MEADVILLE, PA - June 11, 2001 - It's becoming obvious that the real challenge at the Channellock Challenge at Bristol is how to beat Sammy Swindell! For the second year in a row, Swindell captured the victory for team and event sponsor ...
MEADVILLE, PA - June 11, 2001 - It's becoming obvious that the real challenge at the Channellock Challenge at Bristol is how to beat Sammy Swindell! For the second year in a row, Swindell captured the victory for team and event sponsor CHANNELLOCK®. Swindell waged a nail biting battle against friend and worthy adversary, Jeff Shepard to clinch his second Channellock Challenge title.
"What a great feeling to win this race for Channellock two years in a row! Jeff and I raced each other clean and close the whole time. We gave each other room. It was just a great race and a lot of fun to run," said an elated Swindell following the main event on Saturday night.
Swindell and the Channellock Racing team had the car to beat all weekend, beginning with a strong showing during Friday night's preliminary program. After recording the fastest qualifying time with a blistering 13.986-second lap, Swindell went on to claim a second-place finish in the first O'Reilly Heat Race. Following an eighth-place finish in the Channellock Dash, Swindell found himself starting the Preliminary Feature outside the fourth row. Despite the mid-pack starting spot, the three time series champion picked off competitors one by one before settling for a third-place finish behind Shepard and race winner Donny Schatz.
Swindell's third-place finish in the Preliminary Feature secured him the third starting position in Saturday's Channellock Dash. Once again the two friends battled each other hard, and Shepard prevailed with Swindell nipping at his heels to claim second-place. Their finish lined them up side-by-side for the drop of the green in the A-Feature and what ensued was to be one of the best battles a sprint car fan could ask for.
Swindell jumped to an early lead, which he held for the first twelve laps before Shepard took over for two circuits. On lap 15, Swindell got around Shepard again, but held onto the lead for only one lap before Shepard got the advantage again and held it for the next nine laps. In lap 24, Swindell got a brief advantage before Shepard once again got around him with a slingshot move in turn three. But a lap later Swindell regained the lead for the final time and held off Shepard for the remaining four laps to grab his second Channellock Challenge title in as many attempts.
Summarizing his feelings on the second annual Channellock Challenge at Bristol, Swindell commented, "This was really a good weekend for the Channellock team. We had a couple of setbacks here and there, but when it really mattered things went our way. It was a lot of fun running against Jeff like that. And you can't beat winning a huge televised event at a track like Bristol with your team sponsor also sponsoring the event."
After wrapping up one of the most important races of his 2001 limited season with a big red bow, Swindell will take the next few weeks off before returning to World of Outlaws competition on June 21-23 at the Eagle Nationals at Eagle, NE. The June 22nd race will be televised live on TNN, The National Network at 9:00 p.m. ET. Swindell and Company will round out the month of June with the two-night Iowa Ethanol Classic at Knoxville, IA on the 29th and 30th. The feature race will again be broadcast by TNN at 9:00 p.m. ET.