SES: Kentucky 150 Race report

Sparta, Ky. - June 16, 2000 - After apparent race winner Wayne Anderson's car failed post-race technical inspection the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring win in the Kentucky 150 was awarded to Series points leader Billy Bigley, Jr. ...

Sparta, Ky. - June 16, 2000 - After apparent race winner Wayne Anderson's car failed post-race technical inspection the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring win in the Kentucky 150 was awarded to Series points leader Billy Bigley, Jr. Bigley's win, his fourth in seven starts, also served as the first race winner in the history of the new Kentucky Speedway. The Naples, Fla. driver earned $14,675 for his winning drive. After the inspection activities were over Bigley made a simple comment, "To me, crossing the start/finish line first is how I like to win races, I hate to win a race in the technical area but that is also part of the process. We'll take the win, and it's an honor to go into the record books as the first ever winner at Kentucky Speedway, the most beautiful track we have ever raced on," he added. Mooresville, N.C.'s Brian Smith broke the log jam in the battle for the annual Bud Pole Award. Going into the Kentucky 150 six races had been run and there were six different polesitters. Smith became the first repeat polesitter in 2000, and established the inaugural track record in the process, when he whipped around the 1.50-mile trioval in a time of 35.991 seconds, equating to an average speed of 150.038 mph. Smith commented on his pole winning effort, "The Slim Jim configuration with the restrictor plate is pretty uneventful so I really have to credit the guys who work on the race cars. It makes my job easier," added the Juba Glass Chevrolet driver. Cincinnati, Oh. native Jeff Fultz, from his outside front row starting position, led the first lap, to the delight of the crowd of 36,210 fans, the largest crowd to witness a Slim Jim All Pro Series race in the 10-year history of the series. Polesitter Smith battled back to lead the next two laps, then Fultz again pushed his Cleaver Brooks/C&C Boilers/Honeywell Chevrolet to the front on laps four and five. Fultz then slowed and headed to pit road for some extended repairs. Bigley took the lead on lap six, and the Peerless Woodworking/Nevamar Decorative Surfaces Chevrolet driver appeared to be the car to beat as he moved out to a sizable advantage. Bigley's advantage was erased when the first of four caution periods occurred on lap 22 when debris was spotted on the track. Pensacola, Fla.'s Scott Carlson inherited the lead when Bigley pitted during the caution period. When green flag racing resumed on lap 28 Carlson also looked strong as he had his Advance Construction/Willie's Restaurant Chevrolet in position to race for the win. But Bigley quickly ran him down, ultimately regaining the lead on lap 35. On lap 44 Bigley again slowed on the track, and was forced to head to the pits for repairs. This again handed the lead to Carlson but his lead was short lived as he spun heading into turn one on lap 45, and came to rest against the turn one wall, bringing out the race's second caution. A flurry of pit stops occurred, and when green flag racing resumed on lap 54, 1999 Series Champion Anderson had his Jani-King Chevrolet at the point. Anderson led through lap 66 with Bigley working his way back up through the field while attention was focused on leader Anderson. On lap 67 Bigley took the lead for the third time but was only able to hold it for five laps. Anderson again seized the top spot on lap 72. St. Joseph, Mich.'s Gary Terry drove his Quality First Diecast Chevrolet past Bigley one lap later as Bigley's Chevrolet began to slip backwards. Two late race cautions bunched the field, with Bigley taking the opportunity to change tires in hopes of a final charge to get by the leaders again. He managed to get by all of the lead lap cars except Anderson, coming up 0.135 seconds shy of Anderson when the checkered flag waved on lap 102. After the post-race inspection decisions Bigley was awarded the victory while Terry earned his top career finish of second. Lee Tissot, Ken Weaver and Benny Gordon rounded out the top five while Greg Pope, Ryan Crane, A.J. Frank, Casey Yunick and Tina Gordon rounded out the top 10. Seven cars finished on the lead lap and there were 16 of 29 starters running when the checkered flag waved. The race was run in one hour, 22 minutes and nine seconds, which set the initial race record. Bigley's winning average speed was 111.747 mph. There were four caution periods for 24 laps. An exciting race for the fans, there were 12 lead changes amongst seven drivers. Bigley increased his points lead with the win, now leading Tissot by 61 points. Frank, Reutimann and Fultz make up the balance of the top five. For the fourth time this year Bigley earned the $500 Gatorade Front Runner Award and has a commanding lead in that category for the annual award. Bigley leads Smith by seven points. Commensurate with Bigley's four wins, his crew chief Adam Heckelman has also earned four Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew-Chief-of-the-Race Awards, again capturing the $300 award after the Kentucky Speedway win. Heckelman leads Tissot's crew chief Jim Brinkley, Jr. by 18 points after seven races. Monroe, N.C.'s Greg Pope earned the $250 Moroso Performance Products Rookie-of-the-Race Award after his sixth place finish was the top finish of the five rookies running at Kentucky. It was also Pope's top career race finish as well. Pope trails Yunick by five points in the Rookie-of-the-Year points chase.

Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers have two weekends off before resuming competition on July 8 at Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, Ala. The Jasper Engines & Transmissions 200 is up next on the 17-race Series schedule. The Montgomery track is a one half mile paved oval and marks the Series' return to Alabama after a four year absence.

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Drivers Billy Bigley , Tina Gordon , Jeff Fultz , Ken Weaver , Brian Smith , Wayne Anderson