USAR: Goodson Myrtle Beach race report

Goodson Ends Fairytale Night In Victory Lane Myrtle Beach, SC (Oct. 13, 2001) -- What a difference a couple of days can make. Just ask Hal Goodson. Just five days after finding out his team was no longer ...

Goodson Ends Fairytale Night In Victory Lane

Myrtle Beach, SC (Oct. 13, 2001) -- What a difference a couple of days can make. Just ask Hal Goodson.

Just five days after finding out his team was no longer in operation after suddenly closing down, Goodson was able to hold off a hard-charging Bobby Gill and win the Mark Brooks Memorial Hooters 250 presented by Alabama Theatre Saturday night at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

Shane Huffman followed up his impressive win at Jennerstown Speedway with a third-place finish and John Kinder collected fourth. Derrick Kelley collected his second consecutive top-five finish, coming home fifth.

The win was the third of the season for Goodson and his second consecutive win at the demanding one-half mile track. While happy for the win, he was especially appreciative of the man who gave him the opportunity to get the win.

"I can't thank everyone on this team enough for sticking with me, but I really want to thank Bill Plemons," said an emotional Goodson after the win." When everything happened last Tuesday I just got on the phone and tried to work out things and find a ride. When Bill offered me this opportunity I knew I was going to be in good equipment."

Goodson didn't take long to realize how strong he would be as he qualified on the outside pole, but quickly grabbed the lead from Lance Snacks Pole Award winner Huffman on the first lap and broke away to lead the first 125 laps of the race before giving up the top spot to pit under caution on lap 126.

"I knew it was going to be tough when we were one of the last cars on the lead lap to pit and there were still 20 cars on the lead lap," added Goodson." We just worked our way to the front. We wanted to stay out and collect the $1,250 bonus from Lucas Oil and we were able to get that and still found a way to get back to the front."

Steve Christian assumed the lead during pit stops and led laps 127-131 before Jay Fogleman grabbed the top spot for the next five laps.

Christian passed Fogleman for the lead and remained out front until lap 152 when Shane Huffman passed for the lead on lap 152.

Huffman, who entered the night leading in the points chase for the $250,000 Four Champions Championship title by one point over Gill, led a total of 59 laps during the night and appeared to have one of the strongest cars in the field before getting involved with Charlie Ford and Jason McLellan on the front stretch while leading.

As Ford was racing hard to stay on the lead lap he and McLellan were racing side-by-side in turn four. Huffman attempted to pass both cars on the inside down the front stretch. Huffman and McLellan got together which collected Ford and he backed hard into the turn one retaining wall on lap 172.

All three drivers were able to continue and Huffman remained out front until lap 211 when Goodson grabbed the top spot for the final time.

"We had a really good car and we hope we stayed right there with Bobby in the points," Huffman said." This track is hard to get around and we are glad to get a top-three finish going into Concord."

Goodson took the lead and seemed to be pulling away when a trio of caution periods, highlighted by an eight minute red flag period, brought the field back in line and gave Gill the opportunity in several restarts to get by Goodson.

The first of those late caution flags was thrown on lap 228 when Joe Harrison, Jr. spun in turn two. After the field was set and restarted on lap 238, four cars got together in turn one to bring out the caution flag immediately after the restart.

Dave Houpt, Daniel Johnson, Ford and Stacy Puryear all got together to bring out the caution and force another restart.

Each time Goodson was able to get the jump on the field and remain in the lead before the final caution came on lap 246.

Jason Sarvis, who finished second at Myrtle Beach in the spring race, got together with Chris Gordon, Plemons, Chad Beahr and McLellan with just four laps to go, bringing out the red flag for cleanup.

The red flag was given to the field as crews cleaned up the track to set up the green-white-checker finish that provided Goodson his scenario for the win.

"Shane showed everybody at Jennerstown that you could really move up if you did the right things during a race and we were lucky to do that here tonight," added Goodson." I have had some pretty big wins in my day but this has to be one of the biggest and best feelings after a race I have ever had driving a race car."

While the crew celebrated in victory lane with Goodson, Plemons viewed the scene much like a proud father watching his children enjoying their respective successes.

"This is something else, isn't it," exclaimed an ecstatic Plemons." I gave him ol' Henry and he brought it home with a win."

Plemons named the car Henry after Ford Motor Company pioneer Henry Ford and said the car has been the most successful car to date for his team.

"Every lap I have ever led has been in this car," said Plemons." I even got my first win in this car at Thompson (last May). When Hal called me and told me his situation and I knew he had a family to support it made our decision at the race shop easy to give Hal the equipment. We had to give him the best opportunity to win. I have got good cars and I enjoy racing as a hobby and I have always said that, but I am really happy for this Cinderella-type ending for my guys and for Hal and his family."

Goodson collected $11,250 with the win and more importantly moved from eighth to third in the championship point standings, 12 points behind Huffman. Huffman leads Gill by the same slim one-point margin from Jennerstown Speedway two weeks ago (435-434). Goodson is at 423. Brian Vickers is fourth with 393 points and Agnew has 390 points to complete the top five.

Agnew and Houpt shared the W.J. Plemons Investments Hard Charger Award; Robertson collected Miller Lite Rookie of the Race honors.

The Four Champions Championship Series continues in two weeks when the USAR Hooters ProCup Series returns to Concord Motorsport Park for the running of the Dan Duncam Memorial Hooters 250.

"We are going to Concord and I always seem to run good there and hopefully we can keep this good streak of luck going," said Goodson." I just want to be able to do something I love to do and be able to feed my family while I do it and thanks to Bill Plemons I have a chance to do that for the next two races and close out this season on a high note."


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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Henry Ford , Brian Vickers , Shane Huffman