USAR: Southern: Race report

KENLY, NC -- After tasting victory four times last season during his run to the 2002 USAR Hooters ProCup Series National Championship, Jason Sarvis enjoyed the taste of victory again Sunday afternoon at Southern National Speedway. ...

KENLY, NC -- After tasting victory four times last season during his run to the 2002 USAR Hooters ProCup Series National Championship, Jason Sarvis enjoyed the taste of victory again Sunday afternoon at Southern National Speedway.

Sarvis led 182 of 250 laps to win the Bryant Heating & Cooling 250 presented by Capital Ford of Goldsboro Sunday afternoon. Sarvis brought his Black's Tire Service Chevrolet in for the win for the first time this season. The race was postponed Saturday night due to persistent rain showers in the area and the afternoon heat provided a challenge to all the drivers including Sarvis.

"We were wondering if we were ever going to beat Shane (Huffman)," said Sarvis. "The guys gave me a great pit stop and we were able to go to the front after our pit stop and lead the race. It was really hot out there today but this win will make it feel a whole lot better. This one is for all the guys who work on this team."

Mardy Lindley continued his consistent run this season as he collected his third runner-up finish of the year. Huffman was third with Sarvis' teammate Steven Christian fourth. Danny O'Quinn, Jr. finished fifth to collect his second straight Miller Lite rookie of the Race Award.

The race was a fast paced affair with the field given the yellow just three times during the race for two single cars spins and for debris on the track.

Sarvis won the Advance Auto Parts Pole Award with a qualifying lap of 15.622 seconds (92.178 mph) and led the first 79 laps of the race until Huffman passed for the lead on lap 80. Huffman gave up the lead on lap 135 to pit under caution for fuel and tires and after Mike Laughlin, Jr. was credited for leading lap 137 Benny Gordon took over the point during pit stops.

Sarvis, with fresher tires, was able to move around Gordon on lap 148 and never looked back the rest of the afternoon.

"We have had a good car but where never able to be there at the end," added Sarvis. "Today we were and I am happy for everyone on the Black's tire Service team."

Clay Rogers finished sixth, the final car on the lead lap, with Bobby Gill seventh and Michael Ritch eighth. Gordon held on for a solid ninth-place effort and Greg Marlowe completed the top-10 to make his first race in the series this season a success.

Keith Roggen won the Hard Charger Award while Huffman led at halfway to collect the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award.

The USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division will return to action in two weeks when Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville will host the Series for the first time ever. The O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 presented by Goodyear Gemini Dealers will run on Saturday July 12.

Bryant Heating & Cooling 250 Notebook from Southern National -

"Nice to be back" -- The win Sunday afternoon was the first by Jason Sarvis since he won back-to-back races last fall during the Championship Series. Sarvis last visited victory lane in November at Peach State Speedway.

"Tough Week" -- Stacy Puryear officially finished 21st Sunday afternoon however his finishing position was the last thing on the South Boston, VA driver's mind. Puryear's father Ronnie Puryear is fighting for his life in a Pittsburgh-area hospital after suffering 3rd degree burns last Thursday. The younger Puryear left immediately after the race to visit his father.

"Part of the Family" -- Angela Huffman, wife of current USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division driver Shane, led an effort Saturday afternoon to raise money to assist Stacy Puryear's father after his accident. Over $500 was raised from his fellow competitors. "I want to really thank Angela for her efforts and all of the USAR members and competitors for their kind gift," said Puryear.

"Bowtie Smiles" -- The win by Sarvis was the first win for a Chevrolet in the Series since Sarvis took his Monte Carlo to victory lane at Peach State last November. Ford had won all previous races in the Southern Division and all but two in the Northern Division this year. Dodge has two wins so far this season by Hal Goodson in the Northern Division.

"Weight a Minute" -- Jason York was forced to last place in the finishing order and DQ'ed for failing post-race inspection when his car did not meet post-race weight requirements.

"Benny and his Jet" -- Benny Gordon kept his string of top-10 finishes alive Sunday afternoon with his ninth-place run. Gordon, who began the year at Ace Speedway and quickly collected three consecutive top-five finishes, has finished in the top-10 in every start this year for his Baird Auto Transport Team.

"Marlowe Heads to Tucson" -- Veteran short track driver Greg Marlowe returned to the Series Sunday afternoon and finished the day with a top-10 effort. Marlowe has signed Tucson Cigarettes as a sponsor.

"Gaita Goes Out Early" -- Joe Gaita suffered engines problems and finished 28th Sunday afternoon. Gaita, who entered the race second in the point standings, fell to fourth in the standings after the race.

"Economic Woes Stop Medlin" -- Andrew Medlin fell out of the top-10 in the point standings after missing this weekend's race at Southern National Speedway. Medlin and Premiere Motorsports were not able to bring the car to the track due to lack of sponsorship.


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Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Danny O'Quinn , Jason York