Jimmy Spencer Wins NASCAR BGN All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300
4 October 1997CONCORD, NC -- Jimmy Spencer was able to hold off a hard charging Mark Martin to win the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 today at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Spencer, who started from the fourth position, was off like a rocket and in the lead by lap five.
Spencer was so hooked up that the only man on the track that had anything for was him Mark Martin. Martin shadowed Spencer for most of the event but was just a touch shy of having what it would take to get the job done.
Martin, who's next Busch victory will make him the winningest driver in series history, dove to the pits on lap 110 for fresh tires and an adjustment. The move was almost good enough as Martin was able to regain the lost ground from the pit stop and got back to Spencer with 30 laps left on the board.
Once there Martin looked over Spencer to see if there was any way around, but Spencer would slam the door shut on any moves that Martin tried to make. It was a classic Busch series duel that had the folks on their feet as the two would bump and grind off of each other.
Any chance Martin had was eliminated when the caution flew on lap 196 for Michael Waltrip's bounce off the turn four wall.
The track was cleaned up in time for a quick shoot-out, but with only two laps remaining there just wasn't time for Martin to get around Spencer.
The drivers that followed Spencer and Martin to the checkers were, IRL hotshot Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton and the driver of the Timber Wolf Chevrolet Mark Green.
Spencer talking about the last few laps said, "You've got to give Mark (Martin) a lot of credit. I knew the only opportunity I had was to stay tight against him and really hold him down and bog down his motor. I needed those cautions at the end."
Martin too had fun with the race. "That was a good run," said Martin. "Spencer earned that one, and he ought to be proud of that of it."
An estimated crowd of 73,100 fans watched the race that took 2 hours 21 minutes 38 seconds to complete. The average speed was 127.089 miles per hour. The caution flew 7 times for 38 laps. Spencer's margin of victory was 0.231 seconds.
The point 'battle' will soon be a mathematical clinch for Randy LaJoie. LaJoie, again, finished ahead of second place Todd Bodine. Bodine's deficit now stands at 246. With 3 races on the schedule it looks to be a lock.
The next race will on October 19th when the series runs the California 200 at the newest Penske track in Fontana California.
Mike Snow -- The Auto Channel