NASCAR SJAPS: Goodson Showing Consistency in Slim Jim All Pro Series
25 August 1998Daytona Beach, Fla. - When the drivers in the Slim Jim All Pro Series, part of NASCAR's Touring Division, roll in to Louisville Motor Speedway this Friday for the $54,200 BellSouth 300, defending Series Champion Hal Goodson will be looking for a repeat win and will also be looking to extend his top two finishing streak to six races in a row.
Since the Darlington, S.C. native finished second at Myrtle Beach Speedway on June 13, essentially his home track, he has reeled off three more second place finishes and his first win of 1998 at Caraway Speedway on August 8. In the process he has closed the gap on points leader Freddie Query to just 32 points. Query led the Slim Jim All Pro Series point standings by as many as 170 points just a couple of races ago.
There are some striking similarities between Goodson's title chase last year and the current point battle this year. Goodson trailed Milford, Oh.'s Jeff Fultz entering the Louisville race by 66 points, then narrowed the gap to 41 points after picking up his lone 1997 win at the tricky 7/16 mile track. With just 32 points separating Query and Goodson if Goodson can secure his third win at Louisville in as many tries he could close the gap further, or possibly move to the top of the standings.
Goodson certainly seems to have a handle on the Louisville layout. He won in 1995, did not participate in 1996, then repeated his '95 finish in 1997. Two wins in two tries leaves the Citadel graduate thinking three-peat. The Fain Enterprises team has gelled over the last few races and Goodson attributes much of the team's success to the addition of crew member Jimmy King.
"The entire Fain Enterprises team has been doing a great job this year. When Jimmy King came on board it seemed to complete the package. Jimmy was Jeff Fultz's crew chief last year and we battled with their team to the last lap of the last race to ultimately win the championship. Jimmy and crew chief David Honney are working very well together and everything is going in the right direction," stated Goodson.
Buoyed by solid sponsorship from Nortel/Northern Telecom, Goodson appears to be a formidable candidate to secure a third series championship. Query and his Greased Lightning Cleaner Degreaser team will continue to pose an obstacle to Goodson's championship quest. With six wins in 12 races Query is likely to get back on track and be in the hunt for race wins after two recent disappointing outings. Should either of these hard chargers falter Raleigh, N.C.'s Derrick Gilchrist, Sugar Hill, Ga.'s Steven Christian and Naples, Fla.'s Billy Bigley, Jr. are all within striking distance. Christian is the only winless driver of the top five drivers and a win at Louisville would likely please race sponsor BellSouth, which also serves as Christian's team sponsor.
Bud Pole Qualifying for the BellSouth 300 gets underway at 2:30 p.m., and with the track having been repaved over the offseason, the track record previously established by Louisville native Scot Walters is in jeopardy. An autograph session with the Slim Jim All Pro Series drivers will be held from 6:15 p.m. until 6:45 p.m., preceding Bud Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers which will get underway at 7:00 p.m. The green flag will wave on the BellSouth 300 at 8:30 p.m. The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Fox SportsChannel Ohio on October 1 at 8:00 p.m. and October 2 at Noon, Fox Sports South on September 18 at 8:00 p.m. and September 23 at 1:00 a.m. and The Sunshine Network on September 22 at 10:00 p.m. and September 23 at 4:00 a.m. Air dates and times for Home Team Sports are still to be determined.