Clay Rogers became the only driver in USARacing Pro Cup Series history to win from the pole at Greenville Pickens (S.C.) Speedway (GPS) in tonight's Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 250.
Rogers, driver of the No. 16 USG Sheetrock Ford Fusion, nabbed win number 30 of his USAR Pro Cup career in a 0.364-second victory over Chase Elliott at the half-mile oval. The Mooresville, N.C. native, Rogers, led a total of 173 laps during the event, as well as both practice sessions Saturday.
"I would never have though that we could have run side-by-side well," said Rogers. "Yesterday we might have been a fifth or sixth place car."
"You're just waiting on the other shoe to drop and for the car to go away when you're out front," said Rogers about the race. "We couldn't have run side-by-side if it wasn't for class act people, like J.P [Morgan] and Chase [Elliott]."
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Red Bull Ford, pulled off a his best finish of the USAR Pro Cup season in tonight's race, finishing second. Elliott started in the third position, but a mid-race pit stop on lap 127 forced him to battle back from the sixth spot.
A late race caution on lap 223 worked to Elliott's advantage as front-runner J.P. Morgan ran out of gas, giving Elliott a clear shot at the lead. Elliott and Rogers were nose to tail for the last ten laps, but Elliott wasn't able to get a clean shot for the win.
Much like Elliott, third-place finisher A.J. Frank also had setbacks in the 250-lap feature. Frank, driver of the No. 56 SpeedCo Chevrolet, spent several caution laps in the pits with the hood up after MacHill Motorsports teammate Brandon Ward suffered early mechanical issues.
Frank, of Bluffton, S.C., recorded his eighth top-five finish this season in his first start in USAR Pro Cup cars at GPS.
As the only currently active driver who has won in a Pro Cup race at GPS before, Jeff Agnew finished fourth tonight. Earlier in the day during the Rookie meeting, Agnew, a Floyd, Va. native, gave his fellow drivers a few words of advice.
"I don't know what to tell you about this place. The bottom is the quickest way around and everyone's gonna want it," said Agnew.
Rounding out the top five is fellow Virginia native, Caleb Holman, driver of the No. 75 Food Country Dodge. Holman started tenth for the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 250, giving him his sixth top-5 finish of the season.
The 2010 USARacing Pro Cup Champion will be crowned at the final race of the season at South Boston (Va.) Speedway on Nov. 6. For more information on the Championship Weekend at South Boston visit www.usarprocup.com.
The USAR Pro Cup Series, formerly Hooters Pro Cup, is owned by Interstate Investment Group (IIG) and is based in Concord, N.C. For more information on USARacing, visit www.usarprocup.com.