NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Porter Cable Professional Power Tools 300 Report
14 July 1997
Goodson Completes Return to NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Louisville, KY - July 11, 1997 - Darlington, SC's Hal Goodson, the 1995 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Champion, made his return to the series complete by winning the Porter Cable Professional Power Tools 300 at Louisville Motor Speedway on Friday night, July 11. Goodson, who pilots the Burdette Chevrolet/Black's Tire Center Monte Carlo, returned to the series full time in 1997, after a one year hiatus from full time Slim Jim Series competition. The former series champion captured his eighth career win on the same night that it was announced that GoodMark Foods, through its Slim Jim meat snacks brand, signed a multi-year contract extension to continue as title sponsor of the competitive and popular series. In victory lane After becoming the ninth different series winner in 1997, Goodson stated, "I want to thank Slim Jim for giving us a great series to race in, it's so competitive." "We won this race in '95 in an old Ford, this year we brought an old Chevy and did it again," adding further, "At a place like this you don't need a lot of motor, and I tried to save the tires. Hoosier brought a great tire for this track," he stated. Delbert Ray, Goodson's Crew Chief commented on the team's strategy, "We basically used the same strategy that got us to victory lane two years ago. After Hal spun on lap 73 and lost a lap we decided to come in and change right side tires and go the rest of the way from there." Ray, the winner of the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew Chief of the Race Award, echoed Goodson's sentiments about the Hoosier tires, "The Hoosier tires held up so well tonight, Hal went over 225 laps on the same right side tires and the entire race on the left sides that he started on." Busch Pole qualifying produced a first time Busch Pole Award winner as series points leader Jeff Fultz picked up his first career pole position. The King Motorsports Chevrolet pilot who resides in Milford, OH bested 33 competitors to start from the top spot after posting a lap of 15.463 seconds, translating to 101.856 mph. At the drop of the green flag Fultz grabbed the early lead over Louisville, KY's Chuck Winders and the two were putting some distance on the rest of the field as early as lap six. By lap 13 Fultz had a seven car length lead over Winders but the advantage was erased when the first of 10 caution flags flew on lap 20 when SpanksOverbeck cut down a right front tire and was unable to get back to the pits for a tire change. When the green flag waved again on lap 27 Fultz, Winders and Keith Gardner, another Louisville, KY competitor, pulled away to a sizable advantage. On lap 53 Gardner took second from Winders and then overhauled Fultz on lap 70 to become the first Louisville Motor Speedway regular to lead a Slim Jim All Pro Series event at the 7/16th's mile oval. The caution waved for the fourth time on lap 82 for a bottleneck on the frontstretch that collected Scott Sutherland, John Crow, Ken Alexander, Keith White and Ron Young, with Young being able to quickly move away and stay on the lead lap. A few laps after green flag racing resumed, Hank Parker Jr. steered his Delco Voyager Batteries Chevrolet under Gardner coming out of turn two and took the lead on lap 99, with Gardner regaining the top spot on lap 108. The race's fifth caution waved on lap 116 when the power steering line on Mike Harmon's Chevrolet broke loose, igniting a brief fire under the Lonesome Pine Timber Co. entry. This caution proved beneficial to Goodson as he was able to get back on the lead lap after his prior spin and resultant tire change. During this caution period Fultz and Steven Christian pitted, with Christian falling one lap down to the leaders under the challenging pit road conditions. When the event's seventh caution period occurred at the halfway point Christian managed to get his lap back. During this period leaders Parker, Nipper Alsup, Young and Steve Allison made their scheduled pit stops. Goodson inherited the lead at this point and proceeded to work lapped traffic masterfully throughout the balance of the event. Zephyrhills, FL's David Reutimann, who leads the Port City Racing Rookie of the Year standings, chased in vain, as after each of the last three caution periods Goodson was able to pull away to a comfortable margin. Goodson pocketed $9,575 for his win with Reutimann trailing by 0.3 seconds and equaling his best career finish which occurred last week at Volusia County Speedway. After making up his lap Christian rebounded nicely to grab third over Young and Fultz. Rounding out the top 10 were local favorite Gardner, Larry Raines, Parker, Carl Long and Louisville's Joe Williamson. Fultz's points lead shrunk from 66 to 41 points after Goodson's win. Rookie standout Reutimann jumped from sixth to third, with Young moving from fifth to fourth after Alsup's accident on lap 265 left him fifth in points after a 24th place finish. Reutimann now leads Greer, SC's Steven Howard by 24 points in the Port City Racing Rookie competition with Reutimann earning Rookie of the Race honors for the fifth time in 11 events. Event though he scrubbed the wall on the last lap, Roxboro, NC's Long was able to hold on to the ninth position and secured the Rookie of the Race Runner-up accolades. After directing his team's effort to victory lane, Ray earned $300 from Jasper Engines and Transmissions. After the completion of the Louisville event Wanye Anderson's Crew Chief Michael Williams and Young's top wrench Larry Rapp are tied for the lead in the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew Chief Challenge standings. Just eight points behind are Jimmy King and Ray, who lead the efforts for Fultz and Goodson respectively. The next event for the Slim Jim teams will be a 200 lap battle scheduled for Saturday night, July 19, at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.