USAR: Myrtle Beach

Gosselin wins first leg of "Four Champions Challenge Gill regains points lead over Fogleman Myrtle Beach - "Super" Mario Gosselin's disappointment over losing last year's United Speed Alliance Racing Hooters ProCup Championship - by just 17...

Gosselin wins first leg of "Four Champions Challenge

Gill regains points lead over Fogleman

Myrtle Beach - "Super" Mario Gosselin's disappointment over losing last year's United Speed Alliance Racing Hooters ProCup Championship - by just 17 points - was eased a little bit at Myrtle Beach Speedway Saturday night when the Lake Wales, FL driver overcame a one lap deficit to win the opening round of the potentially lucrative "Four Champions Challenge."

Turning in a new Discount Auto Parts Pole track record in qualifying (20.366 seconds) Gosselin led the first 129 laps of the Hooters "Four Champions Challenge" Mark Brooks Memorial 250 presented by The WAVE 104.1 FM before making an ill-fated pit stop while under caution on lap 129. Pitting from the first stall down the long pit road at the half-mile track, his DGM crew encountered two problems that delayed their Incentive Risk Management/W.J.Plemons sponsored Chevrolet from rejoining the race on the lead lap. Their first problem came from glued lug nuts coming off the left front tire while it was being mounted. The car then dropped off the jack when the crew went to the right side. By the time Gosselin made it out of the pits he was in 10th, one-lap down.

Winston-Salem, NC driver Johnny Rumley lead the next 14 laps in his WAVE 104.1 FM Chevrolet before Bobby Gill led a single circuit in his AquaTech International Chevrolet. Defending race winner Michael Ritch then took the top spot for 28 laps in the Jackaroo Sauces Chevrolet before being passed by Mike Laughlin, Jr.

Meanwhile Gosselin caught and passed Ritch and then slid underneath Laughlin, positioning himself should a caution come out. On lap 196 Steve Christian hit the backstretch wall bringing out the seventh of eight cautions sending Gosselin to the longest line of lead lap cars in seventh place. While Laughlin was passing Ritch for the lead on lap 229, Gosselin cut down the leaders in a furious rush into second and by lap 232 Gosselin was knocking on the door of the Simpsonville, SC driver's Valenite Tool/Muzzy Broadhead Ford Taurus.

With the finish in sight on lap 248 Gosselin passed Laughlin in the lower groove of turn one. Laughlin finished second with Ritch third. Gosselin won $10,000, adding the Lucas Oil Halfway Challenge money, and now becomes the only USAR Hooters ProCup driver eligible to win the $100,000 bonus for winning all four of the "Challenge" races, and the added $200,000 bonus should he also win the Series title. In all he could win $500,000 in bonus money.

Jay Fogleman, Durham, NC, driver of the KIDDE Fire Extinguishers Ford finished 10th after being penalized by officials for speeding on pit road. He had entered the race leading the $200,000 Series points race. Gill, Dalton, GA, finished eighth and now leads Fogleman by five points. A pair of first time ProCup drivers won awards. Jimmy Foster, Mooresville, NC, won the W.J.Plemons Insurance Hard Charger Award coming from the 28th spot to sixth in his W.O.Grubbs Chevrolet. Shane Kennedy won the MIller Lite Highest Finishing Rookie Award, finishing fifth in the IRMO Grading Chevrolet.

The race will be shown Sunday, April 25 at 8 pm on The Speedvision Network.

The next race on the $1.5 million 20-race series will be at Peach State Speedway in Jefferson, GA on May 1. The Naturally Fresh Mountain Springwater 250 will start at 7 pm.

Hooters"Four Champions Challenge" Mark Brooks Memorial 250 presented by WAVE 104.1 fm

