Gill claims fourth Hooters ProCup win IRVINGTON, AL -- Amidst the dark and threatening skies surrounding Mobile International Speedway, Bobby Gill found the silver lining in the clouds when he collected his fourth USAR Hooters ProCup Series win...
Gill claims fourth Hooters ProCup win
IRVINGTON, AL -- Amidst the dark and threatening skies surrounding Mobile International Speedway, Bobby Gill found the silver lining in the clouds when he collected his fourth USAR Hooters ProCup Series win in the Discount Auto Parts 250.
Gill's No. 5 Naturally Fresh Foods/PGT Ford Taurus started the seventeenth of 20 events from the Discount Auto Parts Pole position and jumped into the lead on the initial green flag, setting the pace for the first 23 circuits of the 250-lap shootout on the notorious half-mile oval.
Gill's fourth win did not come easy though. After relinquishing the lead to the No. 23 Jackaroo Sauces Chevrolet of Michael Ritch, Gill brought his Taurus onto pit road for a series of stops during an early race caution that would have the Naturally Fresh Foods crew looking under the hood.
I couldn't believe the luck," said Gill. "I was beginning to "think that we had given this race away. A spark plug wire came loose and the car lost power. We came in and fixed that and took off so that we could stay on the lead lap. Then we had to come back in because the car was stuck in high gear. I kept waiting for the ax to fall."
"This crew did an awesome job keeping us on the lead lap so that we would still have a chance at standing here in victory lane," continued Gill. "After we made our stops, the car performed great and we just tried to stay out of trouble and charge back up to the front."
Gill led for a total of 114 laps, finishing the race on a green-white-checkered, beating runner up Steven Christian to the line by only seven-tenths of a second while also stretching his lead in the $1.5-million Series points battle to 180 over Jay Fogleman.
The lead exchanged six times among four drivers during the course of the Discount Auto Parts 250.
A Miller Lite Rookie of the Year contender, Christian finished second for the second consecutive race and has had the throttle to the fire wall -- amassing four top-fives and five top-10 finishes over the last six races. Christians effort in the Discount Auto Parts 250 earned him $1,000 from Miller Lite as the Rookie of the Race.
"Close but no cigar," said Christian. "We finished second behind Toby (Porter) at Greenville-Pickens and now we're second to Bobby (Gill). We keep getting the Lucas Oil Products Chevrolet closer and closer to the front.
"We had a new motor in the car and made some changes that improved the car during the race," continued Christian. "The crew and the addition of Scott (Sutherland) has been a big help in the recent successes this Lucas Oil Products team is having. I hope that we will be able to win a race before the end of the season but right now we have a good start on our program for 2000."
Ritch was able to pilot his No. 23 Jackaroo Sauces Chevrolet into the lead for 93 circuits, including lap 125, which earned him the $1,000 Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award. Ritch appeared to have the strongest car on the track during the mid-point of the race but was black flagged for a loose exhaust pipe that was dragging on the race track. Ritch lost two laps in the pits.
After returning to the race, Ritch's car was still one of the strongest on the track but continuing problems with the exhaust pipe would put him out of the race, finishing 15th.
Andy Thurman driver of the No. 47 Naturally Fresh Spring Water/LTM Motorsports Ford Thunderbird and Tim Clayton driver of the 07 Budwieser Monte Carlo turned in career best finishes in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series. Thurman and Clayton finished third and fourth in the Discount Auto Parts 250.
"It's feels good to finally finish in the top-five,"said Clayton. "We've run pretty good the last four races but have been snake bit and didn't finish. We kept it together this time. The car was a little tight the second half but we hung on to it for a good finish. We're looking forward to getting to Jefferson, GA in two weeks."
The pace of the 250 laps at Mobile International Speedway was yielded to 13 caution and one red flag for a little more than five minutes. The last caution of the evening came out with under 10 laps remaining and Gill holding off Christian to the green, white, checkered finish.
The Discount Auto Parts 250 will be televised on Speedvision Friday, October 15 at 9 p.m. and midnight and Monday, October 18 at noon.
The next stop for the USAR Hooters ProCup Series will be Saturday, October 23 at Peach State Speedway in Jefferson, GA for the Miller Lite 250 at 7 p.m. The Allison Legacy Series 50 will follow.
