Ogelthorpe: Round two preview

Goody's Dash Series returns to action. SAVANNAH, GA (March 28, 2003) - The Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring heads for Oglethorpe Speedway Park Saturday, April 5, 2003 for the historic running of the Lucas Oil "150" Goody's Dash Series on ...

Goody's Dash Series returns to action.

SAVANNAH, GA (March 28, 2003) - The Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring heads for Oglethorpe Speedway Park Saturday, April 5, 2003 for the historic running of the Lucas Oil "150" Goody's Dash Series on Dirt.

This event marks the second race of the season for the Goody's Dash Series. It also marks a stark contrast between the 2.5 mile Daytona International Speedway and the half-mile hard clay oval at OSP. Interestingly enough, while a wet track caused the season opener to be shortened, at OSP a sprinkle of water will be used to prepare the clay surface for a night of exciting racing.

At no time in the 29 year history of the Goody's Dash Series have the cars ever competed on dirt. This event will attest to the adaptability of the series' top drivers and of the powerful 6-cylinder stock cars.

On Saturday, March 22nd several teams visited the half-mile for an open practice session. Every single driver in attendance expressed that they found the track to be much different than they expected. Arlene Pittman, the promoter for the event, assured the drivers that there would be two grooves of racing and that the track would be hard enough to take on rubber from their tires. Pittman has been a competitor in the series since the second event of 2002. She is stepping out of her race car for this event in order to concentrate her efforts on promoting the 150 lap race.

What They Are Saying:

"It's really something," says Cordova, AL driver Danny Bagwell. "The track was slick in practice, but it is fast. It is going to be the same for everyone." Bagwell has a knack for communicating with humor. He likened the experience to being on the farm planting corn. "Being on dirt is a lot different than being at a Daytona or Kentucky. But, it is not bad at all. If they are able to work the track in and get it consistent all the way across, I believe it will be really good for us to race on. It will be interesting to see how the track holds up over 150 laps. One thing is for sure, (Bagwell grinning) there is no wall to tear up."

4-time Series' Champion and winner at Daytona, Claremont, NC driver Robert Huffman comments, "It was a little dustier than I thought. But they say that it will not be like that when we run at night. As far as how the cars handle, you have more of a controlled loose feeling. When you turn it back to the right it doesn't snap back like on asphalt. It just stays in that lazy slide. Passing is going to be interesting. There will have to be some leaning and banging. And I am sure that in the first few laps there will be a lot of trial and error until the drivers can figure out where and how it is best to get by someone. Qualifying up front will be really important." Huffman was asked how he thinks most of the drivers feel about beating and banging with the high dollar Goody's Dash cars. "I don't really care as much, I beat and bang with them anyway," Huffman says with a chuckle. "I am using my oldest race car and it doesn't have new sheet metal on it yet. I wouldn't want to bring a brand new car to race with. But, this is one of the races on the schedule and you come here and do what you have to do to win."

Auxvasse, MO driver Roger Moser says, "The track seems to be real good. I wish we could have practiced at night so that the conditions would have been closer to what we will be racing on. It seems hard to keep the marbles off of it during the daytime, but the track is real smooth. We have been searching to find the right gear to use. I really like the track."

2002 Defending Series' Champion, Winnsboro, SC driver Jake Hobgood says, "The track has been worked in nicely. It has a lot of side bite and a lot of forward bite, which I didn't think we would have. We are happy with the track. We are working to get all the power we can to the rear wheels and find the speed we need. I think at the start of the race we will slide the car more, and it will be all about survival. But as the race wears on it will get tighter and there will be more grip. The last half of the race should be very exciting." Hobgood plans to debut his new Toyota Celica. "Rob has been through it and I am sure he will be more than glad to share some advice," he says laughing.

Short takes:

Greg Goodell, "I like seeing this big dirt tires on these cars. It is going to fun and interesting. To see all these cars together, it might be a wild ride, but we are looking forward to it."

Eric Wilson (Jackman for Ricky Craven and Goody's Dash Series driver) says, "I love it. I raced dirt back in Texas when I was 15 and 16 years old. It has been a while, but it is something different than we are used to in this series. It levels the playing field out for everybody and I am looking forward to coming back. This is going to be a lot of fun."

Rookie of the Year contender, Jay Godley comments, "This is my first time on dirt in about ten years since I ran go karts. We are just trying to get the feel for the race track. It is a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the race."

Scott Weaver, "It is a lot different than I expected. It really is not that much different than an asphalt track. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but if you learn to finesse the throttle and get around here, it is actually pretty neat. I have really enjoyed practicing on it. It is going to be more difficult to pass cars here than say at Myrtle Beach or some of the other tracks we run on. But, I don't think passing will be impossible. Now, passing without contact might be. I am looking forward to the race, I am having a ball."

Ray Paprota is a paraplegic driver making his second series' start in a car that utilizes hand controls. "I am getting crossed up a lot more with it being dirt. The hand controls are unique in that it takes a lot more getting used to than on an asphalt track." When asked how he was being accepted by the other competitors. "It really has nothing to do with my being handicapped. It's more about whether or not I can drive, just as it would be with anyone that is new to the series. Showing them I can drive earns their respect."

Randy Humphrey sums it up by saying, "We are here because we are competitors. This is another race and another chance to win. We are working hard to find the right combination and we are looking forward to racing here. It is going to be different for sure, but a lot of fun."

Lee Petty won the last NASCAR Series event here in 1955. One driver will add their name to the region's auto racing history on Saturday, April 5, 2003 Oglethorpe Speedway Park, Savannah, GA.


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Drivers Ricky Craven , Jay Godley , Robert Huffman , Lee Petty