USAR: Lakeland CS: Final championship preview

USA International Speedway to Determine More Than Champion Myrtle Beach, SC -- While millions of Americans will be feasting on the traditional Thanksgiving meal the upcoming holiday weekend, over 40 drivers will be thinking...

USA International Speedway to Determine More Than Champion

Myrtle Beach, SC -- While millions of Americans will be feasting on the traditional Thanksgiving meal the upcoming holiday weekend, over 40 drivers will be thinking about Saturday night as well. The Championship Finale Hooters 300 presented by Viste will crown the 2003 National Champion for the Hooters ProCup Series and the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year at USA International Speedway. While Shane Huffman leads Benny Gordon by 59 points going into the final race, as many as five drivers could leave Lakeland as a champion.

Huffman did he had to do at Peach State Speedway winning the race and was able to build a 59-point lead over Gordon going into the final race. Gordon used his top-10 finish to secure the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Award by just showing up in Florida and can now focus on the chase for the championship.

Jay Fogleman, Mardy Lindley and Jeff Agnew completed the top-five in the Championship Series point standings after Peach State with all five drivers within 101 points of one another heading into Lakeland. Of the top-five drivers Huffman is the only driver of the five to score a win at USA International Speedway with his lone win coming back in the spring.

Fogleman, Agnew and Lindley have all finished as high as second while Gordon scored a fourth-place finish in May for his best finish in two starts. While the drivers are all chasing Huffman for the title, a finish of just one position up or down could mean the difference of $10,000 to $20,000 depending on how the final top-five positions in the points are finalized. Jay Fogleman sits in third with 639 points while 10th-place Jason Sarvis is just 44 points behind Fogleman. The difference in point money from 3rd to 10th - $30,000, payoff for third is $50,000 while the 10th-place finisher is assured $20,000.

While the top-five drivers will be searching for the win at USA International Speedway to hopefully lock up the championship, they will have to get by Bobby Gill. Gill, who has won more Hooters ProCup Series races at USA International Speedway than any other driver in the Series, will be an odds-on favorite despite sitting in 11th-pace in the standings after Peach State.

Lakeland native and former USA International Speedway competitor Joe Nemechek will be the honorary grand marshal for the Championship Finale Hooters 300. Nemechek competed in several divisions at the track before moving up to the Busch and Winston Cup Series back in the 1980's.

In addition to the Championship Finale Hooters 300 presented by Viste, eleven teams will be vying for the 2003 Goodyear Pit Crew Challenge title. The challenge will give crews an opportunity in pit stop competition to win the lion's share of the more than $10,000 in cash and prizes for performing the fastest pit stop. Last year Huffman and his Jennie-O Turkey Store crew won the title.

Fans who arrive early to the track and want to keep up with the Florida-Florida State football game can watch the game at the track with an afternoon tailgate party to be held outside the track on Saturday afternoon. For more information on the Championship Finale Hooters 300 presented by Viste please contact the USA International Speedway ticket office at 800-964-7223.

-usar-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Shane Huffman , Jeff Agnew