St. Amant makes it three in a row with win at Illiana Speedway. Schererville, IN (September 22, 2002) -- Gary St. Amant made it three straight victories for the first time in his 16-year ASA career by winning the Citgo / MDA 300 at Illiana Motor...
St. Amant makes it three in a row with win at Illiana Speedway.
Schererville, IN (September 22, 2002) -- Gary St. Amant made it three straight victories for the first time in his 16-year ASA career by winning the Citgo / MDA 300 at Illiana Motor Speedway. The win propels him into the championship point's lead with two events remaining on the season.
The race was competitive from the start in ASA's first-ever appearance at the .50-mile oval in Northwest Indiana. Front row starters Joey Clanton and Robbie Pyle swapped the lead twice through the first fifty laps with St. Amant becoming the third of an eventual five different leaders. Kevin Cywinski and Mike Garvey were the other two drivers to hold the point.
A lightning fast pit stop put Mike Garvey's number 17 Tecumseh car in the lead on lap 154. He held the spot for 114 laps, the most of any driver.
A defining moment came on lap 239 when the sixth of nine came out and all of the lead lap cars except Garvey pitted for fresh BFGoodrich Tires. Garvey's gamble that he might hold off the leaders running on older tread backfired as St. Amant made a pass for the lead on the outside in the backstretch during lap 269. Garvey faded and finished eighth.
"This ACDelco number 7 car really liked the bottom of the track here at Illiana," said St. Amant. "I know Mike (Garvey) will break through one of these times, but we're just clicking big time right now with IRP and Winchester in our sights."
St. Amant went mostly unchallenged by Kevin Cywinski initially and then rookie David Stremme to post the 20th victory of his career. The two-time former ASA National Champion beat Stremme to the line by .612 seconds and takes over the championship point's lead by 11 markers in front of Joey Clanton. Cywinski, Butch Miller and Mike Eddy completed the top-five finishers.
Clanton also gambled that a pit stop on lap 258 may have given him better tires and a chance to catch the leaders. His wild 40-lap dash brought him to a sixth place result and dropped him behind St. Amant in the point's chase.
The 2002 ASA Racing Series returns to action on Saturday, September 28 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont (IN) for the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by ASI Limited. The race will take the green flag just after 8 p.m. (Central) and will be telecast same day tape-delay on TNN at midnight (Eastern).