I-70 Next Battleground for Slim Jim All Pro Series Combatants
18 May 1998DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-When the 32 starters take the green flag for I-70 Speedway's Price Chopper 250 the event will mark the longest event to date in the 1998 season for the Slim Jim All Pro Series, part of NASCAR's Touring Division. Not only will Friday night's event be the longest to date but will represent the western most event for the series, which competes for the most part at facilities throughout the southeastern United States.
Mooresville, N.C.'s Freddie is the current points leader in the Slim Jim All Pro Series and when he hits the pavement at the Odessa, Mo. facility his Chevrolet Monte Carlo will be carrying new sponsor colors. Greased Lightning Cleaner Degreaser has jumped on board to serve as Query's primary sponsor for the balance of the 1998 season. Ken Alexander, President of A&M Cleaning, the company that manufactures and markets Greased Lightning Cleaner Degreaser, announced the partnership, "Last year we helped Hal Goodson from the halfway point in the season on and he ultimately earned his second career Slim Jim All Pro Series Championship. Freddie is a championship caliber driver and all of us with Greased Lightning would like nothing more than to repeat as the primary sponsor for the 1998 Slim Jim All Pro Series Champion, should Freddie wind up on top at the end of the season."
Query held a 124 point advantage over rookie driver Ronnie Burkett after four events. Over the last two events his lead has shrunk to just 49 points as Steven Christian, on the strength of two consecutive second place finishes in his BellSouth Chevrolet, has now moved into the second position in pursuit of his first career Slim Jim All Pro Series Championship. While Sugar Hill, Ga.'s Christian has his sites set on Query, he can't take his eye off his rear view mirror as Raleigh, N.C.'s Derrick Gilchrist, the series' most recent winner, trails Christian by just eight points, with Zephyrhills, Fla.'s David Reutimann just two points behind Gilchrist. Naples, Fla.'s Billy Bigley, Jr. rounds out the top five, trailing Query by 65 points but the driver of the Team ASE Chevrolet is only 16 points behind Christian.
As is usually the case at every stop on the Slim Jim All Pro Series schedule, some local drivers will be lying in wait, attempting to snag a big win in front of a hometown crowd. Four drivers expected to contend for the lucrative win at the 0.543 mile oval include Higginsville, Mo.'s Keith White, who is a Slim Jim All Pro Series regular, Chad Nolting of Bonner Springs, Ks., Kansas City, Mo.'s John O'Neal, Jr. and Rick Beebe. Beebe will be piloting the Gerry Gunderman owned All Star Racing Chevrolet, the same entry that was driven to a dominating victory last year by Suwanee, Ga's Mike Garvey. Garvey is setting his sites on qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Yellow Freight 200, scheduled to run on Saturday, May 23, thus opening up the opportunity for the skilled and popular Beebe.
Slim Jim Meat Snacks, race sponsor Price Chopper Stores and I-70 Speedway have teamed up for an outstanding promotion whereby Slim Jim wrappers will be accepted for a $10.00 reduction on admission. The normal ticket price is $25.00 in advance and $30.00 at the gate.
On Friday, Registration and Inspection begins at 6:00 a.m. with Practice being held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bud Pole qualifying gets underway at 4:15 p.m. with the green flag waving on the Price Chopper 250 at approximately 7:00 p.m.
The starting field will consist of 28 starters based on qualifying times, with up to four additional starting positions available to any of the top 30 eligible drivers in the 1998 Slim Jim All Pro Series Championship point standings, who have entered the event, but have not qualified for one of the original 28 starting positions.