USAR: Jennerstown CS: First championship round preview

Jennerstown Speedway Readies for Charlie Campbell Memorial BFGoodrich Tires 250 Longs, SC -- For the fifth consecutive season, Jennerstown Speedway will host the opening round of the Championship Series for the Hooters Pro Cup Series. Since...

Jennerstown Speedway Readies for Charlie Campbell Memorial BFGoodrich Tires 250

Longs, SC -- For the fifth consecutive season, Jennerstown Speedway will host the opening round of the Championship Series for the Hooters Pro Cup Series. Since 2001, the Hooters Pro Cup Series has used the five-race Championship Series, which pits the top-30 drivers from both the Southern and Northern Divisions against each other, to determine the national champion. And this year's field could be the toughest in the eight-year history of the touring series.

The Charlie Campbell Memorial BFGoodrich Tires 250 on Saturday, September 24 will feature nearly 60 of the best drivers from across the country vying for a starting spot in the 36-car field.

With 58 cars eligible to compete in the Championship Series, drivers will face a huge hurdle just to make the top 36 in qualifying. If drivers can knock out a good lap in qualifying, they'll guarantee themselves a spot in one of the most competitive field in motorsports.

Though the top 36 may be separated by just three tenths of a second, several drivers will enter as the clear favorites to win at Jennerstown and the overall championship.

Shane Huffman, who has collected a series-high seven wins and the Southern Division title, enters Jennerstown as the only repeat winner at the half-mile track in the Championship Series, going to victory lane in during his championship season of 2003 and again in last year's fall event.

"I have enjoyed some success at Jennerstown, and I hope we can get another win this year," said Huffman, driver of the No. 81 Knight's Companies Ford. "We have had a great year so far in the Southern Division, but when you get everybody together for the Championship Series everything changes and the competition gets even tougher. If we could get a win at Jennerstown, we will have some great momentum going into the remaining four races."

But Benny Gordon, who won five regular-season races and the Northern Division title, enters the Championship Series on equal, or better, footing as Huffman.

Gordon, driver of the No. 66 Predator Performance Ford, went to victory lane at Jennerstown Speedway on May 28. Not too mention, Gordon was reeling in Huffman during last year's Championship Series event before blowing a tire with less than 25 laps remaining.

Mardy Lindley, who enters the five-race playoff as the second seed, won at Jennerstown in 2002, but the Pro Cup veteran has yet to visit victory lane in 2005. Lindley hopes to snap his 26-race winless streak in the Championship Series.

"We have had some great runs this year," said Lindley, driver of the No. 16 Hooters Air Ford. "We haven't tested anywhere this year but have been able to stay in the top-three almost all year long. I feel like our chances in the Championship Series could be pretty good and we could surprise some people."

Front gates open for the fans at 2 p.m. and qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts Pole Award will begin at 4:30 p.m. The on-track autograph session will begin at 5:45 p.m. and the green flag will fall at 7 p.m. for the Charlie Campbell Memorial BFGoodrich Tires 250. For more information or advance tickets, please contact Jennerstown Speedway at 814-629-6677.

2005 USAR HOOTERS PRO CUP SERIES QUICK FACTS

WHAT: Charlie Campbell Memorial BFGoodrich Tires 250
USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Race No. 26 of 30 (Championship Series Race No. 1 of 5)

WHERE: Jennerstown Speedway -- Jennerstown, PA
.522-mile, slightly-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 2005 -- 7:00 pm (ET)

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/131 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $135,291 (Includes $36,800 Point Fund)

STARTING FIELD: 36 car starting field. 38 cars possible. Fastest 36 cars through time trials. One Provisional position possible for a driver who finished in the final Top-15 regular season in their respective division. Only one provisional allowed per division (only if necessary).

TELEVISION: SPEED Channel, Saturday, October 1, 2005 (10:00 pm ET)
SPEED Channel, Friday, October 7, 2005 (12:00 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday, September 24, 2005:
11:30 a.m. -- 1:30 p.m. Hooters Pro Cup Series Practice
2 p.m. Grandstand Front Gates Open
4:30 p.m. Hooters Pro Cup Series Qualifying
5:45 p.m. Autograph Session
6:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies
7 p.m. Charlie Campbell Memorial BFGoodrich Tires 250

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Series Stock car
Drivers Shane Huffman