NASCAR-SJAPS: Query Leads Slim Jim All Pro Series into St. Augustine
15 April 1998DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-After notching his second win in as many tries, Mooresville, N.C.'s Freddie Query leads the point standings of the Slim Jim All Pro Series, part of NASCAR's Touring Division, heading into the fourth event of the 1998 season. This Saturday night the $47,950 Winn Dixie 200 will be run at St. Augustine Speedway, a track that recently signed a sanctioning agreement with NASCAR to become a Winston Racing Series facility. Query has piloted his W.J. Plemons Insurance Chevrolet to two wins and one second place finish after three events. His win at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex occurred in his first ever run at the 1.5 mile superspeedway. This weekend's event will also represent Query's first run at the 0.500 mile d-shaped oval. If his early season successes are any indication, it could be a long night for the rest of the Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers.
Last year's Bud Pole winner, Sugar Hill, Ga.'s Steven Christian, currently sits in second place in the point standings and certainly knows the fast way around the relatively flat oval. The BellSouth Chevrolet driver led from the drop of the green flag last year but was caught up in a multi-car accident that eliminated his chance for the win.
Sorrento, Fla.'s Ronnie Burkett currently leads the rookie-of-the-year standings, and trails Christian by one point in the overall points. Burkett has proven to be a quick study as he has notched a top five and a top 10 finish at the wheel of his family-owned Big Daddy's BBQ Chevrolet so far this season.
Zephyrhills, Fla.'s David Reutimann, last year's rookie-of-the-year, has perhaps the most experience at St. Augustine as he used to run on the facility's dirt surface prior to the track being paved during the 1997 off-season. Reutimann has driven his QMI Pontiac to a fourth place points position so far this season and is hungry to capture his first Slim Jim All Pro Series win.
On Saturday, Registration and Inspection begins at 9:00 a.m. with Practice being held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Bud Pole qualifying gets underway at 6:00 p.m. with the green flag waving on the Winn Dixie 200 at approximately 8:00 p.m. The starting field will consist of 32 starters, with up to four additional starting positions available to any of the top 30 eligible drivers in the final 1997 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Championship point standings, who have entered the event, but have not qualified for one of the original 32 starting positions.
1998 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Race Facts
WHAT: Winn Dixie 200 WHERE: St. Augustine Speedway, St. Augustine, FL, 0.500 mi. oval WHEN: Saturday, April 18, 1998, 8:00 p.m. DISTANCE: 200 laps (100 miles) POSTED AWARDS: $47,950 TV/RADIO: Home Team Sports, Fox Sports South, The Sunshine Network - Tape Delayed 105.5 FM Hot Country - Live Radio
FIELD: 36 cars. Starting positions 1-32 will be determined by time trials (2 laps), positions 33-36 will be available to any of the top 30 eligible drivers in the final 1997 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Championship point standings, who have entered the event, but have not qualified for one of the original 32 starting positions. If a starting position(s) remains unfilled, then that starting position(s) will become available to the next eligible car from the qualifying procedure for the event.
SANCTION: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR)
PROMOTER: St. Johns County Motorsports Complex Inc.
CONTACTS: Jim Noltimier, NASCAR, (770) 486-3591 Hope Jones, St. Augustine Speedway, (904) 825-2886
SCHEDULE: Team Hauler Parking 8:00 a.m. Registration & Inspection 9:00 a.m. Practice 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mandatory Drivers' Meeting 3:45 p.m. Time Trials (2 laps, all positions) 6:00 p.m. Winn Dixie 200 8:00 p.m.
THE RACE: The Winn Dixie 200 is the fourth of 19 events on the 1998 series schedule. Consisting of 200 laps, the race will be the second Slim Jim All Pro Series event to be run at the D-shaped 0.500 mile oval.
RECORDS: Track Qual. Record: Steven Christian, Sugar Hill, Ga., Chevrolet, 16.983 seconds, 105.988 mph, 4/12/97 Fastest Avg. Speed: Jeff Fultz, Milford, Oh., Chevrolet, 1 hr., 44 mins., 20 secs., 57.79 mph, 4/12/97
1997 REVIEW: Milford, Oh.'s Jeff Fultz picked up his lone 1997 win in the inaugural run for the Slim Jim All Pro Series cars at St. Augustine Speedway. Fultz benefited from an early race skirmish that collected then race leaders Steven Christian and Derrick Gilchrist. When the dust settled Fultz held off Mike Harmon for the win. Ron Young, Nipper Alsup and Skip Pannell rounded out the top five finishers. Alsup dominated the event, leading 127 laps, but was unable to maintain the lead when his race car developed a loose condition late in the event.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
The track now boasts a larger paved pit area resulting in better amenities for the race teams.
St. Augustine Speedway recently signed a sanction agreement with NASCAR to become a NASCAR Winston Racing Series facility.
A Slim Jim All Pro Series Driver Appearance/Car Show is scheduled for Friday afternoon, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Winn Dixie on U.S. Highway 1. Additional details can be secured by calling Hope Jones at St. Augustine Speedway.
A new race winner will be crowned as last year's inaugural event winner, Jeff Fultz, no longer runs full time with the Slim Jim All Pro Series.
The Winn Dixie 200 will be the final event where provisional starting positions are based on 1997 point standings. Beginning with next week's event at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, provisionals will be based on 1998 points.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Series points leader Freddie Query is one finishing position short of perfection after the first three events of the 1998 season. In three starts Query has two wins and one second place finish.
HEADQUARTERS MOTEL: Ramada Inn, 116 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084, Scott Adkins, (904) 824-4352, $59.00 plus tax, all doubles, kings available.
MEDIA SERVICES: NASCAR Online, NASCAR's Official Internet Site on the World Wide Web can be accessed at http://www.nascar.com and offers up to the minute information on the Slim Jim All Pro Series and all of NASCAR's racing divisions.