Hoffman Goes 3 for 3 In Winning The NAPA National Short Track Championships At Rockford Speedway Rockford, IL (September 26, 2004) -- Fast Eddie Hoffman lived up to his nickname at the 39th Annual NAPA National Short Track Championships ...
Hoffman Goes 3 for 3 In Winning The NAPA National Short Track Championships At Rockford Speedway
Rockford, IL (September 26, 2004) -- Fast Eddie Hoffman lived up to his nickname at the 39th Annual NAPA National Short Track Championships at Rockford Speedway, making some breath taking passes coming from the 6th starting position to the win the NAPA 250 Sunoco Super Series event. Hoffman, racing in his third Sunoco Super Series event this season, has now won all three, dominating at Illiana Motor Speedway, his home track, passing for the lead with 10 laps to go at Baer Field Speedway, and taking the lead with 30 laps to go Sunday afternoon at Rockford Speedway to get the win. Steve Moenck finished second, Brian Hoppe third, Steve Rubeck fourth and Brian Johnson, Jr. rounded out the top five.
"I did not even realize we were going for our third Sunoco Series win in a row until after the race," stated a jubilant Hoffman in victory lane. "This series and race has so many solid drivers, I feel really good about my win today, I'm very proud to be the 39th Annual NAPA National Short Track Champion!"
On a beautiful September afternoon, Brad Mueller started on the outside of the front row jumping out front to lead the first 220 laps. Mueller built a lead running out ahead of Justin Diercks, and Steve Moenck. Diercks passed Mueller a couple of times, but each time a yellow flag came out causing the track positions to revert to the last completed lap, allowing Mueller to keep the lead.
Hoffman was working his way through traffic picking off the cars in front one by one. On lap 177 he took over second place moving around Diercks while avoiding a lapped car on the low side and moved cleanly up before Diercks could get to the spot. Hoffman then passed Mueller using the lapped cars very carefully to his advantage on lap 204. Mueller was given another chance when an accident behind the leaders caused the field to revert to the previous lap again putting Mueller back in the lead.
The accident involved Diercks, Junior Hanley, and several other cars, forcing Hanley and Diercks to move behind the wall. After the restart Hoffman followed Mueller until he found an opening. Going under Mueller, who was running a high line in the corners, Hoffman took the lead for good on lap 220. Mueller slipped up into the wall lightly and moved from first to seventh on that lap, before finishing sixth.
Moenck took full advantage of the problems of the cars ahead of him and moved into second place. He held off a strong Brian Hoppe to finish second, right in front of the third place finishing Hoppe. "We did not have a first place car today," commented Hoppe. "I am very happy with our finish here today!"
40 cars were at the track attempting to get into the 28-car field, with the top twenty in qualifying were locked into the field. Nathan Haseleu, the Corteco Fast Qualifier, set a new track record, one of 23 drivers to break the previous record set last season. Matt Kocourek and Tommy Pecaro, won the Qualifying races to transfer to the National Short Track Championships along with the second place finishers in those races, Mike Monroe and Jeff Way. Kenny Tweedy battled brake problems all weekend, but still managed to race his way into the field with a win in the Last Chance Race. The Lucky Dawg Draw went to Eddie Van Meter to round out the field for the 39th Annual NAPA National Short Track Championships.
Brad Mueller was the Wax Shop Halfway Award Leader. Eddie Hoffman was the Sweet Manufacturing Sweet Move Of The Race Award winner for his great moves to get to the front for the victory. Bruce Carlson, Crew Chief for Hoffman, was the Gladiator GarageWorks Crew Chief Of the Race Award. Series newcomer Brian Johnson, Jr. was the ISKY Racing Cams/Lane Automotive Hardcharger Award winner. Johnson finished fifth after starting twentieth. Goodyear Performance Awards went to Johnson and Ron Breese Jr. Steve Moenck was the Backstretch Performance/Blake Carburetion/Reed Cams Rookie Of The Race.
The next Sunoco Super Series event will be the World Cup 300 Friday and Saturday October 8th and 9th at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, MO. More information is available at www.sunocosuperseries.com.