GREENVILLE, SC (April 28, 2001)- Wayne Anderson picked up right where he left off last season at Greenville Pickens Speedway, ending another All Pro race with a trip to victory lane. The Florida driver ran his Chevrolet Monte Carlo into the All...
GREENVILLE, SC (April 28, 2001)- Wayne Anderson picked up right where he left off last season at Greenville Pickens Speedway, ending another All Pro race with a trip to victory lane. The Florida driver ran his Chevrolet Monte Carlo into the All Pro history books, becoming the winningest driver in the history of the series by notching his 18th all time career win, one ahead of Freddie Query.
Naples, Florida's Billy Bigley Jr. won the pole at a speed of 90.23 mph. The defending series champion and current point leader jumped to a fast lead and held the top position through six cautions, building a lead of up to a quarter lap over Anderson. But ultimately it was Bigley's decision to gamble by not coming in for a pit stop that proved to be his undoing. His Chevrolet suddenly slowed as darted down the backstretch on lap 193 as his tank ran empty.
"We just had a flat awesome race car and when we unloaded we knew it was good," Bigley said. "It did every lap exactly the same until whatever it was---193---when it puked and it just ran out of gas. That's racing."
Ironically, Bigley won last year's spring All Pro race by starting on the pole and going all 200 laps without pitting.
"What a way to win," Anderson said in victory lane. "I hate it for Billy Bigley's bad luck, but I tell you what: We hold the record right now of 18, and it just means so much to me." Anderson, the 1999 series champion, is a second-generation driver from Wildwood, Florida, whose father also ran with the All Pro Series.
Local favorite Steven Howard of Greer found himself in the right place at the right time, crossing the stripe just behind Anderson to record a season high second. The 1996 track champion had three top five All Pro runs last year and was 24th in the points race entering the night. He began the race in the 10th position. "This means more to me than I'm sure a win means to Wayne," Howard said. "This is great for me and puts me back on getting my stride back."
David Reutimann of Zephyrhills, Florida, finished third and Taylor's Mardy Lindley, another former Greenville Pickens track champion, was fourth.
Before the race, the cars lined up in a missing man formation during the third pace lap in memory of Dale Earnhardt, who would have turned 50 Sunday. Fans and drivers held up three fingers for Earnhardt's no. 3 car as the pole position spot remained empty in memory of the NASCAR great who had the GPS backstretch named in his honor after his death at Daytona in February.
In other races, Greenville's Robby Robbins moved to the front of the 15 lap Super Stock race when early leader Phillip Lynch developed mechanical problems. Robbins outran Greenville's Greg Dodgens and defending champion C.M. Knight to win his fourth race of the season.
Greenville's Robert Horton bested Shane Gentry and John Weathers in the first 10 lap Charger race. Younger brother Bubba Horton held off Kennith Powell of Easley in the second race to make it a Horton sweep in the first two races of the night.