NASCAR GDS: Hutto Gets His Third Win In-a-Row
15 September 1998HUTTO GETS HIS THIRD WIN IN A ROW AS THE ROCK HILL ROCKETS GO ONE-TWO AT ST. AUGUSTINE
St. Augustine, Fla.-David Hutto and B.J. Mackey, both, natives of Rock Hill, S.C. lined up first and second as the field streaked across the finish line in the second annual Gold Star Dodge Dealers 100 for the Goody's Dash Series at St. Augustine Speedway in Florida. It was Hutto's third consecutive appearance in victory lane and his fifth trip to the hallowed circle this season.
Hutto grabbed the lead from 1998 Series point leader Robert Huffman of Claremont, N.C. just before the halfway point of Saturday's 100-lap event and then stretched out his advantage before bringing the Irmo Grading/Addy Dodge/Midland Photo Chevrolet to the checkers a full three seconds in front of Mackey.
Behind Hutto, Mackey and Huffman waged a fierce battle for second place during the closing laps of the event. The duo swapped the position several times before Mackey eventually took the runner-up spot in the Bubba/Cal Graphics Pontiac one car length in front of Huffman's White House Apple Juice machine.
Ricky Bryant of Bull Hill, N.C. in the BG Motorsports Pontiac also managed to close the gap between himself and Huffman just before the finish, but ran out of laps before he could mount an all out attack on the point leader. Shelby, N.C.'s, Scott Weaver in the Weaver Race Cars Pontiac came from his 11th starting spot to round out the top five in Saturday's event.
During the afternoon time trials, Jake Hobgood of Winnsboro, S.C. picked up his fourth Bud Pole Award of the 1998 season and established a new track qualifying record of 17.763 sec. at an average speed of 101.334 mph around the St. Augustine half mile. Hobgood's time bettered the previous record set by Brian Sockwell at this event last year.
Hobgood's Wynn's/Precision Engine/Grease Monkey Pontiac paced the 27-car field to the green flag, but found the racing surface a little slippery as the field thundered into turn one. Hobgood went into a long, slow spin coming to rest sideways in the middle of turn two. The remainder of the field scattered to both sides of the disabled pole sitter and just when it appeared that everyone was going to clear the incident, Keith Roggen of Winter Haven, Fla. clipped the front end of Hobgood's Pontiac doing extensive damage to both vehicles and sending both cars to the pits for lengthy repairs.
The 1997 Goody's Dash Series Champion, Mike Swaim Jr. made his first appearance with the Series since the Charlotte Motor Speedway event in May. After qualifying fourth on the grid, he too, had a short evening, retiring the Pennzoil Pontiac after only 19 laps of competition with engine problems.
Florida racing sensation, Derrick Kelley of Auburndale, Fla. used the St. Augustine event to make a return appearance with the Series. In only his second start in a Goody's Dash car, Kelley powered his Discount Auto Parts Ford to a very respectable sixth place finish after qualifying 15th. Kelley has finished in the top ten in both events that he has started this year.
Series regular, Doc Brewer of High Point, N.C. picked up his sixth top ten finish this year coming from way back in the 19th starting spot in his John Boy and Billy/Yadkin Valley Chevrolet/Realtree Pontiac to finish in the seventh position.
Two Rookie of the Year contenders, Donnie Apple of Trinity, N.C. in the Long John Silvers Pontiac and Eddie Kelley of Indianapolis, In. in his Cimco Racing Pontiac finished in the eighth and ninth positions, respectively. And Series veteran Ned Combs of Newton, N.C. overcame a late race, stop and go penalty to round out the top ten in his Handy Pantry/HRA/Duragloss Pontiac.
As the Series heads into the final stretch of the season, Robert Huffman continues to hold a substantial advantage over Hutto and Bryant in the Championship point battle. Meanwhile, Donnie Apple has opened up a bit of daylight between himself and London, England's Chris Hall and Eddie Kelley in the Rookie of the Year chase.
The next event for the Goody's Dash Series takes place this coming weekend as the teams make their most western appearance of the 1998 season at Louisville Motor Speedway in Louisville Ky.