KEITH ROGGEN FINDS NASCAR VICTORY LANE IN FINAL EVENT OF YEAR By Bill Desmond GAINESVILLE, GA. (October 28 2000) - Keith Roggen of Winter Haven, Fla. has waited two years to visit victory lane with the Goody's Dash Series,...
KEITH ROGGEN FINDS NASCAR VICTORY LANE IN FINAL EVENT OF YEAR
By Bill Desmond
GAINESVILLE, GA. (October 28 2000) - Keith Roggen of Winter Haven, Fla. has waited two years to visit victory lane with the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring but that all ended Saturday evening when he won his first career NASCAR touring event. Starting from the outside front row Roggen and B. J. Mackey hooked up in an old fashion dual throughout the 150-lap race to take the checkered flag in the Lanier National Speedway Goody's Dash 150 with his Ten Brink Underground/Dallas Auto Pontiac. Finishing behind the winner was Mackey with his Van Camp's Beans/Horton Homes/Daly Motorsports Pontiac, 2000 NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year Cam Strader with his Wesson Cooking Oil/Children's Miracle Network Mercury, Justin Hobgood in his Wynn's/Precision Engine Service Pontiac and Ricky Bryant with his Washington Apple Pontiac. "This is awesome," exclaimed Roggen in victory lane. "We have been close this year but tonight it was our night. B. J. (Mackey) is a good racer and the race fans couldn't have seen a better climax to a racing season. I have to thank my crew for all their hard work. After the race at Lakeland, Haskell Willingham tweaked our motor for us and when we needed that power tonight it was there." The night was a great finale for the series. Jimmy Britts started the evening with his fourth Bud Pole of the year to wrap up the yearly Bud Pole Award when he turned in a fast lap of 14.562 Secs (92.707 mph). Roggen was second fastest qualifier. Robert Huffman, despite a seventh place finish secured his fourth Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Championship, Cam Strader was officially named the 2000 NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year and Roggen's win made him the 11th different driver to visit victory lane in 2000. The series pre-race qualifying draw, for the first time in 2000, saw the top eight qualifiers with an opportunity to start at the point. That distinction went to Scott Weaver driving the Angie Wilson Hoss Sauces/Jim Cook Chevrolet Pontiac with Roggen keeping his outside front row starting spot. When flagman Brian Simons waved the green flag, Weaver and Roggen raced door handle to door handle on lap one before Roggen took the point in turn four. Even though it was the final racing event of the year, action started early as the first of six cautions waved on lap 2 when Robert Huffman's White House Apple Juice Pontiac got tapped on the backstretch. Also involved were the cars of Johnny Chapman, Danny Bagwell, Greg Goodell, Matt Barnes and Doug Gainey. This incident moved Britts into the challenger position on the restart and Britts kept his machine on the back bumper of Roggen's Pontiac. Britts then took the point on lap 17 but it was short-lived as Roggen's machine regained the lead. Strong runs were turned in by Bryant and Jake and Justin Hobgood but it was Mackey who really made some noise over the last half of the race after starting eighth on the field. On lap 82 Britts pitted for fuel moving Justin Hobgood to second, Mackey into third and Bryant into fourth. Two laps later Mackey took his mount to the inside of Hobgood's machine on the frontstretch to claim the runner-up spot. From this point on it was the Roggen - Mackey show as the two drivers swapped the point four times over the final 42 circuits. The final race caution waved on lap 135 when Roggen found himself behind Roger Sawyer's Pontiac giving Mackey the inside lane on the lowside of turn four. Roggen's car touched Sawyer's car from behind sending the Orlando driver spinning. Mackey had the point but on the final restart Roggen again went to the front taking his car to the inside of turn one and back to the front for one final time. Rounding out the top ten finishers was Joey Miller, Huffman, Britts, Randy Humphrey and Ned Combs. Roggen took home the Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award and Cam Strader was the highest finishing NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year candidate. This was the final event of the 2000 racing season for the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring and all drivers will be honored at the Champion's Awards Banquet on December 2 at the Greensboro (NC) Hilton.