SES: Lonesome Pine: Race report

Billy Bigley Jr. wins inaugural Hills Bros All Pro Series, Nascar Touring Lonesome Pine International Raceway stop. COEBURN, VA. (June, 29 2002) - David Reutimann and Billy Bigley Jr., took turns dominating the Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR...

Billy Bigley Jr. wins inaugural Hills Bros All Pro Series, Nascar Touring Lonesome Pine International Raceway stop.

COEBURN, VA. (June, 29 2002) - David Reutimann and Billy Bigley Jr., took turns dominating the Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Kinzer Drilling 200 Saturday evening at beautiful Lonesome Pine International Raceway and in the end it was Bigley stopping in victory lane for the first time since 2000.

Tires proved to the margin of victory for Bigley's Peerless Woodworking Chevrolet when he changed four tires during the third of six race cautions on lap 161. Three cars, Reutimann, Bigley and series points leader Charlie Bradberry were all that remained on the lead lap on the tough 3/8-mile oval.

"That was fun out there tonight," said Bigley before exiting his race car in victory lane. "That was nothing but great Saturday night racing and just shows how good the competition is on this series.. I am glad to be back with the series," said the 2000 series champion.

"Our team has been so fortunate winning first time events at tracks we have run. We won over at Kingsport in 2000, we were the first winner at the new Kentucky Speedway, we won the first time at Coastal Plains and now Lonesome Pine." Reutimann's Pennzoil Chevrolet was leading the field under the caution when Bigley and Bradberry decided to make their stop with Reutimann staying on the track. Bigley and Bradberry changed right side Hoosier Tires then went back on the track for position. They both came back the next lap but Bigley's pit was blocked and he had to go around again. When he stopped the next lap he changed left side tires. "We goofed," said a dejected Reutimann after the event. "We had the field covered but Billy was just too strong with four fresh shoes. The track was slippery and his car had better grip. We probably should have pitted when the other two did but our car was running so good we decided to stay out. Obviously we made the wrong decision."

"We toyed with the idea of pitting during that last caution on lap 199 but then we got the one to go signal and knew that was not possible." Finishing behind Bigley, Reutimann and Bradberry's Bradberry Racing Chevrolet was Jeff Fultz, one lap off the pace with his C & C Boiler, Cleaver Brooks, Chevrolet and Benny Gordon, also one lap down in his Johnny's Haulmark Trailers Chevrolet.

Gordon turned in a strong run after starting scatch on the field due to missing the driver's meeting.

Reutimann earned his third Bud Pole start of 2002 breaking an existing track record of 16.000 secs set by the late Alan Kulwicki twenty years ago. Reutimann's time of 15.830 secs (85.281 mph) led four other drivers also breaking the old mark. Bigley started outside front row. Reutimann and Bigley were door handle to door handle on the tight oval on lap one with Bigley inching ahead at the strip for the lead which he held for the first 92 laps before Reutimann finally got around him. From that point on it was Reutimann who was dominate as he picked off one car after another with only himself, Bigley and Bradberry remaining on the lead lap until Bigley finally got around Reutimann's car on lap 188. Then on lap 194, Bradberry's car tapped Reutimann's car in turn four racing for position with Bradberry going to second.

The final caution on lap 200 once again set up a green-white-checked finish for the series. When the field took the green again on lap 205, Reutimann went low in turns one and two and regained the runnerup spot. Rounding out the top ten finishers was Chad Bland, Shane Sieg, and Jason Hogan, one top down with Ken Weaver and Johnny Brazier, two laps down in ninth and tenth respectively.

Bigley earned the Gatorade "Front Runner" Award of $500 for leading the most laps with Jason Hogan the top finishing rookie contender to maintain that pointb lead.

The next event for the Hills Bros. All Pro Series will be July 13 at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Billy Bigley , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Ken Weaver , Shane Sieg , Charlie Bradberry , Alan Kulwicki