DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (November 9 2001) - It is time to lay everything on the line for drivers on the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring as the final race of 2001 looms large on November 25 at the new Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon,...
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (November 9 2001) - It is time to lay everything on the line for drivers on the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring as the final race of 2001 looms large on November 25 at the new Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tn.
One of NASCAR's premier short track divisions will end this racing season on a superspeedway with the running of the $143,025 MBNA All American Thanksgiving Classic for 150-laps on the 1.333-mile oval. This event will carry the largest posted awards in the history of this series and 43 cars will take the green flag, another series record.
The last time the series ended its racing year on a superspeedway was 1998 at Homestead Miami Speedway. That event was won by Scott Hansen of Franklin, Wis.
This race takes the place of the former All American 400 at Nashville Speedway USA which started in 1980.
The winner of the MBNA All American Thanksgiving Classic will earn over $20,000 in posted award with the second place driver earning over $10,000 in posted awards. The event pays $1,000 to start.
Wayne Anderson, Wildwood, Fla. is looking forward to this event with great anticipation as he goes for his second NASCAR Touring Series Championship. He was the 1999 Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring National Champion. He carries a 94-point lead over Randy Gentry into the final race and needs to finish 26th or higher to clinch his second NASCAR Diamond Ring.
"We will approach this race the same as every race," said Anderson from his race shop in Florida. "We go to every race with the intent of winning and not finishing second. This Jani-King team has been so strong this year and Nashville has been a good place for us. But this race is not at the fairgrounds so it will be a new piece of real estate for everyone. Augie Grill has done a tremendous job as crew chief and it has made my task of driving so much easier."
Grill's work certainly has been a strong factor in the team's success. The Jani-King car has led over 33% of laps run in 2001 and in 15 races finished in the top five 11 times and 13 times in the top ten. Six of those top five runs resulted from stops in victory lane boosting Anderson's career total to 21, a series record.
Gentry has been Anderson's closest pursuer since the fifth race of the season. He has had a phenominal racing season leading all drivers in lap completed percentage with 99.6%. He is still seeking his first stop in victory lane but 2001 has been his best ever racing year with a NASCAR Touring series. He was second in points behind Anderson after the fifth race of the year then led the points standing after the sixth and seventh races. For the last half of the year he has been chasing Anderson closing to within 18 points after the event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Another title to be decided at this event will be the Wireway/Husky Corporation Rookie-of-the-Year title. Charlie Bradberry and Jody Lavender are tied for that honor and whoever finishes ahead of the other will be the 2001 rookie of the year.
Other drivers looking to improve their final series points standing will be Jeff Fultz who trails Gentry by 66 points, David Reutimann, fourth in points, and Eddie Mercer who trails Reutimann by only 40 points. A number of other drivers in the top 20 can change their final ranking by their finishing position.
Returning to the series for the final race of the year will be Billy Bigley Jr., 2000 Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Champion. Bigley competed in only six events this year due to his full-time ride on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Bigley finished 13th in points with that series and fourth in rookie points.
Action will get underway at Nashville Superspeedway on November 23 when teams check in at 9:00 am. Cars will practice starting at 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm with a gigantic Bar-B-Q taking place Friday evening for all teams. On Saturday the Gatorade All Pro cars will qualify at 12:30 with the fastest 31 cars locking in their starting positions. A 38-lap qualifying race will follow time trials to determine starting positions 32-35 for Sunday's race. Positions 36-43 will be determined by the NASCAR event entry form.
The MBNA All American Thanksgiving Classic will take the green flag at 12:30 pm on Sunday, November 25.
The Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring is one of nine NASCAR Touring Series that blanket the United States, bringing special events to many NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks and some NASCAR superspeedways and road courses. NASCAR Touring Series can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. The sponsors include R. J. Reynolds, Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite Trailers, Goody's Headache Powders, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes and RE/MAX International, Incorporated.