Louisville race report

"Roger Sawyer Claims Victory at Louisville" Louisville, KY (June 2, 2001) Roger Sawyer fulfilled his own prophecy by taking his Manhiem Orlando Orange County Auto Auction Pontiac to Victory Lane in the Old Milwaukee "150" Saturday night at ...

"Roger Sawyer Claims Victory at Louisville"

Louisville, KY (June 2, 2001) Roger Sawyer fulfilled his own prophecy by taking his Manhiem Orlando Orange County Auto Auction Pontiac to Victory Lane in the Old Milwaukee "150" Saturday night at Louisville Motor Speedway. Sawyer led only one lap in the 150 lap event, but it was the most important one. Rookie of the Year Contender Shane Hmiel won his first career Bud Pole with a lap time of 15.172 seconds/103.810 mph.

Jake Hobgood started from the pole after the top four were shuffled in the pre-race inversion, a standard format for Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring short track competition. Hobgood dominated the first 37 laps until he was challenged by his younger brother, Justin. Series defending Champion Robert Huffman took the lead on lap 80 and held on until lap 145 when Justin Hobgood reclaimed the lead.

The race was slowed by nine caution periods, typical for the tight track at Louisville. Most of the early cautions involved single car spins. Huffman has led the most laps in three out of the last four events. On the final two restarts Justin Hobgood was able to make a charge at Huffman passing him on lap 146, but Huffman was able to stay right on his bumper. Their duel over the remaining laps found them in constant contact with each other. Hobgood was determined to keep the lead and Huffman was determined to get it back. The track was slippery with a remnant of oil dry and made it difficult for either car to get the grip they needed to drive hard off the corner. After taking the white flag Huffman got into the rear of Hobgood's machine going into turn one. Hobgood's car turned sideways and Huffman's car slid right along with him, bringing the fans to their feet. At the same moment Sawyer was making a move on third place Shane Hmiel. Hmiel was caught on the outside allowing Sawyer to complete the pass and go on to take the checkered flag.

Just eight days earlier a last lap crash at Lowes Motor Speedway sent Sawyer to the hospital to be checked over for possible injuries. After receiving a clean bill of health Sawyer declared that not only was Louisville one of his favorite tracks, but that he intended to win. As Paul Harvey would say, "Now you know the rest of the story."

-nascar/gds-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Shane Hmiel , Robert Huffman , Justin Hobgood