SES: South Boston race report

SOUTH BOSTON, VA. (July 3 2001) - Jeff Fultz certainly didn't consider past Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring records at historic South Boston Speedway before he took his C & C Boilers/Cleaver & Brooks Chevrolet to victory lane Tuesday night...

SOUTH BOSTON, VA. (July 3 2001) - Jeff Fultz certainly didn't consider past Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring records at historic South Boston Speedway before he took his C & C Boilers/Cleaver & Brooks Chevrolet to victory lane Tuesday night winning the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Liberty 400 presented by WSET TV.

The Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring, had run six events at this historic 4/10-mile NASCAR Speedway since 1992. No driver who had ever won a series Bud Pole start had ever won a race at this track thus Fultz becomes the first series driver to accomplish that feat and he led wire to wire. Fultz, fresh off his win at Kentucky Speedway on June 15, picked up his second Bud Pole Award in 2001 with a clocking of 15.811 Secs (91.076 mph).

Bennie Gordon, Charleston, S. C., started outside front row in his Johnny's Hallmark Trailers/Holiday Inn Express Pontiac. Finishing behind Fultz's C & C Boilers/Cleaver Brooks Chevrolet was Gordon followed by new series points leader Wayne Anderson, in his Jani-King Chevrolet, Greg Pope with his Galloway Truck & Chevrolet Chevrolet and his career best finish and David Reutimann with his Pennzoil Chevrolet.

"This team is getting stronger with every race," said Fultz in victory lane. "We have been working so hard and that work is bringing everything together with the win at Kentucky and the pole and win here. The car was strong tonight. I could pull Benny's (Gordon) car off the corners but his car was strong in other places. We feel very confident going to Myrtle Beach because we have tested there and we had some excellent times."

Gordon was ecstatic with his best performance of the 2001 campaign. "Johnny Dangerfield has put a lot in this team and tonight shows what this team is capable of doing. What a great CRD motor we had tonight. It was strong off the corners but was slipping in the corners. I was probably over driving it some knowing how good the car was working and try so hard to get that first series win. We will settle for second because we are going to a track we are very comfortable at so Myrtle Beach should also be a good run for us," said Gordon.

Fultz and Gordon took the green flag side by side and stayed that way till the first of six cautions waved on lap one when the cars of Steven Howard and Michael Britt got together in turn three. As the field slowed Ryan Crane's car was tagged from the rear in turn one sending the young driver to the garage early.

The field went back racing on lap seven however green flag racing was short as lap eight saw the second caution wave when Kevin Prince's Chevrolet broke loose in the middle of the backstretch with 10 cars crashing by the time smoke had cleared. This Incident involved the cars of Prince, Wayne Anderson, Randy Gentry, Chad Bland, Shane Sieg, Steven Howard, Eddie Mercer, Brian Smith, Jimmy Foster and Casey Yunick.

The incident ended Gentry's run as the only driver to complete all series laps run todate when he spent 12 laps in the pits for repairs. When racing resumed Fultz and Gordon continued to lead the charge breaking from the rest of the field racing each other for the top spot with Wireway/Husky Corp. Rookie-of-the-Year contender Richie Beasley in third, Greg Pope in fourth and David Reutimann running fifth. Anderson was mired back in 13th when racing resumed but quickly starting his move to the front and by lap 90 had his Jani-King Chevrolet in sixth.

Two drivers making their strongest runs of the season were Pope and Ken Weaver who found themselves running in the top ten after the second race caution with Pope turning in a career best finish with his fourth place run.

Jarod Robie of Candia, N.H. made his first series start and turned in and excellent performance running in the top 10 all evening finally finishing eighth.

As the laps ticked off, Fultz and Gordon continued one-two as Anderson was trying to inch his way towards the front. By lap 113 he has passed Weaver then Reutimann finally taking third from Pope in the final five laps. Gordon tried numerous times over the final laps to overtake Fultz and gain his first series victory but Fultz's car was just too strong. This was Gordon's first top five finish this year. Rounding out the top ten finishers were Weaver, Charlie Bradberry, Robie, Foster and Beasley.

Fultz won Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award honors leading the most laps and he also earned $1,000 from Gatorade winning the Championship Performance Award. Fultz's crew chief Jon Craig was the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Crew Chief of the race recipient.

For the second straight event Charlie Bradberry was the Wireway/Huskey, Corp. Rookie-of-the-Race and is now tied with Jody Lavender for the top spot in rookie points.

The next event for the Gatorade All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring will be the Myrtle Beach 320 on Saturday, July 14 2001 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

OFFICIAL FINISH AND LAPS COMPLETED: 1. Jeff Fultz, 150; 2. Benny Gordon, 150; 3. Wayne Anderson, 150; 4. Greg Pope, 150; 5. David Reutimann, 150; 6. Ken Weaver, 150; 7. Charlie Bradberry, 150; 8. Jarod Robie, 150; 9. Jimmy Foster, 150; 10. Richie Beasley, 150; 11. Jody Lavender, 150; 12. Chad Bland, 143; 13. Randy Gentry, 138; 14. Roger Parker, 130; 15. Stanley Smith, 128; 16. Wayne Bowen, 119; 17. Allen Karnes, 117; 18. Eddie Mercer, 107; 19. Matt Nichols, 71, Accident; 20. Kevin Prince, 66, Engine; 21. Steven Howard, 53, Ignition; 22. Chris Fontaine, 37, Accident; 23. Michael Britt, 23; 24. A. J. Frank, 20, Ignition; 25. Brian Smith, 10, Accident; 26. Casey Yunick, 8, Accident; 27. Shane Sieg, 7, Accident; 28. Jim Brinkley, Jr., 6, Handling; 29. Ryan Crane, 1, Rearend.

TIME OF RACE: 1 Hr. 02 Mins. 48 Secs. AVERAGE SPEED: 57.325 mph MARGIN OF VICTORY: .102 Secs. CAUTION PERIODS: Six Cautions For 48 Laps. LAP LEADER: Jeff Fultz, Pole - 150.

GATORADE ALL PRO SERIES, NASCAR TOURING TOP TEN IN POINTS: (Unofficial) As Of July 3 2001. 1. Wayne Anderson, 1209; 2. Randy Gentry, 1170; 3. Jeff Fultz, 1132; 4. David Reutimann, 1082; 5. Eddie Mercer, 1053; 6. Steven Howard, 1005; 7. Billy Bigley Jr., 956; 8. Stanley Smith, 936; 9. Shane Sieg, 934; 10. Ken Weaver, 928.

-Bill Desmond

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Billy Bigley , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Ken Weaver , Jody Lavender , Brian Smith , Shane Sieg , Wayne Anderson , Charlie Bradberry , Eddie Mercer , Chris Fontaine