NASCAR SJAPS: Query Ties Cope for Most Career Slim Jim All Pro Wins
13 July 1998Nazareth, Pa. - July 12, 1998 - As a result of capturing his fourth win in as many starts, and sixth of 1998, Mooresville, N.C.'s Freddie Query moved into a tie with two-time former champion Mike Cope for most career wins on the Slim Jim All Pro Series, part of NASCAR's touring division. Query led all 100 laps for his 14th career win and earned $12,900 upon winning the $74,850 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse/Greased Lightning 100 at Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pa. on Sunday afternoon.
"All of us on the Slim Jim All Pro Series enjoy the opportunity to run as a companion series to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or the Busch Series. It's a great audience to race in front of and we get to run on some great tracks like Nazareth," stated the driver of the Greased Lightning Cleaner Degreaser Chevrolet in a post-race interview. "I was a little concerned about the initial start but we got to turn one before Derrick (Gilchrist, polesitter) and things worked out very well after that," added the 46-year-old Query.
Raleigh, N.C.'s Gilchrist, benefitting from cooler temperatures and a qualifying draw of the 28th position of 29 qualifiers earned his second Bud Pole Award of 1998, and established the track record for Slim Jim All Pro Series cars in the process. Gilchrist drove the Hamke Race Cars & Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a fast time of 27.760 seconds at an average speed of 129.683 m.p.h. to notch his fifth career pole award and moved into an eight-way tie for fourth on the career poles list.
Query outpaced Gilchrist through the first turn around the tricky one mile oval and settled into sole possession of the top spot. Gilchrist, Steven Christian, rookie Ronnie Burkett, Billy Bigley, Jr. and Coy Gibbs quickly formed a nose-to-tail chase. Things remained pretty much unchanged until the first caution waved on lap 27 for oil put down on the track from the blown engine on Troy Backlund's Jiffy Lube Chevrolet. When the green flag was displayed on lap 33 Query again moved out to a comfortable lead. The caution flag waved for a second time on lap 42 when A.J. Alsup planted his Track Scan Chevrolet into the turn four wall. The Mooresville, N.C. resident was uninjured but was unable to continue. Just two laps later the motor gave up the ghost on David Reutimann's
Jiffy Lube/Dover Brake Pontiac. Reutimann broke loose in his own oil and when all was said and done the Zephyrhills, Fla. native ended up upside down on the track. He emerged from his car shaken but otherwise uninjured. The caution period straddled the 100 lap race's halfway point forcing Query to hold off Christian's BellSouth Chevrolet on lap 61 to capture the $300 halfway leader award. Christian, Gilchrist, Burkett and Hal Goodson formed a train chasin in vain as Query pulled away after each successive restart.
Two more cautions waved after the race cars of both Jason Mignogna and Trent Owens stalled on separate occasions on the track. On each restart Christian chased Query, seeming to close in slightly after each successive restart. The final caution waved on lap 91 when Carl Long and Mardy Lindley got together on the backstretch. This set up a four lap dash to the checkered flag. On the final restart Christian experienced carburetor problems and Goodson moved his Nortel/Northern Telecom Chevrolet into second place. By the time the checkered flag waved the final running order changed measurably. Query outpaced Goodson by 0.987 seconds at the checkered flag while Conyers, Ga.'s Ron Young, Charlotte, N.C.'s Coy Gibbs and Greer S.C.'s Steven Howard grabbed third, fourth and fifth place respectively. Rounding out the top 10 were David Moyer, Christian, Mike Harmon, Sean Studer and polesitter Gilchrist.
Thirteen cars were running on the lead lap at the end of the 100 mile race, which was run in a time of one hour, 12 minutes and 32 seconds. There was one lead change when Query bested polesitter Gilchrist at the start of the race. The caution flag waved six times consuming 23 laps and Query's winning average speed was 82.721 m.p.h.
For the third race in a row Query increased his points lead over Goodson by a 10-point-increment after the duo finished one-two. Query now leads the two-time and defending Slim Jim All Pro Series Champion by 170 points. Gilchrist and Bigley hold down the third and fourth spots and are separated by a mere five points while Christian rounds out the top five.
Austin Cracker Sandwiches Chevrolet driver David Moyer parlayed his sixth place finish into the Rookie-of-the-Race award and moved into the third position in the Rookie-of-the-Year award run. Statesville, N.C.'s Scott Kilby continues to lead the first year drivers' battle with a slim three point margin over Burkett.
When Dad wins, son wins, or so it seems in the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew Chief Challenge. Alex Query, the race winner's son and crew chief, earned $300 from Jasper Engines & Transmissions after leading the pit side effort in his father's winning run. He now holds a comfortable 36 point lead in the chase for the $3000 year-end crew chief award.
The Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse/Greased Lightning 100 will be televised on August 1, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. eastern time on The Nashville Network. The next event for the Slim Jim All Pro Series is Saturday night, August 8 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. The Arndt & Herman Windows 200 will be the 11th event on the 19-race 1998 Slim Jim All Pro Series schedule.