Buggay looks for first ARA win

JEFFERSON, GA - Coming off a strong runner-up effort in his last event, Dwayne Buggay of Marietta, GA, needs only to move up one more position to win his first American Racing Association (ARA ) Southern Thunder Late Model series race, the Kool...

JEFFERSON, GA - Coming off a strong runner-up effort in his last event, Dwayne Buggay of Marietta, GA, needs only to move up one more position to win his first American Racing Association (ARA ) Southern Thunder Late Model series race, the Kool Seal Twin 125 Sunday at Peach State Speedway.

It will be an ARA doubleheader, with the Kool Seal Challenge series also running a 125-lap feature Sunday.

"The beginning of the season was very disappointing," says the 37-year-old driver of the #15 Atlanta Auto Brokers Ford Taurus, "but we've run well at Peach State the last two races, so we know we can win if we get the breaks."

That's get the breaks, not have things break. The early part of his season was plagued by mechanical maladies that denied him a top 5 finish in at least three events. That's why he ranks only fourth in the ARA Southern Thunder championship standings with 170 points.

Paul Kelley of Snellville, GA (#24 Kelley Motorsports Chevrolet) ranks first with 245 points, with 14-year-old Stephen Leicht of Asheville, NC (#99 Action Racing Collectibles Chevrolet) second with 230 and Michael Lance of Dacula, GA (#04 Lance Used Auto Parts Chevrolet) third with 214 points.

Buggay was second to Leicht in the series last event, Aug. 12th at Peach State.

While the championship may be out of reach, victory circle isn't for Buggay.

"This is my first full season with the ARA, and the competition is tough," Buggay says. "I like the ARA, because of TV deal (a half-hour highlights show airs weekly on The Outdoor Channel), and the travel. We're not running the same track every week, and the variety keeps the team on its toes. I've got a great crew with Donnie Poole (of Gainesville, GA) and Jack Hatfield (of Marietta), but they like to be challenged."

Buggay also relishes tougher competition. He started in 1987 in go-karts, and moved up to late models in '95. Last year, he was a regular at Lanier National Speedway, and now he's a touring pro for the ARA asphalt short track series. He also tested a NASCAR Busch Grand National earlier this summer at Peach State.

His #15 Ford Taurus has some of the best sponsorships among ARA teams, with Atlanta Auto Brokers, Solar Works Glass Tinting and CarsRus among his supporters.

"It takes a good team with good sponsors to win, and we're good enough to win," Buggay says. "It's just a matter of time."

Gates will open at 10 a.m. for competitors, with Kool Seal practice starting at Noon, followed by Southern Thunder practice. Qualifying for the Battery Supply of Virginia pole award will start at 4 p.m., when spectator gates open. An autograph session is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the Kool Seal Challenge race starting at 7 p.m., followed by local division features and the Southern Thunder feature. For more information, the new telephone number for Peach State Speedway is 706-387-7490.

=== <pre> American Racing Association KOOL SEAL Twin 125s Sunday, September 2, 2001

Event Schedule

10am       Competitor Gates Open
Noon       Kool Seal Challenge Series Practice
12:45pm    Southern Thunder Series Practice
1.30pm     Kool Seal Challenge Series Practice
2:15pm     Southern Thunder Series Practice
3 pm       Driver's Meeting
4 pm       Spectator Gates Open
4 pm       Kool Seal Challenge Series Time Trials
5 pm       Southern Thunder Series Time Trials
6 pm       Driver Autograph Session
7 pm       Kool Seal Twin 125 - Kool Seal Challenge Series
8 pm       Local Division Features
9 pm       Kool Seal Twin 125 - Southern Thunder Series

NOTE: All times subject to change by race officials.

-ARA

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Series Stock car
Drivers Stephen Leicht