SES: Coastal Plains race report

Jacksonville, N.C. - September 16, 2000 - Another dominating performance by defending Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring National Champion Wayne Anderson is leaving his fellow competitors scratching their heads. In probably his most...

Jacksonville, N.C. - September 16, 2000 - Another dominating performance by defending Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring National Champion Wayne Anderson is leaving his fellow competitors scratching their heads. In probably his most dominating run of 2000 the second-generation Wildwood, Fla. driver led 199 of 200 laps to win the $48,350 Coastal Plains 200 at Coastal Plains Raceway on Saturday night. The win was worth $9,875 to the driver of Frankie Grill's Jani King Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "The guys in the pits won this one for me tonight. We came in first, and went out first but Billy Bigley's a tough competitor. This Jani King Monte Carlo is really tough right now to beat. It took me a couple of laps to get it rolling (on restarts) but after about two laps this thing was hooked up pretty good. I want to commend all the racers out there tonight, they treated me with a lot of respect and I'm glad to see Billy in his hunt for the championship go real well, and it was good to see David Reutimann have a good top three finish. For the fourth time this year, more than any other series driver, Anderson captured the Bud Pole Award, setting a new track record in the process. He cruised around the 0.400-mile oval in a time of 15.005 seconds equating to an average speed of 95.968 mph. This moved him into a tie with Jeff Purvis and Toby Porter for second on the all-time pole winners' list. They have each earned nine poles, but trail pole leader Mike Cope who has earned 13 pole starts. St. Joseph, Mich.'s Gary Terry was the only other driver to break A.J. Frank's track record. The Quality First Diecast Chevrolet driver qualified for the outside front row starting position with a lap time of 15.147 seconds for an average speed of 95.068 mph. At the start of the race Anderson got a good jump and zipped into sole possession of the top spot, while Reutimann moved low and to the inside of Terry's car for second. The two Florida drivers raced nose-to-tail for the first 20 laps, until the first of seven caution periods occurred. The first caution resulted when Benny Gordon, Jeremy Thompson, George Ingole and Brian Smith got together in turn three. Once the four got their cars pointed in the right direction they were all able to continue, but Smith ended up going down one lap to the leaders. Points leader Bigley, having started a disappointing 21st, had moved up to the 11th spot by the time the green flag waved again on lap 26. By lap 50, second-place points man Jeff Fultz had moved into the third spot, and was pressuring Anderson and Reutimann to move up even further. By this time Bigley had advanced four more positions to hold down the seventh position. Just prior to the race's 100-lap halfway point Fultz's C&C Boiler/Cleaver Brooks/Honeywell Chevrolet slowed on the track and he coasted onto pit lane on lap 95. His points championship chase suffered a severe blow as he was forced to retire for the evening with an oil pump failure. When the crossed flags were displayed at halfway Anderson and Reutimann continued to hold down the top two spots while Terry, Bigley and rookie Billy Mills completed the top five. Thirteen cars were still on the lead lap at this point. The race's third caution period took place on lap 134 when Casey Yunick spun his Ugly Duckling Car Sales/Lou Ana Cooking Oil Chevrolet in turn four. During the caution period all of the lead lap cars pitted for sticker Hoosier tires, and Terry led the lap when all of the drivers hit pit road, by virtue of a pit position past the start/finish line. Once the race teams executed their pit stops the Augie Grill-led Jani King pit crew got Anderson back out first for the lap 142 restart. Mishawaka, Ind.'s Ken Weaver lined up behind Anderson, while Bigley had his Peerless Woodworking/Nevamar Decorative Surfaces Chevrolet planted directly behind Weaver awaiting the green flag. Bigley quickly got around Weaver's Square D Electric/Low Bob's Discount Tobacco Chevrolet once green flag racing resumed then set off to do what no one else has been able to do in recent races. And that's to overtake the red-hot Anderson. Lap after lap the Naples, Fla. driver pressured Anderson but could not manage to make the pass. Bigley settled for a runnerup finish, trailing Anderson by 0.486 seconds when the checkered flag waved. Zephyrhills, Fla.'s Reutimann completed a top-three Floridian sweep with a third place finish in the Pennzoil Chevrolet. Smith battled back from being a lap down to finish fourth in the Juba Glass Chevrolet and Terry completed the top five. Mills, Gordon, Weaver, Randy Gentry and Kevin Prince rounded out the top 10. Anderson completed the 200-lap race in a race record time of one hour, nine minutes and 46 seconds and his winning average speed was 68.801 mph. There were two lead changes among two drivers. Eight cars completed all 200 laps and 17 of 23 starters were running when the checkered flag waved. The seven caution periods consumed 39 laps. With two races left in 2000 Bigley holds a 93 point lead over Fultz, who precariously holds onto the runnerup spot by eight points over Reutimann. Smith is in the fourth spot, 67 points behind Reutimann. Moving into the top five for the first time in 2000 is Anderson, now 55 points behind Smith. Lee Tissot, Gordon, Weaver, A.J. Frank and Terry complete the top 10. The $500 Gatorade Front Runner Award went to Anderson for the fourth time this season. And the battle for the $4000 that goes to the driver with the most Gatorade points earned during the year couldn't be much closer. Anderson trails Bigley by just two points with two races left in 2000. Augie Grill earned his fifth $300 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew-Chief-of-the-Race Award as a result of Anderson's win. Bigley's crew chief Adam Heckelman continues to lead the points for crew-chief-of-the-year honors, holding a 12 point cushion over Grill. Mills' sixth place finish earned him the $250 Moroso Performance Products Rookie-of-the-Race Award. Yunick continues to lead in the race for rookie-of-the-year honors, having a 13 point lead over Greg Pope and Ryan Crane. The next stop for Slim Jim All Pro Series competitors is Saturday, September 30 at Nashville Speedway U.S.A. in Nashville, Tenn. The $54,950 NASCAR All Pro 200 will be the 14th of 15 races on the 2000 schedule, and will serve as a tuneup for the 20th Annual MBNA All American 400, to be run at Nashville on November 5, 2000. Bud Pole qualifying will take place at 5:00 p.m. and the NASCAR All Pro 200 racing program will get started at 8:00 p.m.

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Drivers Jeff Purvis , Billy Bigley , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Ken Weaver , Brian Smith , A.J. Frank