USAR: Lakeland II: Race report

Huffman gets win in dominating fashion MRYTLE BEACH, SC -- Shane Huffman knew going into the Lucas Oil 250 presented by Advance Discount Auto Parts that he would have to find a way to conquer USA International Speedway if he...

Huffman gets win in dominating fashion

MRYTLE BEACH, SC -- Shane Huffman knew going into the Lucas Oil 250 presented by Advance Discount Auto Parts that he would have to find a way to conquer USA International Speedway if he wanted to be considered a contender for the 2003 USAR Hooters ProCup Series national championship. Huffman proved Saturday night he is ready for the challenge.

Huffman led 241 of 250 laps to easily win his second race of the season and sixth overall in the Series. Mardy Lindley finished second and Clay Rogers made his first start of the year in the Naturally Fresh Foods Ford a success with a podium finish. Benny Gordon finished fourth and Bobby Gill completed the top-five.

"I can't believe how good this car was tonight," said Huffman. "This might have been one of the best cars I have ever driven. We know winning the championship comes through Lakeland and we have never really run well here. We decided to try something different for this race and it worked."

Huffman was one of the fastest all day in practice and almost set a new mark in qualifying to win the Advance Auto Parts pole award. Huffman quickly jumped to the lead and was never really challenged for the win the entire race.

Lindley, who has a win and consecutive runner-up finishes in his last three starts, was just happy to get his finish.

"I didn't have any brakes at the end of the race," said Lindley. "I would have to let off the gas near the middle of the straightaway and let the car coast into the turns. We will take this finish and it will help us move up in the points."

The race was slowed 11 times by caution with caution flag given to the field on lap 72 when a small dog wondered onto the track from one of the motor homes parked in the infield. The dog was rescued safely.

The only time Huffman was not in the lead was when he brought his Jennie-O Turkey Store Ford into the pits for fuel and tires on lap 113. Gill stayed out and led laps 114-122 before Huffman took over the top spot and never looked back. Huffman added the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award to his winnings and with the pole award collected a total payout of $12,000 with the win.

Gordon used his fourth-place finish to collect Miller Lite Rookie of the Race honors and Luke Hill rebounded from a slow start to win the Hard Charger Award.

Huffman was able to pad his lead in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series point standings to 120 points over Joe Gaita (856-736). Steven Christian is third with 722 and Stacy Puryear is fourth with 702. Andrew Medlin moved into the top five with 701 points.

The USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division returns to action on Saturday, June 14th for the running of the Bryant Heating & Cooling 250 presented by Black's Tire Service at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

-usar-

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Shane Huffman