SES: Lanier race goes to previous winner

Braselton, Ga. - June 10, 2000 - Last year, in two races at Lanier National Speedway, Billy Bigley's average finish in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring competition was 1.5. On Saturday night, in the $48,350 Re/Max Slim Jim 200, he proved...

Braselton, Ga. - June 10, 2000 - Last year, in two races at Lanier National Speedway, Billy Bigley's average finish in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring competition was 1.5. On Saturday night, in the $48,350 Re/Max Slim Jim 200, he proved that last year's strong finishes were no fluke as he muscled his way to a $9,475 victory. "The Peerless Woodworking team gave me another great car tonight and once we got out in front we were able to be out of harm's way where some of the spins occurred. The cautions actually helped me because I was able to race with a clear track in front of me on each restart," stated Bigley, the current series points leader. "I wasn't sure if David (Reutimann) was saving his car to get a final run on me but everything worked out, even with the late race caution," he added. For the sixth time in six races a new 2000 Bud Pole winner was honored in pre-race ceremonies. This time the award went to St. Joseph, Mich.'s Gary Terry. Terry, driver of the Quality First Diecast Chevrolet Monte Carlo, bested 30 other drivers to earn his first career pole start in Slim Jim All Pro Series competition, and break the three-year-old track record in the process. He drove around the 0.375-mile oval in 13.647 seconds at an average speed of 98.923 mph to earn the top starting spot. Along with Terry both Kevin Prince and Brian Smith broke the record formerly held by John Crow. During the early laps Terry, Prince and Smith diced for the lead with Terry managing to stay out front for the first 13 laps. Smith then forced his way into the lead on lap 14. Just three laps after the race's third caution Smith was being chased by Bigley and, as the duo raced back to the start-finish line, Bigley took the lead on lap 39. Bigley then proceeded to open up a lead that sometimes reached 10 car lengths but his margin was repeatedly erased as five more brief cautions occurred before the 100-lap halfway point. While repeated cautions slowed the pace of the race it also allowed Reutimann to ultimately move into the runnerup position on lap 85. Once the race moved into the second 100 laps Bigley again asserted himself but was unable to shake Reutimann. Along with Reutimann, Smith, Scott Kilby and Jeff Fultz joined the chase, and all but Bigley and Reutimann seized the opportunity during various caution periods to pit for fresh tires. No one had anything for Bigley throughout the balance of the race but those who chased in vain waged a battle to settle the top five finishing order. Reutimann held on for second place and Smith nailed down the third position. Fultz, Kilby and Ken Weaver crossed the finish line three wide with Weaver edging out Kilby, who dropped Fultz to the sixth and final car on the lead lap. Tina Gordon was the first car one lap down as the second-year driver earned her first top 10 finish with her seventh place finish. Lee Tissot, Casey Yunick and Greg Pope rounded out the top 10. Bigley's margin of victory was 0.345 seconds and his winning average speed was 63.205 mph. The 206-lap race, extended six laps over the scheduled 200-lap distance due to a late race caution, was slowed 13 times for caution which covered a total of 84 laps. There were two lead changes amongst three drivers. Bigley's third win of the year allowed him to increase his points lead to 24 points over Reutimann who moved into the second points position. Fultz trails Reutimann by 19 points with Tissot just three points behind Fultz. A.J. Frank completes the top five in points. Bigley's crew chief Adam Heckelman picked up the $300 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew-Chief-of-the-Race Award. After six races Heckelman holds the points lead in this category. For the third race in a row Holly Hill, Fla.'s Casey Yunick emerged as the Moroso Performance Products Rookie-of-the-Race. Yunick leads Pope by seven points in the Rookie-of-the-Year points chase. On June 16 the Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers will christen the 1.5-mile oval Kentucky Speedway. Running under the lights this coming Friday night, the drivers will compete in the $95,050 Cincinnati Post/Cincinnati Enquirer 150 at the Sparta, Ky. track.

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Drivers Billy Bigley , Tina Gordon , Jeff Fultz , Ken Weaver , Brian Smith , A.J. Frank