Query waltzed to Slim Jim All Pro title PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. (Jan. 21, 1999) Freddie Query of Mooresville, N.C., was honored here recently after he earned his first career NASCAR Touring Series championship as he dominated many of the measured...
Query waltzed to Slim Jim All Pro title
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. (Jan. 21, 1999) Freddie Query of Mooresville, N.C., was honored here recently after he earned his first career NASCAR Touring Series championship as he dominated many of the measured categories during the 1998 season for the Slim Jim All Pro Series, a part of the NASCAR Touring Division. The 46-year-old driver amassed nine wins in 19 starts, a series record, easily outdistancing runner-up Derrick Gilchrist of Raleigh, N.C. "This has been the kind of season that every driver dreams about," said Query, a former high school teacher. "I couldn't be happier with the way things have gone for this Greased Lightning Cleaner Degreaser team. What is even more satisfying is that only one person can say they won the championship during NASCAR's 50th Anniversary and I'm fortunate enough to be the one." At one point during the season Query ran off a string of four consecutive victories and marched out to a 170-point cushion over his nearest pursuer, 1997 Slim Jim All Pro Series champion Hal Goodson. Just three races later, as a result of some on-track misfortunes and mechanical ills, Query's lead had evaporated and Goodson was atop the point standings by 26 points. Goodson's ride at the top lasted only two races as Query regained the top spot after the 16th race and maintained the lead through the balance of the 19-race season. Query dominated almost all Slim Jim All Pro Series statistical categories. His nine wins propelled him to the lead in career wins. He now has 17 wins, three more than former leader Mike Cope. Query moved from a fifth place tie with Toby Porter to the top spot by leaping over veteran drivers Mike Garvey, Goodson, Bobby Gill, Jody Ridley and Cope. There were nine different race winners in 1998. In addition to Query's nine visits to victory lane, Gilchrist and Goodson won two races each while Billy Bigley Jr., Steven Christian, Wayne Anderson, Lee Tissot, Porter and Scott Hansen each notched one win. Only Tissot was a first time Slim Jim All Pro Series event winner. Query led 1520 of 3923 laps run, an impressive 39 percent of all laps contested. To put this in perspective, Bigley was a distant second in laps led, leading 447 laps. There were 30 different lap leaders in 1998. Query also earned the most Bud Pole Awards, earning the top qualifying spot on four occasions. Gilchrist, Bigley and Goodson earned three Bud Poles each. Jeff Fultz started from the pole on two occasions while Mardy Lindley, Conrad Burr, Gill and Sean Studer each captured one pole start. Query also led in the laps completed category as he completed 3777 of the 3923 laps run for a laps completed percentage of 96.28 percent. Randy Gentry, Goodson, David Reutimann and Christian rounded out the top-five in laps completed, with each driver completing over 90 percent of all laps run. Scott Kilby of Statesville, N.C., captured the rookie of the year award. The Arndt & Herman Windows sponsored driver accomplished the feat in a challenging fashion. He actually split his schedule between two teams. He drove part of the schedule in his family-owned Pontiac, switching to a Chevrolet late in the season. For the balance of the schedule he piloted Joe Frasson's Chevrolet. There was spirited competition amongst the rookie drivers as Big Daddy's BBQ Sauces & Spices Chevrolet driver Ronnie Burkett wound up a mere three points behind Kilby. David Moyer, Trent Owens, Josh Clemons and Brian Sockwell made up the balance of the rookie class proving that the future is bright for the Slim Jim All Pro Series. Query earned the annual Gatorade Front Runner Award. Query dominated this category, ultimately leading at a race's halfway point on seven occasions, and winding up nearly doubling the point total of Bigley, his closest pursuer. Alex Query won the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew Chief Challenge. Serving as his father's crew chief, Alex provided thorough car preparation throughout 1998, enabling his father to compete for the win at virtually every event on the 1998 schedule. Each year the makeup of the series schedule experiences some limited changes. This year's schedule was no different. Two new tracks showed up on the schedule. The series ventured north to the one-mile Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway as well as west to the newly-constructed 0.75-mile Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park trioval. Also until 1998 the Slim Jim All Pro Series paid a visit to the 0.5-mile oval at Volusia Speedway Park. In 1998 the series again returned to the facility but this time the drivers raced on the former 0.375-mile dirt track, which was paved during the off-season. Five events were held in conjunction with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. The Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers shared the racing surface with the trucks at Homestead, Fla.; Odessa, Mo.; Nazareth; Louisville, Ky.; and Memphis. The season finale was held in Homestead and served as the final event for the trucks as well as the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring. Television coverage was greatly expanded during 1998 as a record 14 events reached fans on ESPN2, Fox Sports affiliates, Home Team Sports, The Nashville Network and The Sunshine Network.
Although the 1998 season was dominated by Query, outstanding performances were rendered by several drivers. Gilchrist, although finishing a distant second in the final point standings, actually registered more top-10 finishes than any other series driver. The Hamke Race Cars & Parts Chevrolet driver earned 16 top-10s in 19 starts. Over the last three years Gilchrist has consistently improved on his race finishes. In 1996 he finished in the top-10 26 percent of the time, in 1997 he improved to eight finishes in the top-10 in 20 starts for a 40 percent rate, then exploded this year by finishing in the top-10 84 percent of the time. Defending series champion Goodson wound up third in the point standings but was in the thick of things week in and week out. Bigley raced solidly all season despite failing to qualify for the season-opening event and Christian wound up in the top-six in points for the third consecutive year.
Source: NASCAR Online