NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Season Opener: Report
10 February 1998
Barberville, FL -- The NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series opened their 1998 season as a part of Speedweeks 98 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL abd it was Wayne Anderson of Wildwood, FL who put his Porter Cable Chevrolet into Victory Lane. Anderson did not have an easy time of it as he was invlved in a first lap incident with Freddie Query that forced him to come from the middle of the pack, on a tough race track to pass on, to get on the point. Once there he was virtually untouchable as he stretched the lead, working trafiic to perfection and took an eight car length victory over Freddie Query, Matt Hagans, Hal Goodson and Steven Christian. Anderson started the 150 lap event on the pole with fast qualifier Query sitting on the pole. As the green flew Anderson got a great jump from the outside and led Query across the start line by almost a car length. As the two headed into turn one Anderson dropped to the inside and the two made contact, spinning Anderson and causing minor damage to Query. Query emerged with the lead, while Anderson quickly restarted and was running just outside the top five. Query would continue to hold the front spot through the first 25 laps and was soon working his way through lapped traffic. When Conrad Burr and Brian Sockwell mgot together right in front of Query and spun in turn 2, Query had to get hard on the brakes to avoid the melee. With cars scattering in all directions it was Mike Harmon who emerged with the lead. Query held on to second with Anderson back up to third followed by Steve Mendenhall and Scott Bramlett. Harmon was able to fend off the challenges of Query until just before halfway when Query got under him coming off turn two and retook the lead. Just past the midpoint Anderson darted to the inside of Query in turn two and took the lead which he stretched during the green flags runs until the finish. Query finished in second while Harmon was forced into the pits and retired with damage when he and a lapped car made contact. The opening race on a brand new racetrack proved that the 1998 season for the All-Pro series is going to be an exciting one. There were 46 cars that attempted to make the 30 car starting field. The new 3/8 mile oval at Volusia Speedway Park was still a bit on the green side which made for a virtually one groove race track for everyone except Anderson who was able to pass high, low and in the middle!