SES: Greenville-Pickens race report

Bigley is 'Peerless' in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Competition Greenville, S.C. - April 22, 2000 - If you have a car sponsor with 'Peerless' in the title it can't hurt when your performance mirrors your sponsor's name. On Saturday...

Bigley is 'Peerless' in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Competition Greenville, S.C. - April 22, 2000 - If you have a car sponsor with 'Peerless' in the title it can't hurt when your performance mirrors your sponsor's name. On Saturday night at Greenville-Pickens Speedway Billy Bigley, Jr. was just that as he ran to his second Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring race in a row. Bigley earned his second consecutive career series win at the flat 0.500-mile oval. The Naples, Fla. driver pocketed $9,675 of the $48,350 B&B Pools 200 purse. "This Peerless Woodworking/Nevamar Decorative Surfaces Chevrolet was just flawless tonight. My family, my whole crew, they all work so hard to give me a car capable of winning races and when we were so good right off the truck today I felt we were going to have a good night," stated Bigley. "I want to thank Don Jacobson and Diane Damian of Peerless Woodworking, this is the first year that we've had such solid sponsorship to start off the season and it just makes the whole deal work so much better," he added. Bigley's night started off right when he captured the Bud Pole Award after zipping around the speedway in 19.498 seconds at an average speed of 92.317 mph. It was third Bud Pole for Bigley at Greenville-Pickens, and was the sixth of his Slim Jim All Pro Series career. Bigley is now in a three way tie with Derrick Gilchrist and Bobby Gill for fifth on the career poles list. When the green flag was displayed to get the 200-lap race underway Bigley quickly assumed command when outside polesitter Toby Porter spun heading into the first turn, bringing out the race's first caution after one lap. The field restarted in single-file formation and Bigley set the pace through several short caution periods that permeated the early portions of the race. Once the drivers settled down A.J. Frank, Randy Gentry, Steven Howard, Scott Kilby, Lee Tissot, Jeff Fultz and Wayne Anderson took up the chase. Kilby, Howard, Gentry, Fultz, Anderson and Tissot swapped several of the top positions but none of the drivers could eat away at Bigley's lead. As the crossed flags were displayed to the leaders on lap 100 16 cars were still on the lead lap with Frank, Gentry, Tissot and Howard completing the top five behind Bigley. On lap 141 the race's sixth caution waved after St. Joseph, Mich.'s Gary Terry, who passed on his graduation ceremonies at Western Michigan University to race, spun in turn four. At this point Fultz and Anderson pitted but each was penalized a lap for an unapproved tire change. Bigley and the rest of the leaders stayed out on the track. When the race restarted on lap 149 Frank was still in second with Howard, Gentry and Tissot rounding out the top five. The caution again waved on lap 190 when Ken Weaver and rookies David Stremme and Billy Mills got together in turn one. When green flag conditions resumed the caution came back out one lap later when San Antonio, Tex.'s Joe Aramendia made contact with the backstretch wall. This last caution set up a green-white-checkered finish, and extended the length of the race to 201 laps. To Bigley it didn't matter as he outdistanced Frank by 0.433 seconds to score his second win of the year and second in as many tries at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Bigley's ninth career series win moved him into a three-way tie for sixth with Porter and Mike Garvey on the series wins list. Frank's second place finish was his second consecutive top career finish. Rounding out the top five were Kilby in his first start of 2000, Gentry who equaled his best career series finish at his former home track and rookie Casey Yunick in his best career finish in three series starts. Rounding out the top 10 were Fultz, Tissot, Terry, Kevin Prince and Anderson. There were 19 of 32 starters running when the checkered flag waved. The race was run in one hour 35 minutes and 21 seconds and Bigley's winning average speed was 62.926 mph. There were a total of eight caution periods for 46 laps. After three points races in 2000 Bigley his points lead over Tissot to 48 points. Frank, David Reutimann and Fultz round out the top five while Gentry, Howard, Stremme, Anderson and Benny Gordon round out the top 10 points positions. By virtue of leading all 201 laps Bigley picked up the $500 Gatorade Front Runner Award and moved into sole possession of the points lead for the annual Gatorade Front Runner Award. Bigley's crew chief Adam Heckelman nabbed the $300 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew-Chief-of-the-Race Award for the second race in a row after leading his team's dominant victory. Heckelman is now in sole possession of the points lead in the category. The Moroso Performance Products Rookie-of-the-Year standings are quite tight after two races. Yunick's career-best fifth place finish earned him the $250 Rookie-of-the-Race honors while Stremme secured the $100 runnerup award in the category. After three races Stremme leads Yunick by two points while the separation from first to seventh is just seven points. Next up for the drivers in the Slim Jim All Pro Series is the Discount Auto Parts 200 presented by ROL Gaskets at U.S.A. International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. The race will be held on Saturday, April 29 and represents the second year in a row that the series' competitors will have raced at the high speed 0.750-mile oval.

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Drivers Billy Bigley , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Joe Aramendia , Ken Weaver , David Stremme , Mike Garvey , A.J. Frank