USAR: Hickory race report

HICKORY, NC (July 9, 2000) – When you’re hot you’re hot and right now no one is hotter than Bobby Gill. Gill held off a hard-charging Clay Rogers during a final three-lap sprint to the finish to win the State Fair Brand Corn Dogs 250 at ...

HICKORY, NC (July 9, 2000) – When you’re hot you’re hot and right now no one is hotter than Bobby Gill. Gill held off a hard-charging Clay Rogers during a final three-lap sprint to the finish to win the State Fair Brand Corn Dogs 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway Saturday night. Bill Plemons, Jr. followed in third while 1998 Hooters ProCup Series champion Jeff Agnew was fourth and Charlie Ford completed the top five.

Steven Christian was sixth with rookies Jon Wood, Brian Vickers and Stacy Puryear next with Mart Nesbitt giving the race sponsor a positive showing bringing the State Fair Brand Corn Dogs Chevy home in 10th. This was his second consecutive top-10 finish and fourth overall for the season which matches his total for all of 1999.

Gill, who won five races during his championship season of 1999, has already matched his win total of last season with his third consecutive win. The win was the 10th Hooters ProCup Series victory for the driver of the PGT Industries Ford which now puts him in a second-place tie with Michael Ritch for all-time wins in the series.

"We didn’t have the best car at the start of the race," said Gill in victory lane. "We kept making adjustments all night and the car came around there at the end. The guys did a great job and we were able to get another win. We race to win and if we do that the points take care of themselves."

Gill passed Steven Christian on lap 194 and remained out front the final 56 laps to get the win. The race featured five lead changes among five drivers with Rogers leading the most laps (104).

"Tonight feels like a win for us," said an ecstatic Rogers. "This is the best finish we have had in the series and we keep getting closer and closer but (Bobby) Gill just keeps finding a way to be there at the end and he is a great driver. We will get a win soon with this Bill Boger crew."

The race was slowed 12 times for caution when the most serious accident occurred during caution six when Puryear, Trent Owens, Don Satterfield and Shane Huffman got together in turn four. Huffman, looking for a strong run in front of his hometown fans, was able to continue after repairs and brought his Johnsonville Bratwurst Ford home in 27th. Puryear rebounded for a ninth-place finish, while Owens and Satterfield were also able to continue.

Keith Woody also suffered a severely damaged car when his Sandvik Chevrolet backed hard into the turn four wall ending his night on lap 166. Hickory native Chris Diamond was involved in two early cautions which ended his night on lap 19.

The fireworks continued with 10 laps remaining when Plemons and Mardy Lindley made contact while running in the top five. The contact sent Lindley spinning down the frontstretch while Plemons continued. Lindley rebounded to finish the race however during the cool down lap after the end of the race Lindley came around and made contact with Plemons. Lindley was penalized and relegated to last-place in the final rundown.

As a result Lindley dropped from second to fourth in the points standings while Mario Gosselin remains in front with 1,390 points. Gill has moved from eighth to second in the points standings thanks to three straight wins and currently is 59 points behind Gosselin. Christian remains in third with 1,260 points with Lindley and David Pletcher tied for fourth with 1,188 points.

The Hooters ProCup Series returns to action on July 22 when New River Valley hosts the Kroger 250 presented by Pepsi.

Hickory News & Notes

* The race was the second at Hickory Motor Speedway for the Hooters ProCup Series. Last year’s winner Derrick Kelley was not at the race. His sponsor, Discount Auto Parts, also announced they will sponsor Mardy Lindley for the remainder of the 2000 season. Kelley, who had been driving for Competition Motorsports, will now race a limited schedule with Mappin Motorsports and Discount Auto Parts. "I am excited about the unique opportunity allowing me to race on a two (car) team," said Kelley. "This arrangement allows me to race and devote more time to my family and my business interests."

* Charlie Ford continues his strong season by finishing 5th Saturday night, his first top five finish since February.

* A total of 49 cars attempted to qualify for the State Fair Brand Corn Dogs 250. John Kinder, Tim Clayton, Kertus Davis, Karen Schulz, Chuck Hossfeld, Jon Kerley, Burt Ingle, Larry Barrett, Ronnie Davidson, Mickey Hudspeth, Gerry O’Neil, Andy Carroll, Don Sprouse, Mark Whitaker and Brad Means all failed to qualify for the race.

* Mart Nesbitt, Shane Huffman, Andy Thurman and Jon Kerley were part of pre-game festivities at L.P. Frans Stadium Friday night in Hickory. Mart Nesbitt, driver of the State Fair Brand Corn Dogs Chevrolet, and Shane Huffman, driver of the Johnsonville Bratwurst Ford, threw out ceremonial first pitches to the crowd of 2,200. While Thurman, driver of the Naturally Fresh Mountain Spring Water Ford, joined the drivers to assist children during the Lance "Race Around the Bases" with children selected from the crowd.

* Hal Goodson made his first start in the 2000 Hooters ProCup Series at HMS. Goodson drove the #45 Carlin Financial Chevrolet and finished 30th.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Jon Wood , Trent Owens , Brian Vickers , Kertus Davis , Mario Gosselin , Shane Huffman , Brad Means , Jeff Agnew
Teams Carlin