Jeff Fultz Sweeps Gatorade All Pro Series, Nascar Touring Kentucky Speedway Events In 2001. SPARTA, KY. (August 11 2001) - Jeff Fultz and Brian Smith had a gig on the 1.5-mile stage of Kentucky Speedway Saturday afternoon playing the same tune...
Jeff Fultz Sweeps Gatorade All Pro Series, Nascar Touring Kentucky Speedway Events In 2001.
SPARTA, KY. (August 11 2001) - Jeff Fultz and Brian Smith had a gig on the 1.5-mile stage of Kentucky Speedway Saturday afternoon playing the same tune they performed when the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring visited the track on June 15 2001.
Fultz, a Cincinnati, Oh. native, took his C & C Boiler/Cleaver Brooks Chevrolet to victory lane in the 84 WHAS 150 while Smith continued to dominate qualifying with the series breaking his own qualifying mark that he has set in two other trips to this speedplant.
Fultz swept both series events at Kentucky Speedway in 2001.
"This is a great way to celebrate coming back to my home area," said Fultz in victory lane. "I had so many friends and family members here today, and I certainly didn't want to disappoint them. Our first run here in 2000 did not end up this well."
"There are so many people to thank for helping this Jon Craig led team. But one special thank you has to go to Rick Kippley who owns and builds Kippley Performance Engines. He is a whiz with restrictor plate motors and his motors have carried us to victory lane twice this year."
Finishing behind the winner was Smith in his Brinkley Racing Pontiac, David Reutimann with another solid superspeedway run with his Pennzoil Chevrolet, Stanley Smith in his Express Oil Change Chevrolet and Scott Carlson with his Carlson/Hamner Racing Chevrolet. Stanley Smith's finish was his first top five run with the series in 2001.
For the third consecutive race Brian Smith has established a new series qualifying mark at this speedplant. The top four qualifiers, Smith, Eddie Mercer, Fultz and Stanley Smith all bettered the 152.486 mph Smith ran in June but this time Smith raised the bar to 156.109 mph.
Smith and Mercer let the 36 car field to the green flag with Smith taking the point and Fultz moving to second with Mercer dropping to third. David Reutimann and Wayne Anderson filled out the top five positions.
Mercer was hungry for his first superspeedway victory staying close on Smith's rear deck then moving his Everywood/Phoenix/Quality Body Shop Chevrolet to the inside of Smith's car in turn three, on lap 7, to move to the point.
When the second race caution waved on lap 34, Mercer brought many of the leaders to pit road to take on four fresh Hoosier tires with some teams electing to take on only two tires to gain track position. Fultz was third when he pitted but great work by his crew had the Cincinnati native out first. On the restart the top five consisted of Fultz, Anderson, Reutimann, Scott Carlson and Chad Bland. Mercer restarted in seventh position but returned to the pits on lap 40 with a separated right rear tire. He lost another lap on the track on lap 56 to Fultz.
"We had an awesome car until we pitted," said Mercer. "We elected to take on four fresh tires but the right rear tire came apart when we went back racing so we had to return to the pits. That cost us track position and we lost a lap. We put our original set back on the car and again the car was awesome. We ran that original set of tires a total of 85 laps so maybe just a splash of gas on that pit stop might have been the best because we would have been right back at the front of the field," continued Mercer.
Fultz, Smith and Reutimann ran off and left the rest of the field as the three cars opened a huge lead over a second group of cars consisting of Anderson, Patrick Lawler, Randy Gentry, Steven Howard, Kevin Prince, Scott Carlson and Stanley Smith.
These top three machines left little doubt in the minds of over 18,000 race fans who was in charge of this event.
As the laps ticked off, Fultz continued to run strong with Brian Smith closing during the final ten laps trying to put his name in victory lane. But Fultz was equal to the task earning his seventh career victory and his third of the 2001 campaign.
Rounding out the top finishers were Patrick Lawler, Steven Howard, Shane Sieg, with his sixth top ten run in 10 starts this year, Randy Gentry and Wayne Anderson.
Fultz earned the Gatorade"FrontRunner" Award by leading the most laps and he earned an additional $1,000 for his Gatorade Championship Performance Award.
Fultz's crew chief, Jon Craig, won the Jasper Engines Crew Chief Challenge for the third time in 2001 with Roger Parker earning top Wireway/Husky Corp Rookie-of-the-year honors for the first time in 2001.
The next event for the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring will be this Saturday evening at Greenville-Pickens (SC) Speedway for the Cintas 200.