Christian victorious at Peach State. Atlanta, GA, - Steven Christian and the Lucas Oil team chalked up their first win of the 2002 season at Peach State Speedway last night after rain forced the event to be called at 174 laps. Christian had ...
Christian victorious at Peach State.
Atlanta, GA, - Steven Christian and the Lucas Oil team chalked up their first win of the 2002 season at Peach State Speedway last night after rain forced the event to be called at 174 laps. Christian had qualified 5th for the start of the Miller Lite 250, and it was apparent from the onset that he had a fast car and was determined to run up front. By lap 5, Christian passed the #0 car for 4th and four laps later moved past the #55 to run 3rd. Following a lap 10 caution, Christian drove around the #22 Sarvis machine to run behind race leader Bobby Gill. After several laps of looking under Gill, Christian made a pass and seized the lead on lap 24.
Gill re-captured the lead on lap 41 and held it for eleven laps before Christian again outran Gill. When Gill pitted during a yellow on lap 69, Christian stayed out and proceeded to pace the field, staying 2-3 car lengths ahead of Sarvis. After 20 laps of chasing Christian around the track, Sarvis was able to get around on lap 113 to take the lead. In need of tires, Christian fell back further when the #23 car of Toby Robertson moved him into 3rd on lap 116. When the caution flew on lap 129, Christian dove into the pits for fresh tires and fuel, and the Lucas Oil team executed a lightning quick pit stop, sending Christian back onto the field in 5th spot.
Christian began his drive back to the front, and by lap 142 was running behind leader Brian Ross. Passing Ross on lap 144, Christian nearly assumed the lead, but a caution sent him back to second. Undaunted, Christian rounded Ross following a lap 147 restart and led until the race was called due to rain on lap 174.
"Obviously, we would have rather finished the race", said Christian. "We had a winning car, and felt we could have stayed out front to the end, but we'll take this win however we get it. The crew did an awesome job on the pit stop and got us back out in good position. They've worked hard all year and deserve this win."
Toby Robertson walked off with the $1,000 Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award and Steven Christian earned the $500 Southern Pride Lap Leader Award for leading 99 laps of the event. Speed Channel will air the Miller Lite 250 on Thursday, July 18 at 9 p.m. EST.