USAR: New River Valley: Northern Division race report

Gill gets Northern win. Radford, VA (July 21, 2002)-- Bobby Gill entered his first USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division race of the season and quickly introduced himself to the field as he won the Kroger 250 presented by Pepsi Saturday...

Gill gets Northern win.

Radford, VA (July 21, 2002)-- Bobby Gill entered his first USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division race of the season and quickly introduced himself to the field as he won the Kroger 250 presented by Pepsi Saturday night at New River Valley Speedway. Gill, who suffered mechanical problems in qualifying and was forced to use a past champion's provisional to make the field, passed Jeff Agnew on lap 194 and held on for his ninth win of the season.

Canadian Jason McLellan followed in second to collect his best finish in the Series. Jay Fogleman finished third and Jeff Oakley collected his first-ever Hooters ProCup Series top-five finish. Philip Rondeau overcame medical problems to complete the top-five.

Robbie Ferguson won the Sunoco Pole Award in just his second start in the Series and watched as Brian Ross took the lead at the start before he reclaimed the top spot one lap later. Shane Huffman made his first start in the Northern Division this season and passed Ross for the lead on lap eight. Huffman remained out front until lap 80 when his car suffered mechanical problems while leading under caution. The caution was given to the field when Forest Urban, Jr., Michael Ritch, Richard Hampton and John Gaunt were all involved in an accident in turn one on lap 79.

Jeff Agnew assumed the lead and remained out front until Gill climbed to the top spot for the first time on lap 99. Gill led until he pitted under caution on lap 138. Ross assumed the lead and held it until Agnew climbed into the lead on lap 160. Agnew, a former track champion at New River Valley Speedway, remained out front until Gill passed for the final time.

The race featured seven cautions and one red flag period. The four-car accident was the biggest incident during the race until Ross and Eric Corbett made contact in turn one on lap 243 sending Ross spinning and making contact with Danny Sammons. Gill also collected the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award for leading at lap 125 and the Dalton, GA driver also won the $500 Southern Pride Lap Leader Award. Oakley collected his first-ever Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award and Justin Ely, Roger Blackstock and Philip Rondeau split the $500 W.J. Plemons Investments Hard Charger Award.

Ross continues to lead in the standings by 204 points over Agnew. Mardy Lindley, Fogleman and Rondeau completed the top-five. The USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division drivers return to action on August 3 at Jennerstown Speedway.

NEWS & NOTES

* Bobby Gill now has 27 USAR Hooters ProCup Series wins in 69 starts.

* Jason McLellan collected career-best finish of second-place at New River Valley Speedway. McLellan's previous best finish in the Series was 4th twice earlier this season.

* Jeff Oakley has now collected two consecutive top-10 finishes in USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division action.

* Stephen Cox, who works as pit reporter for select USAR Hooters ProCup Series races on Speed Channel, ran his first race of the season and finshed a respectable 21st after experiencing mechanical problems late in the race.

* Philip Rondeau finished in the top-five for the second time this season and now has seven top-10 finishes this year. He is scheduled for removal of his gall bladder on Tuesday.

* After finishing in the top-five in his previous four starts this season, Eric Corbett finished outside the top-10 for the first time after he and Ross made contact late in the race.

* Robbie Ferguson and Scott Baker, making their second and third career starts in the Series respectively, collected their first career top-10 finishes in the Series. Ferguson started from the pole and finished seventh while Baker started seventh and finished 10th.

* Until his 13th-place finish this weekend, Brian Ross had collected eight consecutive top-5 finishes in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division races.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Ross , Shane Huffman , John Gaunt , Jeff Agnew