USAR: Hickory: Southern Division race report

Bobby Gill wins again at Hickory. Hickory, NC (July 28, 2002) -- Bobby Gill passed Hal Goodson on lap 225 and held on the final 25 laps to win the Naturally Fresh Foods 250 presented by Galaxy Foods USAR Hooters ProCup Series race Saturday ...

Bobby Gill wins again at Hickory.

Hickory, NC (July 28, 2002) -- Bobby Gill passed Hal Goodson on lap 225 and held on the final 25 laps to win the Naturally Fresh Foods 250 presented by Galaxy Foods USAR Hooters ProCup Series race Saturday night in front of a packed house at Hickory Motor Speedway. Gill, who won last year at HMS, collected his ninth win in the Southern Division and tenth overall this season. The three-time defending Series champion didn't feel very confident his car could win at the start of the race.

"We really didn't have a good car early in the race," said Gill."I thought if we couldn't get the car better after the pit stops there was no way we were going to win. We made some adjustments on the pit stop and the car got better late in the race. We try to win every race we can and tonight was a good win for us."

Jason Sarvis passed Goodson to finish second, while Goodson followed in third. Former Hickory Motor Speedway track champion and Series regular Shane Huffman recorded his best-ever finish in a USAR Hooters ProCup Series race at his home track, finishing fourth and Joe Gaita completed the top five.

"We are very happy to finally finish one of these races at Hickory in the top five," said Huffman."Of course we wanted to win, but a top-five is good for this team heading into the final third of the regular season. It was good to run well in front of our sponsors and so many of our family and friends."

Shane Wallace began the race from the Buffalo Burgers Pole position but was quickly passed by Sarvis who led until lap137 when Clay Rogers took over the top spot. Rogers remained in front until the leaders pitted for tires under caution on lap 169. Steve Christian, who won the last USAR Southern Division race two weeks ago, assumed the lead and remained in front until Goodson made his pass on lap 184 with fresher tires.

The race was slowed 11 times by caution with only two multicar incidents during the race. Former NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver and Hickory Motor Speedway track champion Andy Houston made his first career start in the Series, driving for the Hickory-based Carolina Motorsports Technology Center. Houston finished 29th after mechanical problems forced him to park his car on lap 60.

Sarvis led at the midpoint of the race to win the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award and also collected the Southern Pride Lap Leader Award. Gaita used hit top-five finish to win the Miller Lite Rookie of the Race honor and Mike Williams improved 19 spots in the race to collect the W.J. Plemons Investments Hard Charger Award.

Gill continues to lead the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division point standings as the division takes a two-week break before returning to action at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway on August 17.

-usar-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Andy Houston , Shane Huffman
Teams Williams