Fin, Start, Car #, Driver, Hometown, Sponsor, Car, Laps Run, Laps Led
1 1 5 Bobby Gill Dalton, GA Naturally Fresh/PGT Industries Ford 253 114 2 9 0 Steve Christian Sugar Hill, GA Lucas Oil Products Chevrolet 253 36 3 8 47 Andy Thurman Concord, NC Naturally Fresh Mountain Spring Water Ford 253 0 4 14 07 Tim Clayton Inman, SC Budweiser Chevrolet 253 0 5 6 27 Johnny Rumley Winston Salem, NC Blue Ridge Color Corp Chevrolet 253 0 6 19 16 Brian Sockwell Brown Summitt, NC IRMO Grading Chevrolet 252 0 7 20 36 Trent Owens Harrisburg, NC Richard Petty Driving Experience Pontiac 251 0 8 13 89 Karen Schulz Statesville, NC Race Scan/Mobil Pontiac 251 0 9 12 14 Charlie Ford Charles City, VA Sun Graphics Chevrolet 250 0 10 3 4 Jay Fogleman Durham, NC JFCO Motorsports Ford 243 0 11 26 1 Jeff Oakley Richmond, VA Hawk Saw Blades/COFAB Steel Chevrolet 240 0 12 23 37 Don Sprouse Greenville, SC Brad Norris Auto Sales Ford 229 0 13 10 25 Scott Wimmer Wausau, WI Jackaroo Gold Sauces Chevrolet 222 0 14 5 73 Jeff Agnew Copper Hill, VA Twin City Motor Exchange Chevrolet 221 10 15 4 23 Michael Ritch High Point, NC Jackaroo Sauces Chevrolet 177 93 16 2 10 Mario Gosselin Lake Wales, FL W.J. Plemons Investments Chevrolet 144 0 17 24 00 Kertus Davis Blacksburg, SC No Sponsor Pontiac 116 0 18 15 7 Bill Plemons Jr. Locust Grove, GA Hooters Restaurants Chevrolet111 0 19 11 52 Jason Bowser Clearwater, FL Eagles Nest Racing Chevrolet 100 0 20 17 62 Jeremy Pate Pensacola, FL Pate Racing Enterprises Chevrolet 97 0 21 21 08 Ronnie Davidson Lenoir, NC Ekamant Chevrolet 84 0 22 7 21 Derrick Kelley Auburndale, FL Discount Auto Parts Chevrolet 77 0 23 22 57 Joe Harrison, Jr. Renick, WV Harrison's Automotive Chevrolet 75 0 24 18 05 Mardy Lindley Taylors, SC Aloe Lu-Ya Ford 24 0 25 25 09 Jabe Jones Martin, GA Coors Light Chevrolet 6 0 26 16 30 Mart Nesbitt Asheville, NC State Fair Brand Corn Dogs Chevrolet 2 0
# of cautions - 13 total, Laps under caution - 70, Total time of race - 2:09:25
Margin of victory - .7 seconds Lap Leaders - 1-23 Bobby Gill, 24-40 Michael Ritch, 41-50 Jeff Agnew, 51-126 Michael Ritch, 127-162 Steve Christian, 163-253 Bobby Gill Discount Auto Parts Pole - $1,000 - Bobby Gill Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader - $1,000 - Michael Ritch W.J. Plemons Hard Charger - $500 - Jeff Oakley Miller Lite Rookie of the Race - $1,000 - Steven Christian
Top-20 Points Leaders Following the Discount Auto Parts 250 Mobile International Speedway October 9, 1999
1. Bobby Gill 2860 2. Jay Fogleman 2680 3. Mario Gosselin 2452 4. Michael Ritch 2263 5. Steve Christian 2233 6. Jeff Agnew 2218 7. Johnny Rumley 2070 8. Derrick Kelley 2050 9. Mardy Lindley 2025 10. Mike Laughlin, Jr. 2016 11. Andy Thurman 1950 12. Scott Wimmer 1867 13. Charlie Ford 1814 14. Trent Owens 1795 15. Tim Clayton 1772 16. Jabe Jones 1674 17. Bill Plemons Jr. 1640 18. Mart Nesbitt 1616 19. Toby Porter 1592 20. Karen Schulz 1419