USAR: Ace Speedway pre-race report

Ace Speedway Welcomes the Hooters ProCup Series FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (April 9, 2001) - As the 2001 USAR Hooters ProCup Series begins its stretch run over 32 drivers have entered to attempt to qualify for the Jackaroo Sauces 250 at Ace Speedway in...

Ace Speedway Welcomes the Hooters ProCup Series

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (April 9, 2001) - As the 2001 USAR Hooters ProCup Series begins its stretch run over 32 drivers have entered to attempt to qualify for the Jackaroo Sauces 250 at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, NC on Friday, April 13. The four-tenths of a mile track located just north of Greensboro will be the fourth race for the Hooters ProCup Series on the 2001 southern division schedule.

"We are looking forward to returning to Ace Speedway," said USAR president Gene Cox. "Ace Speedway is one of the nicest facilities we visit and the race fans enjoyed a great show last year."

Ace Speedway originally opened in the mid-1950's as a one-third of a mile dirt track and operated as one until 1989 when the track was paved in 1990. Extensive renovations were completed in 1999 to lengthen the track to four-tenths of a mile in length. Additional lights and completely refurbished grandstands were a major part of the $600,000 renovation project.

Hooters ProCup Series drivers Jay Fogleman, Brian Vickers, Kevin Sasser, Stacy Puryear, Keith Woody , Toby Robertson and Burlington, North Carolina native R.D. Smith have all competed at the facility. The track will be the only stop on the 2001 USAR Hooters ProCup Series scheduled for a Friday night.

While several tracks on the schedule have been "home tracks" for many of the Hooters ProCup Series drivers, Smith feels Ace Speedway might prove to be one of the most demanding on drivers.

"The track is different, that is for sure," said Smith. "I started my racing career at Ace in the Super Stock division in 1996. I then moved up to Late Model Stocks in 1998 and won one race and Rookie of the Year. The next year we won four races in 12 starts. The track has been good to us."

While Smith enjoyed success in Late Model Stock, the young driver added it can be different getting around the tight track in the heavier Hooters ProCup cars.

"The ProCup car is a lot heavier than a Late Model Stock which means the cars will be harder to handle in the corners with the extra weight. It will be a challenge to get the car set up properly to keep the car low on the track."

While the Hooters ProCup Series is known for side-by-side racing, Smith said how a car handles could determine the winner in Friday night's race.

"You have to run such a low gear at Ace, handling will be key," said Smith. "A driver will need to get a good jump out of the corner to have a good lap."

A 250-lap race will bring pit strategy into play during the night and Smith feels that could be a factor in deciding the winner this Friday night at Ace Speedway.

"Qualifying and pit strategy will probably determine who has a chance to win the race," Smith said. "You have to qualify well because the track is tough to pass other cars," said Smith. "You have to bet patient to have your car in one piece to make the run at the end of the race but at the same time you have to run hard to stay on the lead lap. It will be a challenging race for the drivers and an exciting one for the fans to watch."

Bobby Gill passed Jon Wood late in the race last year to win the inaugural Hooters ProCup Series race last season. Gill has won twice already this season and enters this weekend with a 65-point lead over Steven Christian in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series southern division points standings. Fogleman, who won earlier this year at St. Augustine Speedway returns to Ace Speedway third in the standings two points behind Christian.

-USAR-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jon Wood , Brian Vickers