SWS: Results 99-01-10

Sweatman wins Featherlite Southwest opener TUCSON, Ariz. (Jan. 10, 1999) Tom Sweatman started near the back of the Featherlite Southwest Series NASCAR Touring 200 Sunday at Tucson Raceway Park, but he finished in front of the 29-car field in...

Sweatman wins Featherlite Southwest opener

TUCSON, Ariz. (Jan. 10, 1999) Tom Sweatman started near the back of the Featherlite Southwest Series NASCAR Touring 200 Sunday at Tucson Raceway Park, but he finished in front of the 29-car field in the season opener of the Featherlite Southwest Series, a part of the NASCAR Touring Division.

The drama -- in which the top-three finishers all came to the front after using provisional starting positions to make the race -- was played out before a national television audience on ESPN2, part of the NASCAR Winter Heat Series.

Sweatman, of Cosmopolis, Wash., had competed in each of the previous four Winter Heat events at TRP and had posted two second place finishes. He started 23rd Sunday, but raced through the pack and took the lead on the 137th circuit of the 200-lap event. He finished 2.476 seconds ahead of M.K. Kanke of Granada Hills, Calif., who started 22nd.

"You don't have much to think about," Sweatman said. "You just have to get up there."

Bryan Germone of Windsor, Calif., was third after starting 25th. Rounding out the top-10 were John Zaretzke, Bud Pole winner Jim Inglebright, Gary Lewis, Rick Allison, Kevin Harvick, Eric Holmes and Nick Joanides.

The race was the season opener for the Featherlite Southwest Series. The series' next race will be the Feb. 7 Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway.

On Saturday, Inglebright, of Fairfield, Calif., led an elite field of 60 stock car racers when he won the Bud Pole Award with a qualifying time of 15.143 seconds, an average speed of 89.150 mph, around the 3/8-mile oval.

The race drew teams from 12 states and Canada.

Steve Christian of Buford, Ga., qualified second, followed by Allison, of Mesa, Wash.; and Lewis, of Bothell, Wash.

At the start of the 200-lapper, Christian jumped into the lead and held it for the first half of the event. Sweatman took the lead from Christian on the 137th lap and held the lead to the end, when he was about 12 car lengths in front of Kanke.

Christian, who captured the Gatorade Front Runner Award for leading at the halfway mark, suffered a flat tire and finished 23rd, three laps down, after having to make a pit stop.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Eric Holmes , Bryan Germone , Gary Lewis