Hanley grabs third victory of 2002 in Sunoco 100. Toledo, Ohio (August 2, 2002) - Following up his Tobacco Depot Fast Qualifier Award earlier in the day, Junior Hanley added his 13th career Sunoco Super Series victory at Toledo Speedway in the...
Hanley grabs third victory of 2002 in Sunoco 100.
Toledo, Ohio (August 2, 2002) - Following up his Tobacco Depot Fast Qualifier Award earlier in the day, Junior Hanley added his 13th career Sunoco Super Series victory at Toledo Speedway in the Sunoco 100. Hanley, driving the Rick Cole Enterprises / Big Rigs Truck & Trailer Maintenance Chevrolet, passed Andy Ponstein on lap 15. The Canadian Legend then held off Fred Campbell and Scott Hantz during the closing stages to capture his third victory of 2002.
"I got the lead real easy, but it was really hard to hold it," said Junior Hanley in the winner's circle. Freddie (Campbell) and Scott (Hantz) were real good. I tried not to mess up, because they could have got by me. I concentrated to not mess up going into the corner."
At the drop of the green flag, outside front-row starter Andy Ponstein darted into the early lead, getting the jump on Brent Downey. Series veteran Matt Hagans, Joel Kauffman and Hanley all chased the number 00 U.S. Pipe Chevrolet.
Hanley advanced to fourth on lap two around Kauffman and then followed Matt Hagans past Brent Downey near lap five. On the 13th circuit, Hanley then took second-place honors from Matt Hagans. Hanley began to quickly close on the bumper of Ponstein. On lap 15, Hanley darted by Ponstein after slight contact. Campbell and Hagans also bypassed Ponstein, who lost his momentum after the contact.
During the next stretch of laps, 2000 series champion and rookie of the year Scott Hantz began roaring to the top of the leader board. Driving the EMF Corporation Ford, Hantz bypassed Evan Jackson and Ponstein in consecutive laps near the 20th circuit. Then Hantz passed Hagans and on lap 30, he ducked underneath Kauffman for third-place honors.
The initial caution period occurred on lap 31 when Brian Fries and Tom Hernley Jr. spun on the main straightaway. When racing action resumed, the top three runners were Hanley, Campbell and Hantz. They raced nose to tail. On the 34th lap, a scary accident occurred when Brian Fries got into the outside retaining wall and then in turn one got upside down. Fries climbed out of his race car in good condition and waved to the fans in attendance.
When the green flag returned from series flagman Keith Ousley, the top three continued to race hard for the top position. On lap 56, Hantz moved into second, getting by Campbell. Hantz then appeared to have an edge on Hanley. On lap 62, Hantz slipped coming off turn four and Campbell retook second position.
The remainder of the event, Hanley was able to hold off Campbell with Hantz finishing third. Dave Jackson made a charge from 15th to finish if fourth place with Joel Kauffman completing the top-five finishers.
Junior Hanley was the fastest of 31 competitors to earn the Tobacco Depot Fast Qualifier Award. Hanley, toured the .500-mile oval in 15.872 seconds / 113.407 mph. Tom Hernley Jr. was the winner of the Lane Automotive/K&N Performance Filters Hard Charger, finishing in 13th position after starting in 27th slot. Andy Ponstein was the Hubler Group/Blake Carburetion Rookie of the Race. Dave Jackson and Rick Turner were the winners of the Goodyear Performance Awards. Harold Fair Jr. was the winner of the Sweet Move the Race.
The next Sunoco Super Series event is the 5th Annual International Truck & Engine Gold Cup 100 at Baer Field Speedway on Thursday, August 8. For up-to-the-minute coverage, fans can visit the official series website at www.sunocosuperseries.com.