Longs, SC --The Hooters ProCup Series will return to the scene of the most exciting finish of the 2004 season on August 7. The running of the Pep Boys 250 presented by Lucas Oil Products at Peach State Speedway will be the first time the Series...
Longs, SC --The Hooters ProCup Series will return to the scene of the most exciting finish of the 2004 season on August 7.
The running of the Pep Boys 250 presented by Lucas Oil Products at Peach State Speedway will be the first time the Series will be back in action half-mile track since a full moon, four green-white-checkered restarts and a frantic finish left the crowd screaming for more on April 3.
Matt Carter, Shane Huffman and Joe Gaita go three wide in the final turn earlier this season and kept the record crowd on the their feet well after the checkered finally waved.
Matt Carter, driver of the No. 22 HeavyTruckDealers.com Ford, led the field to the final green-white-checkered finish, but the Denver, N.C., driver wound up fourth.
Shane Huffman, driver of the No. 84 XTRA Motorsports Ford, went side-by-side with Carter into the final turn, but Joe Gaita, driver of the No. 06 USG Sheetrock Brand Ford, beat both drivers to finish line0x2022sideways. Huffman and Carter made contact in Turn 4, allowing Gaita to slide to the inside for the second win of his career.
"I really thought we were going to have a second- or third-place car when Shane got by us," said Gaita after win. "They went into [Turn 3], got together and slid up the racetrack, and that was the opening we needed to get under them. We all got back in the gas and headed for the finish line."
They headed for the line three wide and sideways.
Carter backed out after the contact, but Gaita and Huffman stayed in the throttle and crossed the line intertwined. Gaita beat Huffman by .476 seconds. Mart Nesbitt, driver of the No. 92 Blue Cross Blue Shield Chevy, was able to clip Carter at the line to take third. Carter held on to finish fourth.
"It was wild out there," said Carter after his fourth-place finish. "We had a good car, but we probably didn't have the best car. I don't know what happened at the finish, but [Huffman and Gaita] have some tore up racecars and we don't."
Since the electrifying ending to the event, Gaita hasn't had much to smile about.
Gaita left Peach State Speedway second in points after the exciting ending, but the Yorktown, Va., driver has slid back to fifth in points since his win and hasn't finished in the top five since.
"It would nice to get another win and get our season back on track," said Gaita.
Also looking to get back on track will be Huffman.
After winning a Series-high eight times in 2003, Huffman has just one victory in 2004 and is currently third in points.
Clay Rogers will be looking to protect his point lead at PSS. Since winning at USA Int'l Speedway to open the season, Rogers has held the point lead for the entirety of the season.
The Pep Boys 250 presented by Lucas Oil Products will take the green flag at 7:00 p.m. The Allison Legacy Series will compete prior to the start of the ProCup event, starting its 50-lap feature event at 5:00 p.m. Front gates will open at 3:30 p.m. for the general public.
WHAT: PEP BOYS 250 presented by Lucas Oil Products
USAR Hooters ProCup Series Race #20 of 30 (Southern Division Race #11 of 13)
WHERE: Peach State Speedway 0x2022 Jefferson, GA
.500-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval
WHEN: Saturday, August 7, 2004 0x2022 7:00 pm
DISTANCE: 250 Laps/125 Miles