LAKELAND, FL Â Although it was a night to commemorate the memory of Alan Kulwicki and the "Four Champions Challenge", it was Derrick Kelley's night under the lights in the season finale Hooters 300 at USA International Speedway. Kelley...
LAKELAND, FL Although it was a night to commemorate the memory of Alan Kulwicki and the "Four Champions Challenge", it was Derrick Kelley's night under the lights in the season finale Hooters 300 at USA International Speedway. Kelley overcame a two-lap deficit to collect the $25,000 bonus for winning two of the "Four Champions Challenge" races.
For the last two United Speed Alliance Racing Hooters ProCup Series events Derrick Kelley had finished runner-up or as Kelley said at St. Augustine Speedway "the first loser." This time he put the No. 21 Discount Auto Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo in victory lane when it counted the most.
"What a way to cap off the season," Kelley said. "This Discount Auto Parts team has had some highs and lows over the year. I'm just glad that we were able to finish off the 1999 season on a really high note. We like to win wherever, but because of the Alan Kulwicki Memorial and winning in Lakeland, being that it's so close to home, makes it extra special."
Kelley appeared to have a strong car during early practice sessions but qualified 26th. He then began charging to the front from the drop of the green flag. The Auburndale, FL, resident nearly saw his chances for his second victory and the "Four Champions Challenge" bounty dashed when Kelley's Discount Auto Parts Chevy slowed on the track and fell out of the top-10 after running out of fuel just before the halfway point of the race, causing Kelly to lose two laps in the process of pitting.
"I can't describe the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when the car began to sputter," said Kelley. "I knew that our car was strong enough to overcome the lost ground, but we had trouble getting the car to restart. We were two laps down and I told the guys we'd get as much of it back as we could. We did."
Central Florida race fans jumped to their feet as Kelley charged back through the field regaining positions and getting his laps back as the race to the checkered flag seem to be looming larger and larger. On lap 260, every fan in the house was on their feet and the cheers could be heard over the roar of the cars as Kelley took the lead from Andy Thurman for the last 45 circuits of the 304-lap event that resulted in a green, white, checkered finish.
Kelley finished the race with a 1.83-seconds margin of victory over runner-up Mardy Lindley in the No. 05 Aloe Lu-Ya Ford Taurus in a race which slowed for 16 cautions for 93 laps with eight lead changes among seven drivers.
Kelley was awarded the $500 W.J. Plemons Hard Charger Award bringing his earnings for the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Hooters 300 to more than $33,500 in purse and posted awards.
Lindley collected the $1,000 Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award for his efforts in the Hooters 300. The Aloe Lu-Ya started 15th and ran in the top-10 for most of the event.
The 1999 USAR Hooters ProCup Champion Bobby Gill came to USA International Speedway looking to improve his season and career stats with another trip to victory lane. He collected his second $1,000 Discount Auto Parts Pole Award and lead for a total of 96 laps.
Gill's stellar performance on the track during the 1999 season earned him the title of Champion but his run of good luck ran dry at the .750-mile banked oval. A brush with the lapped car of Lyndon Amick sent Gill into the turn two wall with minor damage to the No. 5 Naturally Fresh Dressings and Dips/PGT Ford Taurus. It was hard contact with the outside retaining wall after breaking a panhard bar in turn three that put Gill out of the race.
Thurman, driving the No. 47 Naturally Fresh Mountain Spring Water Ford Thunderbird, continued his strong second-half of the season up the points ladder, leading the Hooters 300 for 74 laps and posting a career best third-place finish -- moving him to ninth in the overall points.
The Alan Kulwicki Memorial Hooters 300 from USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL will be televised on Friday December 3 at 9 p.m. and re-aired Saturday, December 4 at Midnight and again on Monday December 6 at noon. Be sure to catch the season-finale of the USAR Hooters ProCup Series on Speedvision.
The next event for the USAR Hooters ProCup Series will be January 8 when the stars and cars dress in their finest to celebrate the 1999 season at the year-end banquet. The rumble of stock-cars will fill the night air at USA International Speedway for the first of 20 events in 2000 on February 26.
USAR Hooters ProCup Series Officials, Drivers and Teams hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season.
