Howard Scores First Career Win in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Millington, Tenn. - May 8, 1999 - Steven Howard picked an opportune time to win his first career win in the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring. When racing on Mothers...
Howard Scores First Career Win in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Millington, Tenn. - May 8, 1999 - Steven Howard picked an opportune time to win his first career win in the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring. When racing on Mothers Day weekends most drivers dedicate their wins to their moms. Howard was able to do that and more as his first series win landed on his mothers birthday. He earned $11,450 of the $75,200 purse in the Memphis Motorsports Park 100 on Saturday afternoon.
"I want to thank my crew for working so hard to make this Dick Brooks Chevrolet/Greer Floor Center Monte Carlo so strong. We were fastest in both practice sessions and I knew if we could stay out of trouble we'd be a threat to win. My parents have stuck behind me for many years and this one's for them. It's even sweeter that this is my mom's birthday and it's Mothers Day weekend," stated the 25-year-old Greer, S.C. resident. In 1998 Scott Kilby and Ronnie Burkett waged a torrid battle for Rookie-of-the-Year honors, with Kilby edging Burkett for the coveted award. Yesterday, in Bud Pole qualifying, Kilby again edged Burkett during time trials to grab his second career Bud Pole Award to follow up on his initial pole start earned last week. Kilby wheeled his Arndt & Herman Windows Chevrolet Monte Carlo around the 0.750-mile track in a time of 22.386 seconds at an average speed of 120.611 mph. Burkett trailed the polesitter by .058 seconds to grab his best career start on the outside of the front row. Kilby commented on his second pole in as many weeks. "Last year we had a car that didn't qualify well, but we did well in races. This year we have a brand new car that qualifies really well. We haven't done as well as we'd like in races, but that's coming."
Kilby assumed command when the green flag waved with Howard riding his rear bumper, preventing Burkett from falling in behind the polesitter. It didn't take Howard long to show that his car was strong as he dove low exiting turn two on the fifth lap and took command. Just five laps later the caution waved when the hood came off of Jeff
Fultz's Multiple Tool Chevrolet after he spun on the backstretch. At this point the leaders pitted en masse to fulfill the mandatory pit stop rule. When green flag racing resumed Fairfield, Ca.'s Jim Inglebright had his Wunder Bar/Jelly Belly Chevrolet out front with rookie Patrick Lawler in the second position. These two drivers elected to not pit during the initial caution period. Howard restarted in the third position after beating his competitors out of the pits and by lap 18 he overhauled the front two to regain the lead.
The field was closed up again on lap 19 when Mike Cope had an encounter with the turn three wall. His Manheim's Auto Auction of Orlando Chevrolet was heavily damaged and he was done for the day. On the lap 24 restart Howard was being pursued by Billy Bigley, Jr. with Eddie Mercer, Ronnie Burkett and Kilby taking up the chase as well. Burkett worked his way back into the second position displacing Mercer and Bigley.
The Big Daddy's BBQ Sauces & Spices/Havana Cola Chevrolet driver was able to close in on Howard but at the 50-lap halfway point Howard earned the $400 Gatorade Front Runner Award for maintaining the top spot.
During the second half of the race Burkett was able to close to Howard's back bumper whenever the duo was negotiating lapped traffic but was unable to mount a successful pass for the lead. At the finish Howard's lead was 0.646 seconds and he completed the race in a race record time of 46 minutes and 34 seconds. Burkett settled for second, Mercer wound up third, with Bigley and Gentry completing the top five. The sixth through 10th positions went to Kilby, points leader Hal Goodson, Wayne Anderson, Robert Burroughs and Coy Gibbs.
Howard's winning average speed was 96.636 mph and there were a total of 12 cars running on the lead lap at the end of the 100 lap race. Twenty eight of 33 starters were running when the checkered flag waved. There were three lead changes among three drivers and just three cautions taking up 13 laps. The points battle continues to remain tight as Goodson maintains the top spot over Anderson by 20 points and Bigley is just 12 behind Anderson. Burkett is eight points behind Bigley while Howard moves into the fifth position after his win.
Gibbs drove his MBNA Chevrolet to Rookie-of-the-Race honors and now holds a solid 10 point lead over Rodney Childers after five events. Danny Howard earned the $300 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew-Chief-of-the-Race Award and the season-long battle in this category is heating up. Goodson's crew chief Jimmy King holds a six point lead over Augie Grill and Bill Bigley,
Sr., crew chiefs for Anderson and Bigley, Jr., respectively. The sixth event on the 18-race Slim Jim All Pro Series schedule is Friday, May 28 at Gateway International Raceway in Millington, Tenn. This event represents the first time in the history of the Slim Jim All Pro Series that the series will share the track with the cars from Championship Auto Racing Teams and the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Series as part of the Motorola 300 weekend. Another first for this event is the fact that the Slim Jim All Pro Series will be the first to series to race under the lights at the 1.250-mile oval. The Slim Jim All Pro Series race will get the green flag at 8:45 p.m. CDT.