Junior Hanley holds off Scott Hantz at Angola. Angola, Ind. (July 4, 2002) - Fending off the late challenge from 2000 series champion Scott Hantz over the final portion of the event, Canadian Legend Junior Hanley scored his second victory of the...
Junior Hanley holds off Scott Hantz at Angola.
Angola, Ind. (July 4, 2002) - Fending off the late challenge from 2000 series champion Scott Hantz over the final portion of the event, Canadian Legend Junior Hanley scored his second victory of the 2002 season in the Sunoco Super Series. Hanley, drove the Rick Cole Enterprises / Big Rigs Truck and Trailer Maintenance Chevrolet to victory in the Hargus Mullins Memorial Firecracker 150 at Angola Motor Speedway on Thursday, July 4.
"The car was working very good tonight. It took the car four or five laps to get going. After that it was good," said Junior Hanley in victory lane. "We had a hell of a race at the end with Scott (Hantz). He was driving it in and I was driving it in and we never touched," said Hanley with the battle with Scott Hantz.
At the start of the 150-lap event, inside-front row starter J.R. Roahrig jumped into the early lead with Matt Hagans, Todd Oliver, Scott Hantz and Brent Downey making up the front of the pack. On the fifth trip around, Hantz sailed into third spot, passing the number 99 Sunoco Ford of Oliver.
On the 12th circuit, second-place runner Matt Hagans spun entering turn three, which advanced Hantz into the runner-up slot behind Roahrig. When racing resumed, Hantz began to pressure Roahrig for the race lead to the delight of the crowd.
As the two leaders battled for first position, 15th place starter Junior Hanley charged to the top of the leader board. He bypassed Kauffman on lap 41 for eight and then two laps later got by Downey for seventh. Hanley then took sixth from Terry Fisher on the lap-45 mark.
After a quick caution, Scott Hantz had trouble coming to speed and lost second place to Oliver with Hanley again gaining positions, this time past Eddie Van Meter and rookie Andy Ponstein. Roahrig began to build a healthy cushion on Oliver, but it was erased by caution on lap 60.
Completing the pass on lap 71, Hanley moved into second getting around Hantz and Oliver. Hantz and Hanley battled side-by-side before Hanley pulled off the move to advance to second place. A lap later, Hantz passed Oliver for third position as Ponstein also got around Oliver.
On the 90th circuit, Eddie Van Meter spun, which bunched up the front of the pack. At the lap-100 mark, Hanley dove underneath Roahrig and muscled his way into the lead position. On the 114th trip around the .375-mile oval, Hantz drove on the outside of Roahrig and was able to return to second place.
The last 35 laps of the event, race leader Hanley and charging Hantz put on an awesome display as they battled for the race victory. On several occasions, Hantz pulled on the outside of Hanley as they raced side-by-side lap after lap. The final caution waved with 13 laps remaining. On the restart Hantz returned to the outside groove on lap 142. The two drivers continued to battle side-by-side for the lead. On the 147th circuit, Hanley cleared Hantz. At the checkers, Roahrig, Kauffman and Ponstein followed Hanley and Hantz.
Brent Downey earned the Tobacco Depot Fast Qualifier Award. Downey toured the .375-mile oval in 14.273 seconds / 94.584 mph. Junior Hanley was the winner of the Lane Automotive/K&N Performance Filters Hard Charger, finishing in first position after starting in 15th slot. Fifth-place finisher Andy Ponstein was the Hubler Group/Blake Carburetion Rookie of the Race. Halney and Bull Baker were the winners of the Goodyear Performance Awards. Hanley was the winner of the Sweet Move the Race. J.R. Roahrig was the awarded lap leader bonuses from Acro-Tech Manufacturing and Everidge Motor Sales
The next Sunoco Super Series event is the Chevrolet Dealers 400 Presented Choo Choo Customs and Great Deals at Anderson Speedway on Saturday, July 13.
For up-to-the-minute coverage, fans can visit the official series website at www.sunocosuperseries.com.