USAR: Peach State: Southern Division preview

Three is the Magic Number Longs, SC-The Miller Lite 250 presented by Tuscon at Peach State Speedway on April 3 will be the third race of the season for the Southern Division of the Hooters ProCup Series, and it will likely give a good...

Three is the Magic Number

Longs, SC-The Miller Lite 250 presented by Tuscon at Peach State Speedway on April 3 will be the third race of the season for the Southern Division of the Hooters ProCup Series, and it will likely give a good indication how the rest of the season will play out.

It will have been nearly two months since the drivers first tested the new BFGoodrich Traction T/A radial tires at the high-banked oval when the green flag drops, and most teams will have made the transition to the new radial technology. But with the better grip and improved wear provided by the Traction T/A radial, teams may have to adjust their race strategy.

Last season, Mike Laughlin Jr. used tire strategy and nearly won the Championship Series race. Laughlin Jr., who pitted 25 laps after race winner Shane Huffman for fresh tires, restarted third behind Huffman and Jason Sarvis with four laps remaining. With better traction, Laughlin Jr. swept around the outside of Sarvis in the first turn and cleared the 2002 Hooters ProCup Series Champion down the backstretch. Once in second, Laughlin Jr. quickly tracked down Huffman.

Laughlin Jr. moved to the low side of Huffman coming to the white flag and stayed there for the final trip around the half-mile track. As the lead duo barreled off into the final turn, Laughlin Jr. made a final effort to pick his second win in the Hooters ProCup Series. Laughlin Jr. drove in deep and slid up the track into the side of Huffman's car, but the Hickory, N.C. driver stayed in the throttle and bested Laughlin Jr. by .077 seconds at the line.

Although the Traction T/A radials will take some of the guesswork out of the race, Laughlin Jr. is quick to point out that fresh tires may still come into play.

"[The Traction T/A radial] is a good tire, but having fresh tires is still going to help," said Laughlin Jr. "Anytime you can get 10 to 15 laps fresher tires, you need to do it."

Especially when racing at Peach State Speedway.

The surface at Peach State has plenty of grip, but it is known for being hard on tires during extended green-flag runs.

The Miller Lite 250 will start at 7:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to come out early and watch the Allison Legacy Series compete immediately after ProCup qualifying at 5:00 p.m.

-usar-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Shane Huffman