USAR: Bristol: Southern Division round 11 preview

Short Trackers to Tackle Concrete Beast Myrtle Beach, S.C.-The Hooters Pro Cup Series competes at various short tracks around the country, but few compare to the coliseum-like confines of Bristol Motor Speedway. The concrete behemoth is...

Short Trackers to Tackle Concrete Beast

Myrtle Beach, S.C.-The Hooters Pro Cup Series competes at various short tracks around the country, but few compare to the coliseum-like confines of Bristol Motor Speedway.

The concrete behemoth is known for chewing up the toughest racers-and race cars. For the third consecutive year, the Southern Division of the Hooters Pro Cup Series descends on the .533-mile track for the running of Food City ® 150 presented by Naturally Fresh ® on Wed., August 23. Over 45 drivers will be trying to tame the high-banked monster and find their way to the prestigious BMS Victory Lane.

"[Victory Lane] was the first thing I saw when I pulled into the racetrack," Clay Rogers said at a recent test at BMS. "I remembered how cool it was to be up there last year, and I was so excited to get back to this place. I want to get back into that winner's circle up there."

But Rogers, driver of the No. 44 Automotive Development Group Ford, isn't the only Pro Cup driver to stand on the hallowed ground. And he won't be the only driver in the field trying to repeat.

In the inaugural Food City 150, Shane Huffman, driver of the No. 88 Champion Spark Plugs Chevrolet, started shotgun on the field in '04 and took the lead on Lap 103 en route to the win.

"I've won titles before, but to win at Bristol is probably the biggest win of my career," said Huffman, who drives for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports team. "This has always been a good race for us. I don't know if it's just luck or what, but I sure love running here. It's just so fast and you've got to be fairly aggressive so it's just a real fun race for us."

It wasn't too much fun last year for Huffman, however.

Huffman was involved in a multi-car accident on Lap 13 and finished two laps down in 19th position.

While Rogers and Huffman, who have combined to win seven of 10 Southern Division events this season, may be the favorites tonight, there are a slew of potential winners nipping at their heels.

Shane Wallace, driver of the No. 38 EM Wallace Contractors Ford, had the fastest car last year, but the 21-year-old driver was also a victim in the Lap 13 melee.

Joey Logano, the 16-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing phenom, should also be a contender. Logano, who broke Brian Vickers' record to become the youngest winner in Hooters Pro Cup Series history last year, has added another win this year and been front-runner every week.

Michael Ritch, driver of the No. 28 Jackaroo Ford, has been on a hot streak in the past three races, posting three top-five finishes. Ritch finished third in the inaugural Food City 150 presented by Naturally Fresh.

With the Northern Division season wrapped up, Benny Gordon, Jeff Agnew and Shelby Howard, who finished first, second and third in points, respectively, will also be in attendance.

The Food City 150 presented by Naturally Fresh is scheduled for a 7 p.m. green flag.

2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series quick Facts

EVENT: Food City 150 ® presented by Naturally Fresh ®
Race No. 23 of 30 (Southern Division Race 11 of 12)

WHERE:                    Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol, TN

.533-mile, high-banked concrete oval

WHEN Wednesday August 23, 2006 - 7 p.m. (EST)

DISTANCE: 150 Laps/79.95 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $131,649 (Includes $36,433 Point Fund)

STARTING FIELD: 36 car starting field, 38 cars possible, Fastest 32 cars through time trials, two provisional positions from 2006 Southern Division top 30 Driver Points Standings Two provisional from 2006 Southern Division top-30 Car Owner Points Standings. Two provisional starting positions available for a past Hooters Pro Cup Series champion and rookie of the year (only if necessary)

TELEVISION:             SPEED Channel, Wednesday, August 30, 2006 (4 p.m. ET)

SPEED Channel, Friday, September 1, 2006 (Noon ET)

RACE DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS WEDNESDAY AUGUST 23, 2006:
9:00 -10:50. USAR HPCS Practice
3:00 P.M. Food City 150 Qualifying for USAR HPCS
6:30 P.M. USAR HPCS Pre Race Ceremonies/ Driver Introductions
7:00 P.M. Food City 150 presented by Naturally Fresh -credit: usar

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Clay Rogers , Shelby Howard , Brian Vickers , Shane Huffman , Joey Logano , Jeff Agnew
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing , JR Motorsports