CHEMUNG, NY - After collecting two wins last season during his Rookie of the Year season in 2000, Brian Vickers returned to victory lane Sunday afternoon when he outlasted Regan Smith to win the Naturally Fresh Dressings 250 at Chemung Speedrome...
CHEMUNG, NY - After collecting two wins last season during his Rookie of the Year season in 2000, Brian Vickers returned to victory lane Sunday afternoon when he outlasted Regan Smith to win the Naturally Fresh Dressings 250 at Chemung Speedrome Vickers led a total of 143 laps to collect the win, moving into the top five in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division point standings.
"I had brakes all day," said Vickers after the race. "We had brakes when we needed them and I heard there were guys who said they lost brakes as early as lap 100. Fortunately for us we had brakes and we were able to hold off Regan (Smith) there at the end and I was able to miss Mike (Herman, Jr.) when he had problems."
The last of 14 caution flags was given to the field when Charlie Ford spun on lap 245. Vickers was able to hold off Smith for the two-lap sprint to the finish. Dale Delozier collected his first top-five finish when he followed Smith across the line; Herman and Mardy Lindley completed the top-five.
"I didn't want to see all of those late caution flags," said Vickers. "Our car worked really well on long runs and some of the other guys were really fast on restarts so I knew it was going to be tough. Thankfully, we were able to stay out front and put our Stewart Components Chevrolet in victory lane and we moved up in the points."
Smith, who is originally from nearby Syracuse, New York, was happy with the strong runner-up finish and felt if his team had had a little luck the outcome could have been different.
"We had a tire going down with about 50 laps to go and we had to pit to make a tire change," Smith said. "Luckily the caution came out and we were able to pit under caution and stay on the lead lap. It put us back a little bit in the field and we had to work our way through the field. We had a really good car today."
The opportunistic caution flag for Smith was thrown after Delozier and Ford got together in turn three, sending Ford into the wall while both drivers were battling in the top-five.
"I hate I got into Charlie (Ford)," added Delozier. "Charlie and I go back a long way in racing and he has helped me a lot. I went into the turn and I had basically lost my brakes. I pumped the brakes once and I should have pumped them twice. I am happy we got a strong finish because we are racing on a race-by-race basis."
Next to Vickers, the fastest car for most of the afternoon was the Don Sprouse Motorsports Ford driven by Herman. Herman led a total of 90 laps during the race but a late spin and mechanical woes cost the Kannapolis, North Carolina driver a chance at his first career Hooters ProCup win.
"I hate we had that spin," Herman, Jr. added. "I went into the turns a little wide and got out of the groove a little and spun the car. Luckily we didn't hit anything and we were able to continue in the race. After that we then had an ignition box go out on the car and we had to get that changed and it cost us more track position. It felt good to get out front and lead some laps."
Canadian Jason McLellan finished sixth after leading two laps during the race with Ford able to finish seventh. Completing the top-10 was Donnie Hill, Jeff Agnew and Richard Hampton.
Vickers led at lap 125 to collect the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Challenge Award. Delozier used his third-place finish to win Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award honors and Sam Fullone won the Hard Charger Award.
Mardy Lindley was given the Sunoco Pole Award for earning his starting position by leading the points after qualifying was rained out Saturday afternoon.
The USAR Hooters ProCup Northern Division will return to action once again in the Empire state when Holland Speedway hosts the Hooters ProCup 250 presented by Oneganos Pure Water on Saturday June 30.