Top-25 Points Finish Following the Hooters 300/AK Memorial USA International Speedway 1. Bobby Gill 3328 2. Jay Fogleman 3008 3. Mario Gosselin 2690 4. Steven Christian 2639 5. Derrick Kelley 2595 6. Jeff Agnew 2526 7. Johnny Rumley 2465 8. Mardy Lindley 2448 9. Andy Thurman 2314 10. Michael Ritch 2263 11. Scott Wimmer 2171 T12. Tim Clayton 2112 T12. Trent Owens 2112 14. Charlie Ford 2084 15. Mike Laughlin Jr. 2016 16. Mart Nesbitt 1993 17. Jabe Jones 1968 18. Bill Plemons Jr. 1958 19. Karen Schulz 1668 20. Toby Porter 1656 21. Joe Harrison 1421 22. Brian Sockwell 1356 23. Ronnie Davidson 1157 24. Don Sprouse 1117 25. Don Satterfield 1095
Results Fin Start Car Driver Hometown Sponsor Car Run Led 1 (26) 21 D. Kelley Auburndale, FL Discount Auto Parts Chevrolet 304 45 Running 2 (15) 05 M. Lindley Taylors, SC Aloe Lu-Ya Ford 304 0 Running 3 (23) 47 A. Thurman Concord, NC Naturally Fresh Spring Water Ford 304 74 Running 4 (13) 51 D. Pletcher Pinellas Park, FL Mulbire Motorsports Chevrolet 304 2 Running 5 (18) 00 K. Davis Blacksburg, SC Pontiac 304 0 Running 6 (28) 27 J. Rumley Winston Salem, NC Race Scan/Bob Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet 304 0 Running 7 (8) 42 B. Vickers Thomasville, NC 2 Quick Performance Shocks Chevrolet 304 0 Running 8 (2) 135 L. Amick Concord, NC Chevrolet 303 31 Running 9 (25) 121 E. Pearson Spartanburg, SC DM Leasing Chevrolet 303 0 Running 10 (29) 36 T. Owens Harrisburg, NC 1-800 BE PETTY Pontiac 303 0 Running 11 (31) 09 J. Jones Martin, GA Coors Light Chevrolet 302 0 Running 12 (12) 16 B. Sockwell Brown Summitt, NC IRMO Grading Chevrolet 301 0 Running 13 (32) 9 J. Brown Sarasota, FL US Tank & Cryogenic Chevrolet 297 0 Running 14 (34) 3 J. McClain Iron Station, NC J&J Motor Ventures Chevrolet 295 0 Running 15 (16) 30 M. Nesbitt Asheville, NC State Fair Brand Corn Dogs Chevrolet 290 0 Running 16 (10) 0 S. Christian Sugar Hill, GA Lucas Oil Products Chevrolet 284 0 Running 17 (11) 17 R. Hendrick IV Charlotte, NC DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet 268 26 Parked 18 (19) 25 S. Wimmer Wausau, WI Jackaroo Gold Sauces Chevrolet 265 30 Accident 19 (21) 55 D. Canipe Lenoir, NC Cars Plus Chevrolet 244 0 Mechanical 20 (7) 73 J. Agnew Copper Hill, VA Twin City Motor Exchange Chevrolet 239 0 Mechanical 21 (14) 7 B. Plemons Jr. Locust Grove, GA Hooters Restaurants Chevrolet 231 0 Mechanical 22 (41) 89 K. Schulz Statesville, NC Jackaroo Sauces Pontiac 218 0 Mechanical 23 (3) 10 M. Gosselin Lake Wales, FL W.J. Plemons Investments Chevrolet 185 0 Mechanical 24 (1) 5 B. Gill Dalton, GA Naturally Fresh/PGT Industries Ford 182 96 Accident 25 (27) 19 D. Van der Brink Harrisburg, NC Ford 177 0 Mechanical 26 (42) 08 R. Davidson Lenoir, NC Ekamant Chevrolet 157 0 Mechanical 27 (36) 85 C. Redwine Mantee, MS Redwine Motorsports Chevrolet 155 0 Accident 28 (5) 96 Je. Bowser Clearwater, FL Manheim's Chevrolet 153 0 Mechanical 29 (6) 80 T. Porter Greenville, SC Stegall's Transmission Chevrolet 136 0 Mechanical 30 (39) 07 T. Clayton Inman, SC Budweiser Chevrolet 135 0 Accident 31 (9) 44 J. Labonte Trinity, NC Penrose Hot Sausages Chevrolet 113 0 Accident 32 (22) 151 C. Rogers Mooresville, NC Fire Protection Services, Inc. Ford 92 0 Accident 33 (4) 75 B. Schacht Mooresville, NC Engineered Components Ford 90 0 Accident 34 (40) 14 C. Ford Charles City, VA Sun Graphics Chevrolet 79 0 Accident 35 (33) 52 Ja. Bowser Clearwater, FL Eagles Nest Racing Chevrolet 78 0 Accident 36 (38) 24 C. Dale Jefferson, GA WB/Robbins Lumber Chevrolet 77 0 Accident 37 (37) 35 C. Everette Fairforest, SC Chevrolet 77 0 Accident 38 (30) 37 D. Sprouse Greenville, SC Brad Norris Auto Sales Ford 77 0 Accident 39 (35) 62 J. Pate Pensacola, FL Pate Racing Enterprises Chevrolet 44 0 Mechanical 40 (25) 97 M. Ward Marietta, SC Hooters Restaurants Chevrolet 43 0 Mechanical 41 (20) 4 J. Fogleman Durham, NC Premiere Motorsports Ford 28 0 Mechanical 42 (17) 28 R. Smith Mooresville, NC Chevrolet 18 0 Accident
# of cautions - 16 total, Laps under caution - 93, Total time of race - :55:01, Margin of victory - 1.83 seconds Lap Leaders - 196 Bobby Gill, 97-122 Ricky Hendrick, 123-152 Scott Wimmer, 153-183 Lyndon Amick, 184-194 Andy Thurman, 195-196 David Pletcher, 197-259 Andy Thurman, 260-304 Derrick Kelley Discount Auto Parts Pole - $1,000 - Bobby Gill Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader - $1,000 - Scott Wimmer W.J. Plemons Hard Charger - $500 - Derrick Kelley Miller Lite Rookie of the Race - $1,000 - Mardy Lindley