NO BOLOGNA FOR BENNY GORDON AT SOBO  by Jayson Kaplan
Defending Northern USAR Hooters Pro-Cup Champ Wins Season Opener
The Pro Cup Northern Division opener at South Boston Speedway was more like the reality show, Survivor.  It was a race that saw 11 yellow flags and three red.  Surviving was the name of the game, but track position proved to be the key to victory as defending Hooters Pro-Cup North Series Champ Benny Gordon kept his No. 66n Predator Performance Ford out of trouble and up front to capture Saturday night’s Greased Lightning 250 at SoBo.
because Agnew was right there and gave it all he had to try to catch me. I know with Agnew he is not afraid to use the bumper so I did all I could to keep him at a safe distance.  I could not ask for a better way to start the season.”

You may say that second-place is really just the first looser, but for Jeff Agnew, who started back in 17th; it was like a victory unto itself.  He tried in vain to get around the defending Hooters Pro-Cup Northern Champ in the closing laps, but couldn’t pull it off.
One week after racing at Greenville, Gordon was back in Victory Lane.  (51 Photo)
After starting seventh, Gordon stayed in the top-five for the first half of the race.  His crew got Gordon plenty of valuable track position by firing off a whale of a pitstop on lap-100.  Gordon picked up four spot on pitroad and then set his sights on leader Danny Sammons.  He finally muscled his way by Sammons on lap 142 and kept a hard charging Jeff Agnew at bay to capture the season opener. 

“This is awesome, but what a tough race this was. Last year we crashed out at the opener.  We worked really hard on this car and it wasn’t really good. Track position and my crew is what helped us tonight. I took it easy on the tires and saved them at the end.  It was a good thing
Another driver who had solid run was Jay Fogelman.  He started 14th spot and worked his way to a third place finish.

“We are getting better,” admitted Fogleman.  “At the end of the race we made an adjustment to the car and it was better.  I know we will have a better car for Peach State (next week). Last year I had everything figured out with the car, but this year it’s been different, especially with the tires. To finish third and not have the car dialed in the way it should be, well, I really can’t complain. A top-three is not a bad way to start the season off.”

Rookie of the race AJ Frank looked more like a
Agnew (#73) pressured Gordon (#66) near the end, but fell just short.  (Kathy Bond Photo)
seasoned veteran as he finished up in fourth. Frank started in the eight spot and overcame a mishap in the pits which put him in the back in the field.

“We had the best racecar out their no doubt about it,” said Frank.  “My guys were calling out lap times and we were two or three tenths faster than the leader when we got out.  We had a bad deal in the pits; I think we were running fifth or so at that point, but what can you do?  We fought our way back to a good solid top-five finish first time out and I am tickled to death and I think we also got rookie of the race”
taking it easy. Then when we brought the car into the pits for the first pit stop and we had a hang up with the air gun.  I came out third. Than we were trying to make our way forward and cars were starting to fall off.  I was just biding my time when I missed a shift and then got into Nesbitt and knocked the toe out of the car about and inch and half.  I kept bringing the car in so we could try to straighten it out. We did all we could to get back to the front. We just ran out of time.” 

The race, for all of these reasons, had a distinctively familiar feel too last year, with the champ, Benny Gordon, back up front again and the contenders running into trouble along the way.


GREASED LIGHTNING 250
Greenville-Pickens Speedway, SC
1.Benny Gordon, Ford, 250, $11,600
2.Jeff Agnew, Chevrolet, 250, $7,300
3.Jay Fogleman, Ford, 250, $5,500
4.A J Frank, Ford, 250, $5,500
5.Mardy Lindley, Ford, 250, $4,200
6.Joel Kauffman, Pontiac, $4,400
7.Woody Howard, Chevrolet, 250, $2,800
8.Mart Nesbitt, Ford, 248, $2,600
9.Tim Bainey, Jr., Ford, 245, $2,400
10.Todd Peck, Chevrolet, 243, $2,300
11.Joe Harrison, Jr., Chevrolet, 243, $2,750
12.Sam Fullone, Chevrolet, 243, $2,400
13. Mike Laughlin, Jr., Ford, 237, $2,000
14. Jason Mignogna, Chevrolet, 236, $2,150
15. Jimmy Spencer, Jr., Pontiac, 234, $1,800
16. Richard Landreth, Ford, 207, $1,600
17. Danny Sammons, Ford, 207, $3,100
18. Eric Corbett, Ford, 207, $1,600
19. Brandon Collins, Chevrolet, 205, $1,600
20.Travis Miller, Ford, 200, $1,600
21. Gary St. Amant, Chevrolet, 191, $2,000
22. D J Kennington, Pontiac, 171, $1,400
23. Johnny Rumley, Chevrolet, 166, $2,300
24. Leslie Law, Ford, 160, $1,400
25. Randy Humphrey, Ford, 150, $1,400
26. Kris Limerick, Chevrolet, 141, $1,200
27.Joe Gaita, Ford, 46, $1,200
28. Greg Van Alst, Pontiac, 40, $1,200
29. Lonnie Rush, Jr., Chevrolet, 35, $1,200
30. J J Pack, Pontiac, 33, $1,200
31.Glenn Gault, Chevrolet, 28, $1,600
32. Shelby Howard, Pontiac, 22, $1,200


Kauffman led the pack to the green, but problems kept him from the winner's circle.  (51 Photo)
Hooters Pro-Cup veteran Marty Lindley finished up his night with a fifth place finish.

Although he finished in sixth place, it was a disappointing race for Hooters Pro-Cup Advance Auto Parts pole-sitter Joel Kauffman.  He led the first 100-laps of the race and looked like he was going to run away with it until a mishap on pit road on lap-100 cost Kauffman the lead and the race.  Kauffman’s luck didn’t get any better while working his way back up to the front.  Kauffman missed a shift and clipped the #88 of Mark Nesbitt on a restart.  Unfortunately that hit knocked the front-end of his car out of alignment.        

“The car was dominant in the beginning; I was able to do what ever I wanted to do,” said Kauffman.  “I was just