USAR: Peach State race report

Patience turned out to be more than a virtue Saturday night at Peach State Speedway in Jefferson, GA. It was the difference between walking away a winner or a loser at the Miller Lite 250 Hooters ProCup Series race. Mardy Lindley, driver of the...

Patience turned out to be more than a virtue Saturday night at Peach State Speedway in Jefferson, GA. It was the difference between walking away a winner or a loser at the Miller Lite 250 Hooters ProCup Series race. Mardy Lindley, driver of the Aloe Lu-Ya Ford Taurus, applied patience to his driving practices as he led the final 57 laps, surviving a three-lap sprint with Bobby Gill to win his second straight Hooters ProCup Series race. Lindley held on to edge Gill by one-half of a car length for the win. The three-lap sprint was set up when the seventh and last caution flag of the night was thrown on lap 242 when Charlie Ford, driving his Sun-Graphics Chevrolet Monte Carlo, spun on the backstretch.

"I didn't want to see that last caution," said Lindley. "We were glad to beat Bobby at Peach State. Bobby is always tough and usually is the one to beat." The Taylors, South Carolina driver felt he had the best car all day, after he posted the fastest unofficial time during the afternoon practice but started 22nd in the 38-car field. "We had a great car all day and the crew has worked really hard to get us better," said Lindley. "We had a fast car and I messed up in qualifying a little, which made us start at the back of the pack. Once we were able to race, I just had to be patient and work through traffic and save my tires." Gill, who has won twice this season in Hooters ProCup Series action, led 111 of the 250 laps in his PGT Industries Ford Taurus and collected his third top-five finish on the season. Steven Christian followed in third, while Marty Ward and Clayton Rogers completed the top-five. Christian, driver of the Lucas Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo, won the Discount Auto Parts Pole Award with a qualifying time of 18.747, for a speed of 96.015 mph and led the first 45 laps of the race. Gill passed him on lap 46 and remained out front until lap 132. Gill won the Lucas Oil Halfway Challenge at lap 125. The leaders pitted on lap 132. Christian regained the lead when he popped first out of the pits on lap 133 and stayed out front until Gill retook the lead on lap 170. Rogers, driver of the Fire Protection Service Ford Taurus, collected his first-ever top-five finish to win the Miller Lite Rookie of the Race honors. Lindley and Ward shared the State Fair Corn Dogs Hard Charger Award as each driver moved up 21 spots during the race. Jerry King and Ervin Rector shared W.J. Plemons Investments Crew Chief of the Race honors. The duo work on the Aloe Lu-Ya Ford of Lindley. After the race, stats show Lindley overtaking Mario Gosselin to lead the Hooters ProCup Series Points Championship (778 to 773). He is also now eligible to win the "Four Champions Challenge" bonus since he was declared the winner of the Mark Brooks Memorial/Hooters 250 at Myrtle Beach on May 6. Lindley picked up that first win a after Mike Laughlin, Jr. was officially disqualified. A post-race inspection of Laughlin's car found evidence of the use of tread-altering chemicals on two tires used in the competition. Laughlin appealed the ruling, but the disqualification held. The next "Four Champions" event will be held on Saturday, June 10 when the Hooters ProCup Series makes its first-ever visit to Montgomery Motor Speedway. "The Aloe Lu-Ya is really excited right now," said Lindley. "we are going to USA International and Montgomery to test. We have been running real well and we have some experience at Montgomery, so hopefully we can have a chance at winning the race." Gosselin finished sixth, while David Pletcher, Jerry Rector, Jeff Agnew and Charlie Ford completed the top-10. Gill, the defending series champion, currently stands third in the points, while rookies Jon Wood and David Pletcher complete the top-five standings. Wood continues to lead the chase for the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Award. Pletcher moved into second place, trailing Wood by 10 points (670 to 660). The next race will be held on June 3 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Jon Wood , Mario Gosselin , Jeff Agnew