SES: Greenville-Pickens: Season opener preview

Local drivers looking for a win at Greenville-Pickens. GREENVILLE, S. C. (April 18 2003) The NASCAR touring series racing careers of local favorites Randy Gentry and Steven Howard have almost paralleled each other since both drivers have been...

Local drivers looking for a win at Greenville-Pickens.

GREENVILLE, S. C. (April 18 2003) The NASCAR touring series racing careers of local favorites Randy Gentry and Steven Howard have almost paralleled each other since both drivers have been contenders on the NASCAR Elite Division, Kodak Southeast Series.

Both drivers have been considered series regulars since Howard starting competing full-time in 1997 after winning the Late Model Track Championship at Greenville and also the NASCAR Regional Championship the same year. Gentry started full-time with the series in 1998.

Gentry is still looking for his first NASCAR Touring Series career win in 91 career starts. Howard has visited victory lane three times in his 90 career starts on the series.

Ironically both drivers have recorded two top ten end of year points positions in the same two years with Howard finishing sixth in 1999 and ninth in 2001. In 1999 Gentry finished eighth in points then had his best racing year in 2001 when he finished second in national points.

"This has been tough racing on this series," commented Howard who has struggled every year trying to find lucrative sponsorship. "The travel costs have been hard to deal with when it comes out of your own pocket but we have always managed to find good local sponsorship however we are still looking for that major sponsor to take us to the next level. Our racing is a family affair and with my dad and my sister we would not be able to compete," continued Howard.

Gentry has been in the same boat with his family run operation. "We also have been able to find local sponsorship around Greenville but we need that major sponsor to help us with engines and other necessities to be a title contender," Gentry.

Howard has the upper hand on the best finish between the two drivers at Greenville with a second in the spring race in 2001 for his only series top five finish at Greenville since 1997. Gentry has finished in the top five in the last three events at this track with two thirds and a fifth place and five top five series finishes overall.

Joining Gentry and Howard for one of the 26 starting positions will be: Ted Mickelson of Greer, S. C., who will be attempting his first series start along with series veterans, Billy Bigley Jr., Wayne Bowen, Johnny Brazier, Michael Britt, Allen Karnes, former NASCAR All American Challenge Series Champion Stanley Smith, Jason Hogan, Jarod Robie, Ray Skillman, 2002 Series Most Popular Driver, Jody Lavender, Randy Pedley, Ken Weaver, Dusty Williams, Kevin Prince, Walter Sutcliffe, Greg Pope, Nathan Haseleu, Benny Gordon and Roger Parker and others.

The action at Greenville-Pickens Speedway gets underway Saturday, April 26, when pit gates open at 9:00 am. Practice will be from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm with qualifying for the Golden Bear Golf 150 starting at 6:00 pm. The 150-lap race should take the green flag at 8:00 pm.

Gold Bear Golf 150 (Kodak Southeast Series race 1 of 10)
Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Greenville, S. C.
8:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 26 2003

TV: Fox Sports Net (Tape Delayed)

Pre-race schedule: (all times local) Saturday - Practice 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Qualifying 6:00 p.m., Green Flag Golden Bear Golf 150, 8:00 p.m.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Billy Bigley , Ken Weaver , Jody Lavender
Teams Williams