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NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Report: Old El Paso Presents Kroger 200

2 September 1997


GAINESVILLE, GA - August 30, 1997 - The Kroger 200 presented by Old El Paso
was a NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series race that featured many of the usual 
suspects running at the front at various stages of the event but also some
incidents that included them as well. When all was said and done, Raleigh,
NC's Derrick Gilchrist survived to win his second race in three events. The
sophomore driver earned $8,375 of Lanier National Speedway's $43,360 race 
Gilchrist, the driver of the Fairfield Inns Chevrolet, commented afterwards, 
"We had a good car since lap one. We knew that if I stayed out of the wrecks 
early, that we'd be in the right place at the end. Our car was better in the
second half because we made an adjustment in the air pressure during our pit
stop," the 20-year-old added.

Busch Pole qualifying was a challenging affair as a 1997 record 48 cars went 
on the clock to attempt to secure one of the 30 starting positions. When the 
dust settled, Lawrenceville, GA's Jimmy Garmon picked up his first career
Busch Pole Award and earned the right to lead the field to the green flag in
his first NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series start. Garmon toured his home track's
0.375 mile oval in a time of 13.826 seconds at a speed of 97.642 mph at the
wheel of his Cintas Uniforms Chevrolet.

Once again the field was spiced with Lanier National Speedway regulars, with 
three of the top four drivers in the Slim Jim All Pro Series point standings
being forced to take provisionals. Of the top four drivers in points only
Darlington, SC's Hal Goodson, who resides in the second position, made the
starting field based on his qualifying time, which turned out to be fourth 

At the drop of the green Sugar Hill, GA's Steven Christian powered into the 
lead from his outside front row starting position and quickly moved out to a
five car length lead at the wheel of his BellSouth Chevrolet. By lap 26
Christian began to lap slower cars but Suwanee, GA's Mike Garvey overhauled
him and moved into the top spot on  lap 29. On lap 38 the leaders got 
together with some lapped cars and the first of nine caution flags was
displayed. Involved in the incident were Christian, Garvey, Hank Parker, Jr.,
Brian Smith, Scott Sutherland, David Reutimann and Brad Correll. Garvey, then 
the leader, and Correll were unable to continue. Although involved in the
incident, Parker kept his Delco Voyager Batteries Chevrolet going in the right
direction and held the lead when the green flag waved again. Parker's lead 
was short lived as Birmingport, AL's Mike Harmon powered his Lonesome Pine
Timber Co. Chevrolet into the lead on lap 49. Harmon and Parker alternately
dueled and cruised until the yellow was displayed on lap 101 for a competition
caution, then resumed their two car battle when the green flag waved again
five laps later. Going into turn two on lap 128 they made heavy contact, then 
both spun, and collected Christian, who had been making a solid march back
through the field. Gilchrist inherited the lead at this point, and had to hold
off the determined charges of Goodson and Ron Young on four subsequent
restarts before earning the win. Neither Goodson nor Young could mount a
serious challenge over the remaining 72 laps but the second and third place
finishers continued to eat away at points leader Jeff Fultz's lead with their
solid finishes. Rounding out the top five were Nipper Alsup and Robert Powell.
Completing the top 10 were local driver Ricky Turner, Fultz, and Brian Weeks,
all on the lead lap, while Parker and Scott Sutherland were one lap in 

Fultz continues to lead the series point standings with Goodson now just 73
points back in second and Young only 12 points behind Goodson. Reutimann and
Harmon continue to maintain their respective fourth and fifth place positions 
while Alsup regains the sixth spot over Gilchrist who jumps from ninth to
seventh. Rounding out the top 10 are Parker, Christian and Wayne Anderson.

After finishing 11th, Concord, NC's Sean Studer earned the $400 Port City
Racing Rookie of the Race Award, his first such honor this season. Leading 
Port City Racing Rookie candidate David Reutimann earned Rookie of the Race
Runner-Up honors after finishing 13th.

After managing his team's effort to earn the race win, Robert Hamke picked up
the $300 check from Jasper Engines and Transmissions as the Crew Chief of the 
Race for the second time this year.  

As a result of Young's third place finish crew chief Larry Rapp maintained the
lead in the season long crew chief points chase. Rapp now leads Sammy Shumate 
by 10 points.

The next event for the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series will take place at Five
Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. The NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro 200 is 
scheduled for Saturday night, September 13, and represents the 16th of 20
races on the 1997 schedule. This event was originally scheduled for July 19
but was rescheduled as a result of Hurricane Danny.

By NASCAR Public Relations