SES: Southern: Race report

David Reutimann wins again on Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring. Eyes first NASCAR Championship. KENLY, N. C. (September 28 2002) - David Reutimann returned to Southern National Speedway Saturday to complete the rain-delayed Hills Bros.

David Reutimann wins again on Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring. Eyes first NASCAR Championship.

KENLY, N. C. (September 28 2002) - David Reutimann returned to Southern National Speedway Saturday to complete the rain-delayed Hills Bros. 150 from September 14 and came away with a lot more then he started with.

Reutimann not only won the Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring Hills Bros.150 event in his Pennzoil Chevrolet, but he moved back into the series points lead by five points over Jeff Fultz who finished a disappointing 11th.

In the last two races, won by Reutimann, he narrowed Fultz's 101 point lead entering the Greenville-Pickens Speedway race to 45 points entering the Southern National event. He left Southern National Speedway with a five point lead with one race remaining on the 2002 series schedule.

He also earned the annual Bud Pole Award for 2002, with the series, when Jason Hogan captured his first career NASCAR Bud Pole Award leading the 24-car field with a lap of 15.210 Secs (94.675 mph) clocking. Even Hogan was surprised with his run since he had to pull out his backup car when his primary car blew an engine during the afternoon practice session.

Reutimann has three poles for the year and will receive $3,500 from Budweiser at the annual awards banquet.

Finishing behind Reutimann with an excellent run was Steven Howard in his Greer Floor Covering Chevrolet, Wayne Anderson, with his best finish since joining forces with Aramendia Motorsports late in the season, Benny Gordon in his Johnny's Haulmark Trailers Pontiac and Toby Porter in his Baird Transport/Mac's Auto Glass Chevrolet.

It was a unique night of racing at this .400-mile oval for the Hills Bros. All Pro Series as two rookie contenders started on the front row. Hogan with his first career pole start in his Universal Chevrolet and Jarod Robie with his Crews Eye Production/Safety Products Chevrolet led the field to the green flag with Robie getting an excellent start taking the lead right away.

Only two cautions slowed the field in the first 100-laps, letting Robie develop a good rhythm with his race car.

Billy Bigley Jr. was trying to take a spot from Greg Pope between turns three and four when the two cars touched. Bigley's Peerless Woodworking Chevrolet suffered a flat right front tire. Both cars went to the pits and both lost a lap with that stop.

When the field went back to racing on lap 16, Pope was able to get back on the lead lap. It took Bigley 46 laps before he could put his car back on the lead lap.

Hogan had been dogging Robie's car over those first 61 laps and was running behind Bigley when he moved around Robie to make up his lap. Hogan followed Bigley and took over the top spot on lap 62.

Hogan's run at the top lasted only 32 laps when his car started overheating and spewing smoke around turns one and two. He slowed putting Robie back to the point with Reutimann in second, Gordon, Howard and Anderson rounding out the top five at that point.

Hogan pitted to the attention of his crew with water boiling out of the engine. He returned to the track for a few more laps before parking his car.

However not all was lost for the rookie contender as he wrapped up the 2002 Rookie-of-the-Year title for 2002.

Robie showed everyone his strength on this night and was definitely running his best race of the season. Reutimann kept pressing him for 40 laps with Robie holding the Pennzoil Chevrolet at bay.

With laps winding down, Robie worked traffic like a veteran with Reutimann on his back bumper. On lap 135, Reutimann got the nose of his car to the low side of turn three and was just about up to the door on Robie's car. The two cars touched with Robie's car spinning with other cars almost stopping to avoid a serious accident.

When the field went back to green with just seven laps to run it was Reutimann, Howard, Gordon, Anderson and Porter.

"I did not spin the 89 car," said a very very dejected Reutimann in victory lane. "I was on his inside and he was blocking me and had me down on the apron of the track. I just held my ground and he turned down into me. I hated to see his car spin as much as anyone because he ran an excellent race. He led over 100 laps so he was doing something right."

"We just felt this was our race," said the Candia, N. H. driver. "We were so close and I was just working traffic and trying to protect our position. We have not run this good all year and my crew gave me a well prepared car. We travel a long distance to run this series and I think we showed everyone on the series what we are capable of doing. We had our best qualifying run and we grabbed the point right from the get-go. We knew right away we had the car to beat but it didn't end the way we thought."

Fultz was another dejected driver after the event. "The car just did not handle at all tonight. This is the same car we wrecked at Greenville last week that has two new clips on it. We changed shocks and springs right before qualifying and maybe we should not have done that. I really was just happy to bring the car home in one piece and on the lead lap." Rounding out the top ten finishers were Randy Gentry, Dusty Williams, Joe Aramendia, Johnny Brazier and Bigley.

Robie led the most laps to win the Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award with newlywed Dusty Williams being the top finishing rookie of the year driver.

The final event for the Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring will be The Memphis 125, Saturday, October 19 at Memphis Motorsports Park.


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Drivers Billy Bigley , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Wayne Anderson
Teams Williams