Myrtle Beach Cam Strader scores first victory

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (August 12 2000) - NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year leading contender, Cam Strader, scored his first NASCAR career victory Saturday night by winning the Van Camp's Piggly Wiggly Goody's Dash Series 100 at the Myrtle Beach Speedway...

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (August 12 2000) - NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year leading contender, Cam Strader, scored his first NASCAR career victory Saturday night by winning the Van Camp's Piggly Wiggly Goody's Dash Series 100 at the Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Strader in his Wesson Cooking Oil/Children's Miracle Network Mercury and Jake Hobgood in his Wynn's Pontiac hooked up in an old-fashioned duel that saw two of NASCAR's rising stars engage in a furious battle. The pair battled door-to-door around the .538-mile oval in heavy race traffic throughout the last 50 laps.

"I feel good right now," said Strader after a spirited victory lane celebration at the speedway's start/finish line. "I'm pretty surprised, but it feels good to win our first race, especially the Van Camp's/Piggly Wiggly 100. I'm just real proud of this team and the fact we could get a win in our first season for Wesson," he continued.

Keith Roggen won his first career Bud Pole start with a fast lap of 93.165 mph in his Chevrolet to lead the 30-car field. But in the series pre-race drawing for starting position, Justin Hobgood moved up to the point to start the race. Strader started on the outside of the front row after the pre-race qualifying draw, and wasted little time establishing himself as a contender. He took the lead on the first lap with Justin and Jake Hobgood in second and third followed by Roggen and Huffman.

Strader led three times for 34 laps with Hobgood leading twice for 57 laps. On lap 97, Strader put his Mercury to the low-side of turn two and into the lead for the final time. "I have been at this track many times in a late model car and frankly it has not been one of my favorite tracks," said Strader in victory lane. "I have never run well here, but after tonight it will move to the head of my list of favorite tracks."

"This Wesson Cooking Oil team led by Barry Owen is awesome. Barry is the driving force behind this team. He knows a race car," he continued. "We have a great leader--he keeps us all together working toward a common goal."

The two Hobgood brothers dueled each other for runner-up honors with Jake taking the position on lap 17. A mandatory pit stop between laps 25 and 90 saw all but the three cars of Ricky Woodward, Greg Goodell, and Doc Brewer head on to pit road for fuel. B. J. Mackey's Van Camp's sponsored car was damaged in the right front by Johnny Chapman's car, when he and Jimmy Britts collided on pit road.

One of the cars that stayed on the track was Ricky Woodward, who started the race in 30th position, then inherited the lead when the front cars made their pit stop. He held the front position for eight laps until Jake Hobgood made the bold move of the race by splitting the cars of Woodward and Bobby Dayton in turn three on lap 35. He held the point through lap 84, when Strader began to flex the muscle of his machine.

Over the final 20 laps, Hobgood and Strader drove door-to-door to the delight of race fans, with neither driver giving ground. Strader took the point on lap 84 coming off turn four. Four laps later, Hobgood retook the top spot with an outside move. Strader was glued to Hobgood's rear bumper with five laps to go. As the two drivers received the two laps to go signal, Strader drove the Wesson Mercury to the bottom of turn two and reclaimed the lead for the final time.

"Our pit stop was good and everything worked well all night," said crew chief Barry Owen. "I think we knew this night was coming," he said. "Cam does a great job in the car. He has a great track presence, and the controlled aggressiveness it takes to be great in this sport."

Finishing behind Strader and Hobgood were Justin Hobgood, Robert Huffman, and Jimmy Britts rounding out the top five.

Strader was named the top finishing NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year contender for the 10th time in 13 races. The victory also moved Strader into fourth place in the series' championship point standings, and increased his lead to 26 points over Eric VanCleef for the Rookie of the Year title.

The next event for the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring will be the Pabst Blue Ribbon 150 on August 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway in conjunction with the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Reel Saver 250.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Cam Strader , Robert Huffman , Johnny Chapman , Justin Hobgood