USAR: Winchester race report

Winchester Victory Reigns on Hill Winchester, IN -- Donnie Hill became the first rookie driver in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division to win a race in 2001, at the rain-shortened Lucas Oil 250 Saturday night at Winchester Speedway.

Winchester Victory Reigns on Hill

Winchester, IN -- Donnie Hill became the first rookie driver in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division to win a race in 2001, at the rain-shortened Lucas Oil 250 Saturday night at Winchester Speedway. Mike Herman, Jr. matched his career-best finish in second, with Mardy Lindley third. Dave Houpt collected a career-best finish of fourth and Sean Studer completed the top-five.

Hill, from nearby Columbus, stayed out on the track after caution was given to the field when Brian Vickers hit the wall on lap 96. Studer pitted under caution and Hill turned a miscue into his first career Hooters ProCup Series win.

" We actually went past the drop down point on the track and I radioed the crew and told them we would just stay out and lead a few laps, since we hadn't led any this year," said Hill." After we lost our primary car in practice, we just wanted to start the race and stay in the points."

Hill qualified 15th in his back-up car after the oil pump belt failed on his primary car during practice. Hill was one of seven drivers remaining in the lead lap on the restart, on lap 124, when raindrops intensified on lap 126.

" Yeah we did a little rain dance on the backstretch," added Hill." Our car was good and I think we could have had something for the end of the race anyway. We'll take this win, it is the biggest of my career so far. I won a big late model race back home last year and won $5,000, which was nice, but tonight we collected $12,000. I am just happy for this team and everyone who supports us. We had a lot of fans from Columbus here tonight."

For Herman, the finish was bittersweet. While he advanced in the points standings the Kannapolis, NC driver hoped for a little help from mother nature.

" I would like to think we could have had a chance at the end with our pit stop strategy but it wasn't meant to be because of the rain," said runner-up Herman, Jr." We had a really good car and it was one of those deals were Donnie was at the right place at the right time. I want to get my first win as bad as anybody, but Donnie is a great guy and I am happy for him."

Charlie Ford and Bill Plemons, Jr. were the final two cars on the lead lap finishing sixth and seventh, respectively. Wayne Setterington, Jr. finished eighth in his first-ever start and Dale Delozier finished ninth. Kyle Shoemaker collected his first top-10 finish behind Delozier.

The race was stopped on lap 22 for a mandatory red flag to check tire wear and the next caution appeared on lap 61 when Jeff Agnew lost a tire and hit the wall. Vickers also lost a tire, causing him to hit the wall and end his night on lap 96.

Lindley was able to use his top-five finish to increase his points lead over Vickers to 63 points (1,085-1,022) with three regular season races remaining on the schedule. Herman moved into third-place in the standings with Agnew and Plemons completing the top-five. Hill used his win to advance from ninth to seventh in the standings.

The USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division returns to the Hoosier state in two weeks when Illiana Motor Speedway hosts the Miller Lite 250.

-USAR-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Vickers , Jeff Agnew