Bigley Powers to Victory in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Rougemont, N.C. - May 1, 1999 - Just as he did one year ago in the fourth race of the 1998 Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring season, Naples, Fla.'s Billy Bigley, Jr....
Bigley Powers to Victory in Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring
Rougemont, N.C. - May 1, 1999 - Just as he did one year ago in the fourth race of the 1998 Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring season, Naples, Fla.'s Billy Bigley, Jr. pulled off a win in the fourth race on the 1999 schedule as he won the $46,500 Orange County 200 at Orange County Speedway on Saturday night. It was the fourth career win for the 36-year-old driver and he earned $8,875 in the process.
Statesville, N.C.'s Scott Kilby earned his first career Bud Pole Award as he outpaced 33 other drivers to grab the top starting position. The Arndt & Herman Windows Chevrolet driver toured the 0.375 mile oval in a time of 13.965 seconds at an average speed of 96.670 mph. Leading rookie candidate Coy Gibbs planted his MBNA Chevrolet on the outside of the front row for the 200 lap race.
Kilby, the 1998 Rookie-of-the-Year, showed Gibbs and the rest of the 30-car starting field that his '98 award was no fluke as he took control at the drop of the green flag. He held the top spot until the first caution waved on lap 17, brought about due to a single car spin by Robert Burroughs in turn one. Kilby elected to get the mandatory pit stop out of the way, handing the lead to Gibbs.
Gibbs then led through lap 126, maintaining a solid lead except when the caution was displayed. The Huntersville, N.C. also picked up his first $400 Gatorade Front Runner Award as a result of leading at the race's lap 100 halfway point. He now leads the chase for the annual Gatorade Front Runner Award after four events.
While Gibbs was in command three cautions occurred that closed up the field but he was able to maintain the top spot on each subsequent restart. When the fifth and final caution waved on lap 125 Gibbs surrendered the lead two laps later as he made a pit stop. This handed the lead to another talented rookie, Mooresville, N.C.'s Rodney Childers. Childers led from lap 127 to 139 at the wheel of the Cleaver Brooks/C&C Boilers Chevrolet, at which point Bigley plunged into the lead and never looked back.
At the wheel of his Bigley Racing Chevrolet he out ran series points leader Hal Goodson to the stripe to win by 0.487 seconds. Goodson wound up second for his third straight top two finish while Childers, polesitter Kilby and Wayne Anderson rounded out the top five. The sixth through 10th positions fell to Ronnie Burkett, Mike Franklin, Jr., Gibbs, Benny Gordon and Jeff Fultz. The top 10 finishers all finished on the lead lap.
The race was run in one hour, two minutes and two seconds which resulted in an average speed of 72.038 mph. The five cautions consumed 28 laps and there were a total of three lead changes amongst four drivers. Coupling Goodson's and Anderson's respective second and fifth place finishes, Goodson increased his point lead to 16 points over Anderson. Bigley moved into the third position after his win and now trails Anderson by 30 points. Burkett and David Reutimann round out the top five.
Childers earned Rookie-of-the-Race honors on the strength of his career best finish of third. He now trails Gibbs by five points in the Rookie-of-the-Year competition. Mike Franklin, Jr. is a mere one point behind Childers. Bigley's father Bill Sr. earned the $300 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew-Chief-of-the-Race Award and now sits in third place in the season-long battle for that category's annual award. Goodson's Crew Chief Jimmy King leads Augie Grill who manages Anderson's racing efforts by six points and is 10 points ahead of the elder Bigley.
The fifth event on the 18-race Slim Jim All Pro Series schedule is Saturday, May 8 at Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington, Tenn. Bud Pole qualifying will take place on May 7 following NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying. The Memphis Motorsports Park 100 takes the green flag, following the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, at 5:00 p.m.