GAINESVILLE, GA. (August 25 2000) - With three-quarters of the 2000 racing schedule complete, Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring drivers head into the home stretch, with only four races remaining, of completing the 26th year of series ...
GAINESVILLE, GA. (August 25 2000) - With three-quarters of the 2000 racing schedule complete, Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring drivers head into the home stretch, with only four races remaining, of completing the 26th year of series competition.
Next up for NASCAR's production sedan division will be the ETS Payphones 150 at the beautiful 3/8-mile Lanier National Speedway on September 2 2000. Jake Hobgood is defending champion of this event.
Hobgood's victory in 1999 was his only win last year and certainly one he won't forget. Ten lead changes among three drivers highlighted the 150-lap event that saw Hobgood and three-time Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring National Champion Robert Huffman, swap the lead five times in the first 11 laps.
"We certainly didn't plan it that way," said Hobgood from his race shop in Winnsboro, S. C. "Rob (Huffman) is so tough and I enjoy racing with him. We each just took advantage of the opportunities as they presented themselves and made the most of it. Lanier is a track that you can pass on and if you have a good setup with your car it will handle well. Both of us had excellent handling cars and it looked like Rob was going to victory lane again until that last caution. When he spun to avoid hitting the car that spun in front of him that opened the door for us."
Huffman, of Claremont, N. C. is trying to nail down National Championship number four. If he wins again in 2000 he would be only the second driver in series history to win three consecutive titles. Five-time National Champion Dean Combs won consecutive titles in 1975, '76, and '77. With White House Apple Juice solidly behind him his other titles came in 1990, 1998 and 1999. But with four races remaining, Ricky Bryant of Archdale, N. C., driver of the Washington Apple Pontiac is not conceding to Huffman. Bryant has yet to win in 2000 but he has been the most consistent driver on the series. Entering this race Bryant and Huffman are tired with 12 top 10 finishes and Bryant trails Huffman by 112 points. One year ago, Huffman entered this race with a 316-point lead on Jake Hobgood and a 332 point spread on Bryant with four races remaining on the schedule.
"Hey anything is possible," Bryant said after the race at Bristol on August 23. "The point spread is a lot closer this year than last. Rob had two bad races earlier in the year and that allowed us to close the gap. We will be doing everything we can to first win at Lanier which hopefully will help our chances toward the championship."
Not only will this event be important toward deciding the series title; the NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year title is on the line. Cam Strader, Wilson, N. C. has been the dominate first year competitor in 2000 who has felt lots of heat from Eric Van Cleef, Ricky Woodward, Doug Gainey, Tommy Ballard and Brandon Ward. Strader is currently sixth in national points and just nailed down his first NASCAR career win at Myrtle Beach Speedway on August 12.
Ballard of Kannapolis, N. C., is sponsored by ETS Payphones and BCI Communications, the event sponsor. ETS Payphones has been a great supporter of the Adam Walsh Foundation for Missing and Exploited Children and has as its goal this year the donation of $500,000 to the Adam Walsh Foundation. Ballard's racing program is helping meet that goal.
The qualifying record for these cars at Lanier is held my Monk Gulledge, set in 1997, with a fast lap of 14.133 Secs/95.521 mph. Huffman who averaged 66.678 mph with his win in 1998 holds the race record. Thirty-four entries have been filed for this event and will be trying to gain on of the 30 starting positions.
Nine NASCAR Touring Series blanket the United States, bringing special events to many NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks and some NASCAR superspeedways and road courses. NASCAR Touring Series are extremely popular with fans and competitors. NASCAR Touring Series can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. These sponsors include Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite, Goody's Headache Powders, Raybestos Brakes, RE/MAX International, Inc., Slim Jim and R. J. Reynolds brand, Winston.