J.R. Roahrig wins International Gold Cup 100 at Baer Field. Ft. Wayne, Ind. (August 8, 2002) - Scoring his second victory of the 2002 Sunoco Super Series season, J.R. Roahrig won the 5th Annual International Truck & Engine Gold Cup 100 at Baer...
J.R. Roahrig wins International Gold Cup 100 at Baer Field.
Ft. Wayne, Ind. (August 8, 2002) - Scoring his second victory of the 2002 Sunoco Super Series season, J.R. Roahrig won the 5th Annual International Truck & Engine Gold Cup 100 at Baer Field Speedway on Thursday, August 8. Roahrig, who collected $3,315 for his winning efforts, grabbed the lead position when then first place Jeff Lane and second place Junior Hanley were involved in an altercation on lap 32. Roahrig then held off Hanley for the victory after the Canadian Legend charged from the rear of the field to battle Roahrig the last 20 circuits of the 100-lap event.
"The fastest car doesn't always win," said a smiling J.R. Roahrig in victory lane. "The car was great the first part of the race and then after I slipped in turn two it was tight the rest of the way. Junior (Hanley) was faster and if he and Jeff (Lane) hadn't got together, I wouldn't have passed him. I knew I just had to keep it on the bottom when I was up front. I was able to do that. I slipped on the last lap, but I was able to hold on," added the driver of the Gaerte Engines Dodge.
Keith Ousley waved the green flag with the field charging to turn one at full song with two-time series winner Jeff Lane darting into the early lead. Part-timer Aaron Hulings, series top runners J.R. Roahrig, Scott Hantz and Junior Hanley filled out the top five slots in the early stages.
On the 11th circuit, Roahrig drove underneath Hulings for second place with the Hantz attempting also to bypass the number 51 Ford of Hulings. Coming off the fourth corner, they raced side-by-side, then making contact with Hulings spinning in the infield grass and Hantz suffering right-front damage on his EMF Corporation Ford.
When racing resumed, Hanley began making his charge, passing J.R. Roahrig on lap 27, when the number 24 of Roahrig slipped in turn two. Hanley then closed on the rear of Jeff Lane. Entering the third corner on lap 32, Hanley and Lane made slight contact that sent the number 11 of Lane spinning in turns three and four. Hanley was placed at the rear of the field for the contact with Lane. Both front runners restated from the tail of the lead lap machines. This handed the top position to Roahrig.
Roahrig once in front began to stretch his lead on the new second place machine of Joel Kauffman. The current Sunoco Super Series points leader was trying to fend off the challenges of Kalamazoo Klash winner Chris Orr. The remainder of the event, the capacity crowd witnessed Jeff Lane and Junior Hanley charge to the front of the leader board.
Hanley advanced to 10th position by lap 56 with Lane scored in 12th spot. Hanley continued his surge to the front grabbing fifth place honors from Scott Baker. Then two laps later, Hanley took fourth from Eddie Van Meter in turn two. On lap 77, Hanley passed Chris Orr for third and two laps later he got around fast qualifier Joel Kauffman.
Then Hanley closed on the bumper of Roahrig, with 20 laps remaining. The duration of the event, Hanley and Roahrig put on a classic short track battle that was full of every move in the books as Lane continued to move through the pack. With 16 laps remaining, Lane was scored in the seventh position. He got around Eddie Van Meter for sixth on lap 88 and then began working on Scott Baker. At the checkers, Roahrig held on by one car length to win his second of the 2002 season. Kauffman barely edge Orr for third with Lane crossing the line in fifth after making a late-race pass on Baker.
Joel Kauffman was the fastest of 22 competitors to earn the Tobacco Depot Fast Qualifier Award. Kauffman toured the .500-mile oval in 17.464 seconds / 103.069 mph. Jeff Lane was the winner of the Sweet Move the Race.
The next Sunoco Super Series event is UAW Family Labor Night 100 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday, August 17. This is the first of two events at IRP, with the other slated for October 20 that also includes the outlaw late models, super trucks and street stocks. For up-to-the-minute coverage, fans can visit the official series website at www.sunocosuperseries.com.