USAR: Jennerstown: Race report

Ross gets his season off to a fast start at Jennerstown. Jennerstown, Pa -- Brian Ross knew coming into the 2003 season for the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division. The expectations of his Poynter Drywall/Odle Motorsports team were...

Ross gets his season off to a fast start at Jennerstown.

Jennerstown, Pa -- Brian Ross knew coming into the 2003 season for the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division. The expectations of his Poynter Drywall/Odle Motorsports team were going to be high. After a successful rookie campaign last year that produced five wins and the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Championship, Ross met those expectations quickly Saturday night at Jennerstown Speedway.

Ross passed Hal Goodson on lap 161 and later held off Eric Corbett to win the Lucas Oil 250 Presented by Hooters air Saturday night. Jeff Agnew, a two-time winner at the track, finished a solid third with Kertus Davis and Canadian regular Jason Mclellan completing the top-five.

"It is nice to finally get a win here at Jennerstown," said Ross. "We have had some good runs here but could never finish at the end. Tonight we were able to do that and this car drove great even with older tires."

Ross made reference to his pit stop on lap 108 for fuel and tires. Ross decided to pit after Scott Baker cut a tire and slowed on the track to bring out the caution flag on lap 105. Ross decided to pit with several other lead lap cars while Corbett and Agnew were two of the leading cars deciding to stay on the track.

Agnew, who took the lead on lap 84 and led three times for a total of 69 laps in the race, led at the halfway mark to collect the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award. Agnew enjoyed his lead but still needed to pit for tires and fuel.

It looked as if the pit strategy might have worked for Ross until Corbett, Agnew and the rest of the lead lap cars got a break when Jeremiah Kuntz brought out the yellow on lap 150 when he slowed on the track. After nine of the 13 lead-lap cars pitted during the caution Ross moved into second behind Hal Goodson.

Ross passed Goodson four laps after the restart and held on the final 90 laps for his sixth career win and first in the Keystone State.

"Our motor developed a miss and we just couldn't find the power to get by Ross," said Corbett. "We had a good car and to come to our home track for my team and run up front is a great start to the season. We led some laps and put our car in contention for the win."

The race began with Danny Sammons starting from the point after winning his first career Advance Auto Parts Pole Award and dashing out to the early lead. Sammons was leading on lap 30 when his Fred's Parts Center Ford suddenly lost power on the backstretch after his car suffered ignition problems giving the lead to Goodson.

Sammons fixed the ignition problems and returned to the track two laps down. Sammons made up one lap several laps later and was racing the leaders again to try and get back on the lead lap on lap 83 when he lost control in turn one. The spin by Sammons collected Goodson, who was leading, and second-place Jay Fogleman in the accident.

Goodson was able to return to action and finish a respectable sixth, but the accident ended the night for Sammons and Fogleman. Fogleman did return later in the race but finished over 100 laps down.

Joel Kauffman enjoyed a solid run in his first career start in the Series and used his eighth-place finish to garner Miller Lite Rookie of the Race honors. Glenn Sullivan returned to the Series and scored his best finish in almost two years with an 11th-place finish and winner of the Hard Charger Award.

The race was slowed 11 times by caution with 11 cars finishing on the lead lap and the only multi-car incident of the race was on lap 83 with Sammons, Goodson and Fogleman.

The win gives Ross the early lead in the Northern Division point standings over Corbett and Agnew. The Northern Division returns to action in two weeks at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, VA. The Food City 250 will run on Saturday, April 26th.

NEWS & NOTES FROM JENNERSTOWN SPEEDWAY

* A total of 34 cars entered the first USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division race of the season. Johnny Mackison, Jr. was not able to compete and Dale Delozier suffered mechanical problems in practice and was not able to qualify.

* Joel Kauffman, last year's Sunoco Super Series Champion, led a solid field of rookie drivers with his eighth-place finish and qualified on the outside pole. Kauffman also took his LA West Luxury Vans Chevrolet to the front for 8 laps during the Lucas Oil 250.

* Kertus Davis, who works for multi-car owner Steve Husketh as crew chief for Todd Hirschfeld in the Southern Division, showed he is also talented behind the wheel as he drove his Quality Brake Centers Ford to a strong fourth-place finish and led five laps in the contest.

* Canadian regulars Jason McLellan and John Gaunt both collected top-10 runs and fellow Canadian Robbie Thompson finished in the top-20 in his first career start in the Series. McLellan brought his Artic Clear Chevrolet home in fifth and Gaunt gave the Centennial Chrysler Dodge a 10th-place showing.

* The race featured nine leads changes among seven drivers, a new record for lead changes at the track for the Series.

* Goodson rebounded from his accident while leading on lap 83 to finish sixth in his first career start as a full-time Northern Division competitor. Goodson, who drove in the Southern Division last season, joined efforts with veteran crew chief Jimmy King to drive a Dodge for Lynch Motorsports based in Indiana.

* Ross became the sixth different winner to win a USAR Hooters ProCup Series race at Jennerstown Speedway. Agnew is tied with Mardy Lindley for the most wins at the track with two.

* The race was the first of 12 regular season races for the Northern Division.

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Ross , Kertus Davis , Joel Kauffman , John Gaunt , Jeff Agnew