Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Greenville-Pickens Speedway IT'S ANDERSON AGAIN -- ALL TIME SERIES WIN LEADER GREENVILLE, S. C. (April 28 2001) - "It's never over till the Fat Lady Sings," exclaimed Wayne Anderson Saturday night at ...
Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Greenville-Pickens Speedway
IT'S ANDERSON AGAIN -- ALL TIME SERIES WIN LEADER
GREENVILLE, S. C. (April 28 2001) - "It's never over till the Fat Lady Sings," exclaimed Wayne Anderson Saturday night at Greenville-Pickens Speedway when he inherited the top running spot from Billy Bigley Jr. with only seven laps to run, when Bigley's car ran out of gas, in the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Ingles 200.
This win was Anderson's third consecutive in 2001 and makes him the all-time winningest driver in series history with 18 career wins.
"This was Billy's win tonight," said Anderson in victory lane. "His car was so strong and even with old tires could build a lead over our car. I have been coming to this track for many years and without a doubt this win is special. The fans are great and the racetrack is a touch track."
Car owner Frankie Grill was ecstatic with the victory. "This is the second time I have had three consecutive wins with the third win coming right here at Greenville," said Grill after the race. "The first time was with the late Butch Lindley and now with Wayne. I guess this track has been good to us."
"This one was so close," said Bigley after the race. "What can you say except that is racing. With the cautions lap we thought we could make it without a pit stop and as the laps wound down both Wayne and myself knew we couldn't afford to pit. I guess his car just got a little better fuel mileage than our car."
"I am not happy we lost because we had it in our grasp. Then when we had to pit we lost two laps. Our car was fast off the hauler this afternoon but I am happy that with his win, Wayne becomes the all-time win leader for this division of NASCAR."
Finishing behind Anderson's Jani-King Chevrolet was Steven Howard in his Dick Brooks Auto/Greer Floor Center Chevrolet, David Reutimann, who was in a back up car after his primary car had an oil line break during practice and catch on fire, Mardy Lindley with his Aloe Luya/Eglin Williamson/Chiefs Wings and Firewater Chevrolet and Eddie Mercer in his Everwood/Phoenix Construction Chevrolet.
Bigley started his Peerless Woodworking Chevrolet on the point when he turned the fastest lap in qualifying at 19.949 Secs (90.230 mph) with Jeff Fultz in his C & C Boilers/Cleaver Brooks Chevrolet on the outside front row.
Bigley grabbed the lead at the start of the race with Fultz in second and Anderson jumping to third going into turn one however the field slowed quickly when the first of six race cautions came out on lap 2 when the cars of Greg Pope and Stanley Smith made contact in turn three. Both cars received heavy damage and were finished for the night.
Bigley wasted little time establishing his supremacy, opening a 10-car lead on Fultz's car by lap 15. Anderson moved to second, around the car of Fultz's, in turn one on lap 29 and from that point on it was Anderson chasing Bigley.
Bigley was relentess as he opened a lead on Anderson's car before slower cars allowed Anderson to close the gap but only for a short time. Once around the slower cars Bigley agains open a huge lead over Anderson.
The restart of the third race caution saw Anderson's car on the back bumper of Bigley's but again that didn't last long as the 2000 Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion quickly built another sizeable lead on Anderson's car even though he had to work lapped traffic.
At the half-way mark the top five consisted of Bigley, Anderson, Lindley, Mercer and Howard. Howard and Mercer battled back and forth with Howard trying to take the fourth spot but Mercer held him off until lap 137 when Howard, a former NASCAR Weekly Racing Regional Champion, got around Mercer's machine.
Once into fourth Howard had his sights set on Lindley's car in third and four laps later put Lindley's car back to fourth.
A final race caution waved when the car of Wireway Husky, Corp. Rookie-of-the-Year points leader Jody Lavender stopped on the front straightaway.
Just what Anderson was looking for to have one final shot at his third consecutive win. When the field went back green on lap 187, Bigley quickly opened a two car lead over Anderson and appeared well on his way to his first win of 2001.
But the win was not to be as Bigley's car fell off the pace on lap 193 coming out of turn two turning the lead over to Anderson with Howard taking the second spot. Bigley lost two laps making his stop for gas with Anderson driving to his 18th career win.
Rounding out the top ten finishers were: Brian Smith with yet another solid run, Fultz, Randy Gentry, Shane Sieg with another top ten run and Bigley, who remains as the series points leader over Anderson by 28 points.
Bigley won the Gatorade "Front Runner" Award with Anderson picking up an additional $1,000 from Gatorade with the Gatorade Championship Performance Award.
Augie Grill, crew chief for the Jani-King Chevrolet won his third consecutive Jasper Engines Crew Chief Award with Jeff Myers the top finishing Wireway Husky Corp. Rookie-of-the-Year finisher.
The next event for the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring will be the NASCAR All Pro 200 on May 12 at Birmingham (AL) International Raceway.