NASCAR-SJAPS: Query Takes Points Lead With Homestead Win
5 April 1998Homestead, FL - April 4, 1998 - Mooresville, N.C.'s Freddie Query topped a stellar field of late model drivers to win the $59,650 Albertson's/Greased Lightning 75 at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the driver of the W.J. Plemons Insurance Chevrolet took over the points lead in the Slim Jim All Pro Series, part of NASCAR's Touring Division, in the process.
"I basically used the same setup that Hank Parker, Jr. used with so much success here last year and it worked out for us," stated Query after the race. "After building Hank's cars and consulting for the team last year we had a great benchmark to work with. This is the first time I've driven here and I felt good about our setup. I was concerned about the strength of our motor because Jeff Hamner (engine builder) had never built a restrictor plate motor before. Obviously it was a great motor," he added.
Bud Pole Qualifying produced a very interesting starting lineup as Greenville, S.C.'s Mardy Lindley, in his first ever visit to the 1.5 mile oval, grabbed the top starting spot with a qualifying lap run in a time of 37.799 seconds which equated to a speed of 142.861 mph. Charlotte, N.C.'s Bobby Newling landed on the outside of the front row while Fairfield, Ca.'s Jim Inglebright secured the third starting spot in his first ever visit to Homestead.
At the drop of the green flag Query got to turn one before Lindley and paced the field as the other front runners got into single file order to give chase. The first of two cautions waved on lap eight after Birmingport, Ala.'s Mike Harmon brushed the wall between turns three and four. Harmon and his Lonesome Pine Timber Co. Chevrolet were done for the day at that point. Green flag racing resumed on lap 12 and Query continued to set the pace with Lindley and Inglebright in hot pursuit.
The second and final caution waved on lap 24 when debris was sighted in the racing groove on the front straightaway. Once cleaned up Query continued to lead, ultimately leading all 50 laps enroute to his first series win of 1998, and the ninth of his career. Lindley maintained the runner up position for his best career finish while Newling, coming from the back of the pack after missing the mandatory drivers' meeting, registered his best career finish of third. With the third place finish Newling also earned rookie of the race honors. Rounding out the top five were Inglebright and rookie points leader Ronnie Burkett.
Crew chief Alex Query managed his family team's effort to victory lane and in the process earned the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew Chief Challenge. Query also took over the season long points chase in the same category.
Trailing Query in the series points standings is Sorrento, Fla.'s Burkett, followed closely by Derrick Gilchrist, Steven Christian and 1997 Slim Jim All Pro Series Champion Hal Goodson.
The next event for the Slim Jim All Pro Series is Saturday night, April 11 at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va.