GREENVILLE, S. C. (April 12 2001) - Greenville-Pickens Speedway, the second oldest short track in the NASCAR family gets lots of attention every year from NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams and NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division Teams...
GREENVILLE, S. C. (April 12 2001) - Greenville-Pickens Speedway, the second oldest short track in the NASCAR family gets lots of attention every year from NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams and NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division Teams because of its close proximity to their Charlotte, N. C. based headquarters. But race fans at the historic ½-mile facility have to travel to other locations to see these teams and drivers when they compete. They will not have to travel far on April 28 to see the stars and cars of the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring in the $48,450 Ingles 200 as they make their first of two appearances of 2001 at the track NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division teams use as one of their test speedplants. There will be new names and old names as the powerful 550 horsepower Chevrolet Monte Carlo's, Pontiac Grand Prix's and Ford Thunderbirds take to the track for practice at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. One of those old names, so familiar to race fans and driving his familiar Ford Thunderbird, Jody Ridley, will return to G-P for the first time since 1995, looking to capture a third career win at this tough track and set his sights on a possible fourth NASCAR series championship. Ridley has been to victory lane twice at Greenville, with his wins occuring in the spring of 1993 and 1994.
Ridley will not be the only NASCAR Champion in the field for this event. He will be joined by Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring 2000 Champion Billy Bigley Jr., 1999 Champion Wayne Anderson, 1989 All American Challenge Series Champion Stanley Smith, who last competed here in 1990, and 1984 All Pro Super Series National Champion Darrell Brown, giving race fans five champions in a field at Greenville for the first time ever.
Randy Gentry and Steven Howard welcome coming back home to their home track. "The race fans are great at G-P," said Gentry from his race shop. "2001 has gotten off to a great start for us and hopefully we will be able to keep the momentum going. Our finish at Mobile gave our team a tremendous lift and everyone is so pumped about this year with the changes on the series." "I am glad that Tom Blackwell has two races every year at G-P," commented Howard. "This track is tough and I can see why other teams come here to test." This will be an outstanding race and the competition should be the best that has been here in a long time. I always feel so confident on this track because I have so many laps here."
A tight points battle is already taking shape with Scott Carlson of Cantonment, Fla., winning the opening event followed by Billy Bigley Jr., Jody Ridley, Randy Gentry and Josh Clemons. Bigley will not be able to defend his series title in 2001 since he has a full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride which leaves the door open for a new Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion in 2001.
On Saturday, April 28, the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring cars will take to the track for practice starting at 1:00 pm with qualifying starting at 6:00 pm.
The Ingles 200 will take the green flag at 8:00 pm.
The Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring is one of nine NASCAR Touring Series that blanket the United States, bringing special events to many NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks and some NASCAR superspeedways and road courses. NASCAR Touring Series can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. The sponsors include R. J. Reynolds, Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite Trailers, Goody's Headache Powders, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes and RE/MAX International, Incorporated.