FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 1, 1997 BRIAN SOCKWELL MAKES IT THREE IN A ROW The wizard of Brown Summit, N.C., Brian Sockwell in his C & C Boiler / Cleaver Brooks sponsored No. 54 Pontiac Sunfire held...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 1, 1997
BRIAN SOCKWELL MAKES IT THREE IN A ROW
The wizard of Brown Summit, N.C., Brian Sockwell in his C & C Boiler / Cleaver Brooks sponsored No. 54 Pontiac Sunfire held off a hard charging Robert Huffman of Claremont, N.C. to pick up his third consecutive NASCAR Goody's Dash Series victory in Saturday night's American Residential Services 100 at Summerville Speedway in Summerville, S.C. Due to a persistent round of afternoon showers that washed out the qualifying attempts, NASCAR officials set the starting grid by points. This alignment put Sockwell and current point leader Mike Swaim Jr. of High Point, N.C. on the front row to pace the field to the start. At the green, Swaim managed to ease his Pontiac Sunfire in front of Sockwell as the pair swept through turn one. Swaim led the first eight laps before Sockwell was able to wrestle the position away on lap nine, bringing Robert Huffman in the White House Apple Juice sponsored No. 37 with him. Over the next 90 laps Huffman and Sockwell thrilled the capacity crowd with some great door to door and bumper to bumper racing. Huffman found an open door on lap 24 and moved ahead of Sockwell for 16 laps but Sockwell battled his way back to the lead just before the half way point and then held off a determined Huffman to the checkers to garner his fifth NASCAR Goody's Dash Series victory this season. "The car ran really good." said Sockwell. "This is the show car engine in this thing but it really did the job. ...I was probably more nervous before this race than any other race this year because we didn't get any practice and I just didn't know what we had. This is the same set-up we had under the car at Myrtle Beach and we just didn't know if we were even close. ...Robert was tough. We ran each other close but clean. I don't think we ever touched all night. And that's the way it should be." The action up front was drawing the most attention, but the close racing action was everywhere on the track as a hotly contested battle for practically every position was being played out around the tight, 4/10 mile Summerville oval. The close quarters racing got a little too close on lap 71 when B.J. Mackey of Rock Hill, S.C. and Jimmy Gross of Bowling Green, Ky. tangled at the exit of turn four while in heavy traffic. Before the field could get slowed down, Scott Weaver, Jake Hobgood, Pat Patterson, Robert Luckadoo and Mike Swaim Jr. all got caught up in the fray. Mackey's Pontiac and Patterson's Discount Auto Parts Ford Mustang were damaged too badly to continue and had to be scratched from further competition. When the checked flag brought the American Residential Services 100 to a close, Sockwell and Huffman were followed across the line by local favorite and leader of the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Rookie of the Year standings, Charles Powell III, Horse Shoe, N.C.'s Gary Moore, Newton, N.C.'s Ned Combs, and another Rookie of the Year candidate, Ricky Bryant finished just outside the top five in sixth. Fans at this event witnessed the return of 1995 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Champion David Hutto to the line-up for the first time this year. Hutto, who has been campaigning his NASCAR Busch Grand National Series entry at selected events in 1997 made his Dash Series season debut in the Haskell Willingham prepared Chevrolet Cavalier recently vacated by Monk Gulledge and finished seventh. Will Hobgood, Doc Brewer and Jake Hobgood rounded out the top ten in this event. This event also featured the first ever Dash Series appearance of a third member of the Hobgood clan. Will Hobgood's youngest son, Dut made his NASCAR Goody's Dash Series debut in the City Paint and Body / Jeffers and Son Pontiac owned by Gene Branham and formerly driven by Gene's son, Chad. Dut will make five starts in the car in 1997 to keep open his eligibility to compete for the 1998 Rookie of the Year honors. Dut's debut was slightly dimmed by engine failure after only 33 laps but the beaming young Hobgood vowed that they would be back As a result of the American Residential Services 100, Brian Sockwell closes the gap on Point leader Mike Swaim Jr. to just 89 points as the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 21 race schedule starts to wind down. Will Hobgood, Charles Powell III and Robert Huffman round out the top five in points and continue their hot pursuit of the leaders. The next event for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series takes them to St. Augustine, Fl. for their first ever appearance at the newly paved St. Augustine Speedway and the Gold Star Dodge Dealers 100. The big weekend of events will include personal appearances and show car dates for many of the teams and promises to be an exciting weekend for fans and participants alike. -30- For more information contact NASCAR Public Relations, Tim Myers at 919-552-5823. tm