USAR: Peach State: Race report

Sarvis dominates, Gosselin wins JEFFERSON, GA-- Bobby Gill took a shot and Shane Huffman had one, but Mario Gosselin was the only driver in the Jackaroo 250 presented by Hooters Air to hit the mark. Gosselin slipped past Jason Sarvis, who...

Sarvis dominates, Gosselin wins

JEFFERSON, GA-- Bobby Gill took a shot and Shane Huffman had one, but Mario Gosselin was the only driver in the Jackaroo 250 presented by Hooters Air to hit the mark.

Gosselin slipped past Jason Sarvis, who led a race-high 214 laps, on a late-race restart and led the final two laps en route to his first win of the USAR Hooters ProCup season on Saturday night.

''I'm not sure if Jason slipped the tires or missed a gear, but I got into him pretty good, let off and turned left,'' said Gosselin. ''I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make a run at him, but it looked like he was having a hard time getting grip.'' Sarvis agreed.

''I got on it little bit and couldn't get any rear grip to my rear tires and that was it,'' said the 2002 champion, who finished second. ''We'll just have to gather it up and get one at Lakeland.''

Ironically, it was Gosselin that had grip issues just 72 laps earlier. Gosselin, who had yet to visit pit road for fresh Goodyear Eagles, found himself racing with the leaders for the first time at lap 178, but there was a problem. Gosselin was at the tail end of the lead lap, and things were about to get worse for the Florida driver. Gosselin spun in front of Sarvis, bringing out the sixth caution of night and losing a lap in the process.

Gosselin dove to pit lane for service after the spin and rejoined the field at Peach State Speedway one-lap down. But stop for fresh rubber would be difference.

''You get around 180 laps on tires here, and you're sliding the car around pretty bad,'' said Gosselin. ''We changed some things around on the pit stop, and the car just took off.''

Indeed.

Gosselin blasted through the field and made his way around Sarvis on lap 207 to rejoin the lead-lap cars. Caution waved on 208 for debris, allowing Gosselin to restart with the Sarvis insight.

Gosselin made his way around Shane Huffman to take over second on lap 241 and continued to chase down Sarvis. The gap was shortened by a caution at lap 245 for the spinning cars of Clay Rogers, Mike Laughlin and Shane Wallace. Gosselin made the most of his chance, bypassing Sarvis for his 19th win in the Hooters ProCup Series.

''After losing that lap, I drove wide open and did all I could,'' said Gosselin. ''But to tell you that I knew I could come back win, I don't think so.'' Gosselin wasn't the only driver to rebound after problems.

Shane Huffman made up two laps after an unscheduled stop for a blown tire on lap 27. Huffman threatened Sarvis for the lead on lap 215, but the Southern Division points leader didn't have enough to clear the leader.

''We made up two laps under green. I don't know what more you can ask of from a team,'' said Huffman. ''The Jennie-O Turkey Store crew wanted it as bad as I did, so we had to dig deep.''

Though Huffman's third-place finish may have been disappointing, it didn't compare to the night of Bobby Gill.

After the field was started by points due to qualifying being rained out, Gill rolled off 10th. The 3-time Hooters ProCup Champion made it to fourth by the 16th lap and into second by the halfway mark. Gill pressured Sarvis for the lead for nearly 50 laps, but that would be as far as the Georgia driver would get. On lap 128, Gill and Keith Roggen made contact down the back straight. Gill, who was running second at the time, was then collected by Mike Williams and Mardy Lindley.

The wreck ended the night for Gill, Williams and Lindley. Shane Huffman won the Advance Auto Parts Pole Award and an extra collected $1,000 in the process.

In addition to leading the most laps, Jason Sarvis picked up $1,000 for grabbing the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award. Gosselin and George Brunnhoelzl split the Hard Charger Award.

David Stover garnered the Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award for his 11th-place finish, picking up an extra $1,000. The race was slowed nine times for 72 laps by caution.

-usar-

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Mario Gosselin , Shane Huffman
Teams Williams