USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series racing this year has been kind of a broken record.
In the Northern Division, its been all about one name: Benny Gordon. In the Southern Division, there have been two names: Clay Rogers and Shane Huffman.
But listen close and there has been another broken record.
races,” said Gill. “We got wrecked last week and that put us way behind the eight-ball. We brought a different car here tonight and it seemed to work well.
“We’ve just been going over our notes. That’s really the only difference. The four springs that are on there are the same four springs that were on there when we were here last year. I made the call today. We knew what we wanted and we knew what the car was going to do.”
“Hopefully, this isn’t the first and only win this year. I hope we can get two more since we’ve got two more races here before the (Southern) year is out. I’d like to win a lot more.”
For a while though, it looked like it might be the same broken record.
Bobby Gill took a break from Victory Lane celebrations to rest on a very hot and humid night at Southern National. (51 photos)
Huffman, who hasn’t won for quite some time this year, jumped out front after starting second to pole sitter (and Southern National track owner) Kirk Leone.
Huffman dominated the first 68 laps of the race until getting passed by high-line lover Michael Ritch. Ritch, who always seems to run the high line at every track, got by Huffman and paced the next several laps before Huffman regained control. Ritch eventually got back to the lead as the two put on a side-by-side battle that had the fans on their feet. Behind them, Rogers was flying up through the field.
Shane Huffman (#88) and Michael Ritch (#28) raced for the front most of the night.
”Bobby and his team will get theirs soon enough.” “Bobby is right there with us.” “I hate that happened to Bobby because he’s always fast.” These are all things that both Rogers and Huffman have said from Victory Lane all year long referring to Bobby Gill.
Well, on Saturday night, Gill was finally able to say the same things about his closest competitors.
“I finally got mine,” shouted Gill from Victory Lane. Ok, well, maybe not. The old-timer doesn’t speak in that kind of lingo. Plus, he was too busy resting after the race, another victim of the high heat and high humidity at Southern National Raceway Park on Saturday night.
“We’ve just been behind the eight-ball the last four or five
“There might be some experience in getting through the field. I knew our car was good. The biggest thing tonight was throttle control off the corners. You could buzz the tires pretty easy here. We were a little bit loose on the first set of tires. The second set was great. When we got by Shane there, we just kind of rode. I thought he was probably riding too to save something for the end.”
The broken record continued post-race, however, this time, it was Rogers and Huffman praising Gill.
“Bobby’s been there all year long and I guess it was finally his time,” said Rogers, who’d won the last two Southern Division races and who hadn’t finished outside the top two since the third race of the year.
Gill's #06 was fast all night, but he showed his full hand near the end.
Sears 250 Results
Southern National Raceway Park, Kenly, NC
1. Bobby Gill
2. Clay Rogers
3. Shane Huffman
4. Michael Ritch
5. Jay Fogleman
6. Kirk Leone
7. Justin Hobgood
8. Joey Logano
9. Trevor Bayne
10. Jody Lavender
11. Billy Bigley
12. Brett Butler
13. Shane Wallace
14. Clay Jones
15. Ricky Turner
16. Mike Herman
17. Wayne Willard
18. Mike Hampton
19. Dusty Williams
20. Charlie Bradberry
21. Mardy Lindley
22. A.J. Fike
23. Dana White
24. Randy Gentry
25. Daniel Johnson
26. Michelle Theriault
27. Ben Stancill
28. Andrew Rogers
29. George Brunnhoelzl III
30. Matt Carter
31. Jeff Fultz
32. Mike Mason
After the only round of pit stops, Huffman wasted little time getting back to the lead.
However, this time, Gill was coming.
And some rain.
With the rain clouds over the backstretch wall, Gill lit a fire under his butt and in his #06 car. On lap 137, Gill passed Huffman relatively easy. From there on, he’d never be challenged.
“(The crew) might have said something about the rain, but I didn’t listen,” said Gill. “I had a good rhythm going. Once we were able to catch Shane, we were doing alright. There were a couple of lapped cars making it tough on us. The #3 car (Daniel Johnson) has been a pain in the butt here lately. He about wrecked us one time.
“This is second twice-in-a-row for us here at this track, but it was a good night. The lapped cars just kept messing us up. We restarted right behind Shane (Huffman) there after the pit stop and we went down into the first corner and one of the car stops and the whole inside lapped down line went by us right there. We lost six or seven spots right there and that could have been the whole difference. It’s tight out there. You are at the mercy of the guy in front of you and what line that he picks. It seems like wherever they went, they picked my lane and it was hell getting around them.”
Huffman, who faded to third after Rogers made a late pass for second, also knew it was about Bobby’s time.
“We had a third-place car and that is where we ran,” said Huffman. “Bobby and his guys have been working hard and it finally paid off for them tonight. Clay and his guys have been working hard and it’s shown all year long. We just have to work a little harder. I don’t like getting beat.”
Ritch brought his ill-handling car home fourth, with Jay Fogleman coming home fifth.