South Boston: Race report

Justin Hobgood victorious at SOBO. SOUTH BOSTON, VA (Saturday, August 3, 2002) - Justin Hobgood, of Winnsboro, SC, claimed his second win of the season at Who's Your Daddy Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in the Goody's Dash Travel ...

Justin Hobgood victorious at SOBO.

SOUTH BOSTON, VA (Saturday, August 3, 2002) - Justin Hobgood, of Winnsboro, SC, claimed his second win of the season at Who's Your Daddy Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in the Goody's Dash Travel Club International Brand Name Gas for Fifty Cents A Gallon "150", Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring event.

The pre-race draw shuffled him from the pole position to sixth spot. "I have been in this situation before and I used the car up early. My dad was on the radio screaming at me to stay patient. It made the difference. At the end of the race the car had what I needed to stay ahead of Cam Strader," Justin Hobgood said.

But long before victory lane was to be enjoyed there were 150 laps of a pure adrenaline rush to endure. Local favorite Peyton Sellers stepped into a Goody's Dash Series car for the first time in his career. He was edged out of the top qualifying spot when Justin Hobgood won the Bud Pole Award. But, as unlucky as Hobgood seemed to be in drawing the number six, Sellers seemed to have fate smile in his favor when he drew numero uno.

Sellers' ability to get around the track fast was revealed early on. After all, he is one of the track's local Late Model standouts. Sellers out dueled Zach Brewer in the opening laps and began to stretch out his lead. The complexion of the race was like this: Fast and furious, hard crash, fast paced action, spinning car, etc... This seemed to be the pattern. Ironically, Brewer and Sellers seemed destined to find each other several times throughout the night. Brewer was determined to sweep the Virginia races, having won earlier in the year at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn. Sellers, determined to make his mark in the touring level of NASCAR, showed some racing savvy when it became apparent it was not his night to win.

By lap 15, Brewer had returned to challenge Sellers for the lead. Exiting turn two they both went for the same spot and crashed into each other. Both cars required attention on pit road, but only Brewer lost a lap.

Weaver took over the lead. Eric Wilson's car started to overheat, bringing out a caution. The leaders took the opportunity to pit for fuel. Adam Dean moved into the lead. The young gun from Bristol, VA was making his second start in the Goody's Dash Series. He drove the #24 car owned by Mickey York.

On the restart Zach Brewer worked hard to get in a position to get his lap back. The field entered turn three stacked nose to tail. Brewer went between Sellers and a lapped car, making it three wide in the middle of the turn. Threading the needle at South Boston doesn't work too well. Brewer was quick to find that out as his car lost traction and started weaving back and forth. He fought the wheel hard to bring it under control. Happiest about Brewer's save was Robert Huffman who barely missed being collected by Brewer's incident. Brewer quickly regained his composure and rejoined the field having only lost of few positions.

Just a few laps later, Nick Pistone's car shot up the banking and slammed the wall in turn one. He emerged safely and walked back to pit road.

Now in the middle stages of the event, Sellers had worked his way steadily back into contention for the win. By lap 54 he was back in the lead. But on lap 58, Jay Godley muscled his way by Sellers. From this point it seemed that Sellers could only hang on to the lead pack. But, he gave his newfound list of competitors plenty of racing room and salvaged a top ten finish.

Over the final stages of the race, Cam Strader and Justin Hobgood paced the field. There would be ten caution periods in the 150 lap event. Hobgood was strong on the restarts. For Hobgood it came down to tire management, having learned from experience. Too many times Hobgood has used up his equipment early in the event. This time he saved it for when it really mattered.

Cam Strader emerged from his car knowing he had given his all in attempting to overtake Hobgood. "I think we were better on short runs. But at the end, we had nothing for Justin. I knew my only chance was to dog him into the turns and hope he made a mistake, which I knew was also pretty unlikely. All in all, I am thrilled to have finished in the top two these last two weeks, after the way our season had been going," commented Strader.

If it was possible for anyone to be happier than the race winner, it was veteran driver Mike Watts. Mike has been racing in the Goody's Dash Series for many years. In fact he won the Series' first visit to Daytona International Speedway back in the late 1970's. Watts brought his machine home in third place. "I'm in the same shop as Cam, I just can't thank those guys enough. For everybody that has helped me, I just want to say a public thank you. Because it has been a long time since I have been in the top five. And this really means a lot to me and to everybody on this crew," Watts said, voice cracking with emotion.

Jake Hobgood came into the race, not only leading the points, but also carrying the designation as the only driver to complete every lap in 2002. As the laps were winding down, Hobgood was in third position. All of a sudden his car went up toward the wall in turn one. "We haven't looked under the car yet. It seems that we broke a hub or a spindle. After that happened, all we could do was limp around the track until the end," commented Jake. Hobgood lost a lap in the process and also finished outside of the top ten for the first time in 2002, giving up sole possession of the points lead. "All we can do is look to the next race. We enjoy running at Myrtle Beach and Bristol. We are focused on this points battle and we have to take something like what happened tonight as part of the deal," Hobgood went on to say.

Brandon Ward advanced himself in the Mag Clip Rookie of the Year Points, by positioning himself as the highest finishing rookie. Arlene Pittman bettered her last three race finishes by being the second highest rookie.

Danny Bagwell, winner at Memphis Motorsports park, crashed hard just eight laps into the event. Huffman and Weaver both dodged the race monkeys finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

The racing action from Who's Your Daddy Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway can be seen on SpeedChannel, Monday, September 2nd at 8pm


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Drivers Cam Strader , Jay Godley , Robert Huffman , Peyton Sellers , Justin Hobgood