgood, suffering the effects of the heat and still recovering from some soreness resulting from a hard crash one week earlier at Myrtle Beach , had to be assisted from his Wynn's Pontiac following the event but was checked out and given the okay by track safety personnel. "I'm just still real tender from the Myrtle Beach incident with Monk (Gulledge)." said Hobgood. "We've been so busy at the shop, I just haven't had time to take it easy and let things heal. We've got a week off now before Summerville, so we'll be fine." Sockwell's win here at Langley ties him with Mike Swaim Jr. in the wins column with four victories each in 1997 and significantly closes the gap between himself and Swaim in the race for this years national championship points battle. Swaim, who had been a serious challenger in the early portion of this race broke the ratchet in the rear end of his No. 28 Cook's Moving Service Pontiac near the half way point causing the bright red and silver Sunfire to fade back through the field eventually finishing seventh. Two young drivers making big gains in this event were Jimmy Gross of Bowling Green, Ky. and Matthew Barnes of Wesminster, Md. who was making his first ever start in a NASCAR Goody's Dash Series cockpit. Gross worked his way from his 15th starting position to eventually finish ninth, but it was Barnes who picked off the most positions during the race. Coming from his 22nd starting spot, Barnes worked his way nicely through the traffic to finish just outside the top ten, in 12th. Jon Redman of Fairfax Station, Va. was another driver who was having a good run, before a bump and spin incident between himself and Robert Huffman of Claremont, N.C. drew the attention of the NASCAR officials and resulted in Redman sitting out two laps on pit road. Prior to the incident, Redman had been moving up steadily from his 13th starting position and had been running fifth when the incident occurred. The No. 45 Redman's Fleet Services Pontiac eventually finished 11th, two laps off the leaders. The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series teams will take a week off before heading to Summerville Speedway in Summerville, S.C. for the re-scheduled Sky Fire Weekend. This race was previously scheduled to be run July 5, 1997 but was postponed to the Labor Day weekend date because of the weather. Promoter, Charley Powell will provide the fire in the sky with his always, spectacular fireworks display and the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series regulars will be providing the hot track action. -30- For more information, contact: NASCAR Public Relations, Tim Myers at 919-552-5823.

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Drivers Brian Sockwell