St. Amant rings Minnesota victory bell in Miller Lite 300. St. Paul, MN (September 2, 2002) -- Gary St. Amant has earned two ASA National Championships and numerous important race wins in his almost legendary short track stock car career, but ...
St. Amant rings Minnesota victory bell in Miller Lite 300.
St. Paul, MN (September 2, 2002) -- Gary St. Amant has earned two ASA National Championships and numerous important race wins in his almost legendary short track stock car career, but winning the Miller Lite 300 at the Minnesota State Fair on Labor Day may prove to be his greatest thrill yet.
"I'm so happy I don't know if I'm laughing or crying," said the Columbus (OH) driver after holding off the 2001 race winner Kevin Cywinski. "My crew chief Bill McGowan made the perfect adjustments with our car after the last important pit stop."
The top 20 starting positions were decided on owner's points with Dick Trickle starting 21st. Joey Clanton topped the 33-car field for the first 40 laps after starting from the pole. Cywinski took the lead for the first of three occasions on lap 40 and loo ked to be unbeatable. He only lost the point following pit stops.
"Gary had awesome stops but we came out in the top two ourselves," said Cywinski. "We talked about making one more stop because the car wasn't quite right. One of these races maybe I'll break through again."
St. Amant made his second key pit stop with the other race leaders at lap 191 and never looked back. He led for a total of 129 laps including the final 109 circuits. It was his first win of the 2002 season and the 18th of his career.
Cywinski's teammate Dan Fredrickson finished third although he never led. Fellow rookies David Stremme and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five finishers. Mike Garvey, the 1999 winner, powered into the lead on lap 157 until apparent engine troubles slowed h is progress resulting in an 11th place finish.
Joey Clanton's point's lead over Gary St. Amant dwindles to 32 markers in the overall championship point's standings. Rookie David Stremme hangs on to a 105-point lead over Freckrickson in the rookies points chase.
The 2002 ASA Racing Series returns to Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids (IA) for a second time this season and the Iowa 300 on Sunday, September 8. The race will take the green flag just after 1 p.m. (Central) and will be telecast live on TNN The Nati onal Network.