USAR: USAR heads into busy fall season

by Timothy Williams, Orlando RaceNet Yes, Survivor is over, nobody is watching Big Brother, the Orlando Predators won the Arena Bowl and Bette Midler has fallen victim of the network sitcom. Fall is quickly revealing how droll the next few...

by Timothy Williams, Orlando RaceNet

Yes, Survivor is over, nobody is watching Big Brother, the Orlando Predators won the Arena Bowl and Bette Midler has fallen victim of the network sitcom. Fall is quickly revealing how droll the next few months might be. But take heart, race fans, USAR Hooters ProCup action awaits you. The stars of the USAR series move into the fall season with some great racing at terrific tracks. The points race is heating up and although Bobby Gill has taken the winner's share of points so far we know by Hal Goodson's performance last week that it ain't over till it's ALL over. Drivers like leading Rookie of the Year contender Brian Vickers and Hal Goodson have shown that the rookies are taking no prisoners. Is the tide turning or is Gill flying under the radar, keeping his top-five finishes consistent, and remaining out of harm's way? Or does Gill have another couple of wins left?

On September 2 the Hooters ProCup series moves to USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida for the running of the Jackaroo Sauces 250. Qualifying begins at 5:00 PM followed by an autograph session for the fans at 7:00 PM. Following the pre-race ceremonies and terrific driver interviews by Gene Crane, Hooters ProCup track announcer, the race gets underway at 8:00 PM. Stick around after the Hooters race for the SARA Open-Wheeled Modified 35 to top off a great night of racing for fans and families. A word of advice... last year the temperature soared to over 100 degrees in the pits so make sure you stay cool, drink plenty of water and practice good sense if you feel over-heated... get out of the sun!

So back to the drivers.... The finishing order at South Boston could possibly be a foretelling of the battle that lies ahead. Hal Goodson, newly seated in the #45 Carlin Financial Group ride is dishing out a big plateful of crow for all the naysayers as is evident on some of the message boards around town, and took the crowd for a dizzy ride to victory lane crossing the finish line before points leader Gill and rookie phenomenon Brian Vickers. We might see more of these three in the future races following USA International. Following the Jackaroo 250 the USAR series moves to Montgomery, Alabama on Sept 16 followed by stops at Greenville-Pickens, Hickory, Concord, Florida Speedpark and then returning to USA International Speedway for the final 300 lap race to end the 2000 season. When IT's over, then it's over! <pre>

Sept. 16 Sat. Montgomery Motor Speedway Montgomery, AL 250 $109,500 Sept. 23 Sat. Greenville-Pickens Spwy. Greenville, SC 250 $109,500 Oct. 14 Sat. Hickory Motor Speedway Hickory, NC 250 $105,500 Oct 06 Sat. Tri-County Motor Speedway Hudson, NC 250 $105,500 Oct 14 Sat. Hickory Motor Speedway Hickory, NC 250 $105,500 Oct. 28 Sat. Concord Motorsport Park Concord, NC 250 $105,500 Nov. 11 Sat. Florida Speed Park St. Augustine, FL 250 $109,500 Nov. 25 Sat. USA International Lakeland, FL 300 $113,500

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Gill commands the favored odds at three of the above tracks having already won this season at Montgomery (where he started his four-race winning streak), Hickory and Florida Speed Park. Keep in mind, however, that Hal Goodson went to victory lane at Greenville-Pickens AND Florida Speed Park during the 1999 Slim-Jim All Pro Series. Hal Goodson knows the short-tracks well and it will be exciting to watch him handle the likes of Tri-County, Hickory, Concord and Florida Speed Park as the Hooters Pro Cup series heads into the home stretch.

Of course, no analysis of the remainder of the season would be complete without talking about Mario Gosselin who has chalked up five top-five finishes this year and is only 166 points behind Bobby Gill. Last year Gosselin took the checkered flag at Tri-County ending a spectacular season of five wins. Now driving for Black's Tire, Gosselin may be experiencing some adjustment problems in terms of winning races but Mario knows that consistent top-five finishes can put a driver at the head table. So we will all be watching the final nine races of this fantastic millenium season with great interest and anticipation. No doubt the competition will be extraordinary and the Rookie of the Year battle will be a terrific contest in and of itself with the likes of Brian Vickers, Jon Wood and Clay Rogers solidly in the top ten in overall points. Yes, it's not over till it's over.... and we hate to see such a fantastic millenium season end.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Jon Wood , Brian Vickers , Mario Gosselin
Teams Williams , Carlin