Fin Start Car Driver Hometown Sponsor Car Run Led 1 1 10 Mario Gosselin Lake Wales, FL W.J. Plemons Insurance Chevrolet 250 132 2 11 7 Mike Laughlin Jr. Simpsonville, SC Valenite Tool/Muzzy Broadhead Ford 250 31 3 2 23 Michael Ritch High Point, NC Jackaroo Sauces Chevrolet 250 71 4 6 73 Jeff Agnew Floyd, VA Twin City Motor Exchange Chevrolet 250 0 5 3 16 Shane Kennedy Thomasville, NC IRMO Grading Chevrolet 250 0 6 28 6 Jimmy Foster Mooresville, NC W.O. Grubbs Chevrolet 250 0 7 4 44 Justin Labonte Trinity, NC Penrose Hot Sausages Chevrolet 250 0 8 15 69 Bobby Gill Dalton, GA AquaTech International Chevrolet 250 1 9 5 27 Johnny Rumley Winston Salem,NC WAVE 104.1 FM Chevrolet 250 15 10 7 4 Jay Fogleman Durham, NC KIDDE Fire Extinguishers Ford 249 0 11 14 30 Mart Nesbitt Asheville, NC State Fair Corn Dogs Chevrolet 249 0 12 31 77 Jerry Rector Fountain Inn, NC Red's Grille Chevrolet 249 0 13 24 07 Tim Clayton Inman, SC Budweiser Chevrolet 249 0 14 33 89 Karen Schulz Statesville, NC Pro Image Pontiac 249 0 15 34 67 Daryl Gwynn Eden, NC Miller Lite Ford 249 0 16 13 25 Scott Wimmer Wausau, WI Jackaroo Gold Sauces Chevrolet 249 0 17 17 24 Clay Dale Jefferson, GA Robbins Lumber Chevrolet 248 0 18 19 05 Mardy Lindley Taylors, SC Aloe Lu-Ya/Meineke Pontiac 248 0 19 8 94 Scott Sutherland Jefferson, GA Road Rescue Chevrolet 248 0 20 16 14 Charlie Ford Charles City, VA Sun Graphics Chevrolet 247 0 21 38 47 Andy Thurman Concord, NC Naturally Fresh Spring Water Ford 247 0 22 35 09 Jabe Jones Martin, GA New Carolina Construction Chevrolet 247 0 23 27 1 Don Satterfield Spartanburg,SC Hawk Saw Blades Chevrolet 246 0 24 26 37 Don Sprouse Greenville, SC Laughlin Racing Products Ford 245 0 25 30 58 Jeremy Bowser Clearwater, FL Key Bank & Trust Ford 245 0 26 9 65 Blaise Alexander Montoursville, PA Lisa Express Trucking Chevrolet 245 0 27 12 0 Steve Christian Sugar Hill, GA Lucas Oil Products Chevrolet 244 0 28 22 22 Bill Plemons Jr. Locust Grove,GA Hooters Restaurants Chevrolet 244 0 29 32 3 Jimmy McClain Iron Station, NC J&J Motor Ventures Chevrolet 242 0 30 23 21 Derrick Kelley Auburndale, FL Discount Auto Parts Chevrolet 242 0 31 18 70 Brad May Orlando, FL Naturally Fresh Foods Chevrolet 241 0 32 37 81 Jerry Glanville Roswell, GA Unifirst Uniforms Ford 241 0 33 36 57 Joe Harrison, Jr. Renick, WV Harrison Automotive Chevrolet 235 0 34 20 36 Trent Owens Harrisburg, NC 1-800-BE-PETTY Pontiac 233 0 35 25 34 Mike Herman Jr. Kannapolis, NC Today's Fireplace Chevrolet 129 0 36 29 74 Neil Cox Loris, SC Integrity Installation Service Chevrolet 45 0 37 10 80 Toby Porter Greenville, SC 1st Class/Pepsi Chevrolet 41 0 38 21 99 Chris Diamond Hickory, NC Forever Page Chevrolet 13 0

# of cautions - 8

Total time of race - 2:05:00, Winners average speed - 64.56 mph

Lap Leaders - 1-129 Mario Gosselin, 130-144 Johnny Rumley, 145 Bobby Gill, 146-174 Michael Ritch, 175-186 Mike Laughlin, Jr., 187-228 Michael Ritch, 229-247 Mike Laughlin, Jr., 248-250 Mario Gosselin

Discount Auto Parts Pole $1,000 Mario Gosselin Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader $1,000 Mario Gosselin W.J. Plemons Hard Charger $500 Jimmy Foster Miller Lite Rookie of the Race $1,000 Shane Kennedy Failed to qualify Stacy Vicars, Jason Bowser, Dean Gokel, Jimbo Mann, Jeff Emery, Mark Whitaker, Chad Beahr, Ronnie Davidson

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Blaise Alexander , Justin Labonte , Trent Owens , Scott Wimmer , Jeff Emery , Mario Gosselin , Johnny R , Jeff Agnew