GILL SHOWS THE YOUNG’ENS HOW TO DO IN AT CONCORD by Jayson Kaplan
Veteran Holds Off Two Track Veterans & Brothers For Career Win #40
It is becoming tougher and tougher to win in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series this season, even for such seasoned veterans like Bobby Gill. There is tougher competition in the series from the front to the back then has ever been seen before.
However, on Saturday night at Concord Motorsport Park, the veterans stole the show.
"The last 50 laps, I drove my butt off," said Gill. "I got a good jump on Clay and left (the car) in third (gear) until I got through the dogleg. I just got enough in front of him and went on."
Gill also made USAR Hooters Pro Cup history with his win at Concord, as the all-time Pro Cup Series winner by collecting his 40th career win. It was also Gill’s second-straight Concord win, after he won at the track in 2004.
One driver who was not thrilled by any means about Gill’s win was second-place finisher Rogers.
Despite losing a cylinder with 75-laps to go, Rogers did all he could to keep Gill from passing him and winning the race. Rogers was quite upset in the way Gill passed him for the lead after the two made some contact after the restart.
Bobby Gill was all smiles after the race at Concord. Not everyone was though. (51 Photos)
Gill returned to winning form and showed the rest of the field how to do it by capturing his first win of the 2005 season in the Turn 4 Pizza 250 at Concord Motorsports Park. In addition, it marked a milestone in Gill’s storied career.
In an exciting three-lap battle with defending series champ Clay Rogers, Gill took the checkers in typical “Bobby Gill fashion.” He began working over Rogers with 45 laps to go.
With only three laps remaining, after the restart on lap 247 following a caution flag for debris, Gill wasted little time sliding his car underneath Rogers going into turn one and clearing him through the dogleg.
“I was running on seven cylinders the last 75-laps,” said Rogers, a former dominator at Concord in the Late Model Stocks. “I didn’t think there was any way I could hold him off that long. It’s a shame he had to stick us in the fence up there to get by us. I would be a shamed of myself if I couldn’t pass someone running on only seven cylinders.
“Bobby did what he had to do to win the race, which is good because he probably won’t win another one this year. I really wanted to win this race in front of the hometown crowd.”
Gill’s felling towards the contact at the end of the race was a little different than Rogers.
Clay Rogers wasn't very happy with Bobby Gill's (#06) pass late in the race on Saturday.
"There was contact all night long, especially in the last 50 laps, but I let him go," said Gill. "What does he expect with three to go when a guy is that far up beside you? He’d a done the same thing."
Another Rogers who was in the mix at the end of the race was Clay’s younger brother Brad who finished up in third. Little-brother Brad, who was also a regular at Concord in the Late Model Stocks, was hoping to bring home a one-two finish in front of the hometown crowd, but Gill spoiled that party.
Brad started the race in second and kept himself in contention for the win all race long.
It was like a near win for the team that is just running a partial schedule due to a lack of financial backing this season.
Ironically, the accident will likely give Clay the points lead when the official points are released from Pro Cup officials on Monday.
Speed51.com will have more on the Rogers-Huffman incident, as well as other stories from the weekend in Leftovers later this week.
Shane Wallace, drove his car to another strong finish, as he kept his string of good runs alive by coming home with a fourth-place finish.
Wallace, who started eighth, moved his way into second place by lap 100 as he pressured race leader Clay Rogers for the lead before heading into pit road on Lap 126. After exiting the pits Wallace found himself back in the 12th spot. He than made his charge back to the front and ended his night with fourth-place finish.
Mark McFarland picked up his first top-five finish of season by coming home fifth. Jake Hobgood, Matt Carter, Steve Wallace, Daniel Johnson and Chase Pistone rounded out the top 10.
TURN 4 PIZZA 250
Concord Motorsport Park, Concord, NC
1.(7) Bobby Gill, Ford, 250, $10,300
2.(5) Clay Rogers, Ford, 250 $9,100
3.(2) Brad Rogers, Ford, 250, $6,300
4.(8) Shane Wallace, Ford, 250, $4,500
5.(4) Mark McFarland, Chevrolet, 250, $3,500
6.(11) Jake Hobgood, Ford, 250, $4,000
7.(3) Matt Carter, Ford, 250, $3,100
8.(6) Steve Wallace, Dodge, 250, $2,600
9.(28) Daniel Johnson, Pontiac, 250, $2,400
10.(24) Chase Pistone, Ford, 250, $2,800
11.(16) Jason Sarvis, Ford, 250, $2,200
12.(21) Jay Fogleman, Ford, 250, $2,800
13.(23) Wayne Willard, Chevrolet, 249, $2,000
14.(26) Billy Bigley, Jr., Ford, 249, $2,500
15.(17) Toby Porter, Ford, 249, $1,800
16.(14) George Brunnhoelzl, III, Ford, 248, $1,600
17.(12) Jody Lavender, Ford, 248, $1,600
18.(19) Randy Gentry, Chevrolet, 245, $1,600
19.(18) Mike Garvey, Ford, 244, $1,600
20.(20) Ken Butler, III, Chevrolet, 244, $1,600
21.(32) Michael Ritch, Ford, 243, $1,400
22.(13) Michael Faulk, Ford, 241, $1,400
23.(29) Mike Herman, Jr., Chevrolet, 241, $1,400
24.(30) Bobby Joe Woodley, Chevrolet, 240, $1,400
25.(10) David Pletcher, Ford, 238, $1,800
26.(15) J P Morgan, Chevrolet, 230, $1,200
27.(1) Shane Huffman, Ford, 190, $2,200
28.(25) Andrew Rogers, Ford, 186, $1,200
29.(22) Kirk Leone, Ford, 155, $1,200
30.(9) Mart Nesbitt, Ford, 144, $1,200
31.(27) Larry Wilcox, Chevrolet, 125, $1,200
32.(31) Forrest Urban, Jr., Pontiac, 4, $1,200
Brad Rogers was back behind the wheel of his #29 and came home third... but it was far from uneventful.
“I’m extremely happy with the way I ran tonight,” said Brad. “I am running a limited deal and the way the last three races have gone, I couldn’t be any happier. We just needed a little bit more time to get by them cats. I will take third-place any day. Clay and I were digging for a one-two finish. We have not had one yet, but we have been close. One of these days the No. 29 will out in front.”
It wasn’t all peaches and cream for Brad on Saturday night however. He had a coming together with the night’s polesitter Shane Huffman on lap 29. The contact sent Huffman into the turn-one wall and eventually to a 27th-place finish.