Chuck Barnes Jr. Uses Skill and A Little Luck To Win The All American 300 Nashville, TN (November 8, 2004) -- Chuck Barnes Jr. had to rely on his racing skills and a little luck to get the biggest win of his young racing career in capturing...
Chuck Barnes Jr. Uses Skill and A Little Luck To Win The All American 300
Nashville, TN (November 8, 2004) -- Chuck Barnes Jr. had to rely on his racing skills and a little luck to get the biggest win of his young racing career in capturing the All American 300 Sunday afternoon at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tennessee. Barnes, the 2004 Sunoco Super Series Champion, got lucky when a caution for a wreck in the back-stretch happened just as he had to pull on pit road after running out of fuel while trying to stay out and save his new tires for the end of the Sunoco Super Series and O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series Co-sanctioned race. Barnes was able to stay on the lead lap after getting fuel and tires. Barnes battled back through the field and came out on top of an awesome last 50-lap battle with Eddie Hoffman and Jason Hogan to get the win and the coveted winners guitar trophy.
"To have the guitar for winning at Nashville means a whole lot to me," remarked Barnes Jr. "I was over at Frank Kimmel's shop and he told me that his guitar trophy from winning an ARCA event at the Nashville big track was the best trophy he's ever got! I had to call him from victory lane to tell him that I've got one now. He said "way to go.'"
The 23 year old Louisville, Kentucky native lead the first 85 laps from his pole starting position after out qualifying 60 other competitors on Saturday to earn a $400 bonus from Corteco and Volunteer Engine Performance. Hard charging Wayne Willard got around Barnes on lap 86 and looked to be the man to beat as he set an early a torrid pace that left only 10 cars on the lead lap just prior to the mid way point. A caution for debris brought almost all the leaders to pit road except for Barnes Jr., who elected to stay out and assume the lead, wanting to wait to later in the event to get fresh his tires. The decision almost backfired until lady luck stepped in.
Willard was in control of the event shortly after Barnes's lucky brake until Willard suddenly slowed and went to pit road on lap 238 turning the lead over to fellow Georgia driver Jason Hogan. One lap later Willard was behind the wall and his day was done.
"It was a broken trailing arm bracket," said a disgusted Willard after the race. " It was pretty sudden, I was just out there cruising. I had the car to beat, I just went down in the corner in turn four and it got sideways, I knew something was wrong in the rear end by the way it was grapping, I brought it on in before something worse happened."
It was the second year in a row, including last years North/South Patriot 200, that Willard had the dominate car at Music City Motorplex, but had his day end early with mechanical problems. Hogan assumed the lead, but the best part of the race was still to come. Eddie Hoffman managed to just get around Hogan when a yellow came out, that yellow put Hoffman back on the lead lap, helping set up a great race ending battle. Barnes was dogging Hogan, trying to find a way around while Hoffman was working his way around the remaining lead lap cars. Barnes managed to finally get a run under Hogan and make the pass for the lead on lap 290. Hoffman soon followed and was tracking down Barnes when a spin brought out the caution setting up a five lap run to the finish.
On the restart Barnes spun his tires slightly breaking the car loose, Hoffman slowed behind him, that allowed Jason Hogan to pull under Hoffman and the two battled going into turn one. That side-by-side battle for second allowed Barnes to pull away from both of his pursuers. Hoffman managed to win the battle for second with Hogan getting third.
"I knew that last caution would make it tough to get the win because Hoffman is a tough racer," said Barnes. "I lost my radio ear piece coming to that last green flag start after the caution, but I managed to get it hooked back up before the green came out, but I didn't clean my tires good, so I spun the tires for just a second on that last restart. I guess the Lord was watching over us today, I was able to pull away from those two while they were racing side by side, that was enough for me to get the win!"
Boris Jurkovic finished fourth avoiding trouble through out the event. Jeff Lane managed to battle back twice from being a lap down to finish fifth, Lane's tireless efforts earned him the Sweet Move Of The Race Award from Sweet Manufacturing. O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series 2004 Champion Gary Helton finished in sixth one lap down. 2004 Sunoco Super Series Rookie Of The Year Chris Gabehart finished one lap down in seventh. Ken McFarland was also one lap down in eighth.
Johnny Brazier came from his thirty-fifth starting position to finish two laps down in ninth. Brazier earned a $300 bonus for being the Port City South/Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hardcharger Of The Race Award winner. Eddie Massengill hung on to finish in tenth, also two laps down. Five Southern drivers and five Northern drivers finished in the top ten, but four of the top five spots were filled by drivers from the North.
Chuck Barnes Sr. was the Gladiator GarageWorks Crew Chief Of The Race Award winner for helping his son get the victory. Barnes Jr. won a $150 bonus from Race Trailer Sales.com for leading lap 150. Charlie Menard was the ARP Stock Car Bodies Performance Award winner, Menard's name was pulled out in a random draw of all the competitors who made the starting field of the All American 300. Menard will receive new ABC ARP Stock Car Body.