PROCUP LEFTOVERS: CONCORD by Jeremy Troiano
Sarvis Back?, ASA Champ Helps USAR Rookie, Mowery Pissed & More
HUFFMAN AMAZED AT HOW PEOPLE FUNCTION
Defending USAR ProCup Champion Shane Huffman finished exactly where he started, in seventh spot on Saturday night in Concord (NC), but that wasn't at all a sign of how his car was throughout the race.
“It was a tough night to say the least,” said a dejected Huffman after the race. “We had an awesome car. We were probably getting ready to take the lead from Bobby (Gill) then the caution came out. We were talking about what kind of changes to make under caution and the whole damn field pitted on us by surprise. That killed us. We got the lead and stayed out as long as we could but we were about to run out of gas so we had to come in an finally pit.”
Huffman was then actually sitting pretty, with fresher tires than anyone else and plenty of laps to make the ground up.
However, a couple of lapped cars stopped that charge after getting into Huffman and spinning him out as he was coming up through the field.
“The damn lapped cars damn near ran over us and knocked the left rear all out of whack. I know Brandon Collins (the guilty lapped car) and he is a good kid and I've never had a problem with him before, but I don't know what he was thinking there. That was just stupid. I just don't understand how some people can even function in everyday life with some of the decisions they make.”
GOODSON AND ROGERS GET TOGETHER LATE
Hal Goodson made a triumphant return to the ProCup Series at Concord, driving the #2 for Ricky Benton and RBR Racing. As the race worn on, he looked to be in the catbird's seat, with four fresh tires and a car that had proved it could get up front.
However, Goodson was also the victim of a lapped car, but not just any lapped car, the outside pole sitting car of Brad Rogers, who led a ton of laps to start the race before battery problems forced him a lap down.
“He's a lap down and he's running like he is on the lead lap,” said Goodson after the race. “I know he was fast, but man. We get by some oil dry they had just laid down and he just runs us up into the wall. I came back and gave him a little shot and then we had to pit under green because of he got us into the wall.
“I just chalk that up to inexperience and being an idiot I guess.”
Shane Huffman's car slides through turn one at Concord during practice. (51 Photos)
Hal Goodson was pretty pissed off after the Concord event, and most of it was aimed at rookie Brad Rogers.
Rogers lost a battery and then an alternator after looking like the fastest car on the track early in the event. He jumped right to the lead from his second-starting spot and never looked back.
Goodson finished 16th, two laps down, while Rogers came home 18th, five laps off the pace.
SPENCER DRIVES SARVIS BACK INTO THE TOP-10
2002 ProCup Champion Jason Sarvis has had a rocky career since winning the title in 2002. He suffered through a tough season in 2003 and separated from car owner Ricky Benton at the end of the year. He went to Lakeland to open the 2004 season as a spectator and ended up being a spotter.
Finally, at New Smyrna Speedway, Sarvis was back, running a Jimmy Spencer-owned ride. In addition to his ride in the Southern Series, Sarvis will tutor Spencer's son Jimmy Jr. in the Northern Division.
At Concord, Sarvis got his first top-five in quite some time.
“That was fun,” said a giddy Sarvis on pit road after the race. “That was the the first 250 laps I think I've run since last year. We are getting our game together.
“I gotta thank Jimmy Spencer and our sponsor Bill Miller. I haven't been fortunate enough to meet Bill Miller yet, but when I do I am going to shake his hand.
"We got a good car, but that engine has more power than anything I’ve ever driven. If I can every get all the power to the ground, we’re going to win some races."
ASA CHAMP COACHES USAR ROOKIE
ProCup Rookie Tom Buzze has an interesting coach at Concord. When needed, the voice of three-time ASA Champion Butch Miller would come over the radio and give him advice on how to driver the tricky Concord track.
“He was a good coach,” said Buzze, who finished sixth in Concord. “He's been around. He was able to give me a bunch of pointers, especially through the dogleg. He saw something that I might want to try, he would tell me during the race. He was just trying to be a teacher. That man there has a lot of experience.”
Miller was there helping as a favor to a friend.
“Tom's dad does my transmissions, so I figured I'd come down here and offer a little help where I could. I suppose I could do that. Although I don't know if anyone will want to listen to an old guy like me.”
MOWERY, SATTERFIELD COME TOGETHER ON THE TRACK... A BUNCH
Don Satterfield felt like he was done some injustice by Billy Mowery.
“I gave him (Mowery) plenty of room coming off turn four and he just rammed me and spun me out," said Satterfield.
So Satterfield motored his way around the track and rammed into Mowery's car under caution, causing significant damage to the rear of Mower's car and instantly getting Satterfield parked for the rest of the evening. He was also called into the ProCup Command Center to have a meeting with race director Jimmy Wilson.
But Satterfield wasn't done and he tried to hit Mowery again before pulling it off into the pits.
“I did get into him and I felt bad about it, all until he rammed me twice while under caution,” said Mowery. “That was totally uncalled for. I got a good run off the corner and he didn't. I just got into him and I was sorry. I didn't have anything against him before, but I do now.”
Satterfield wasn't satisfied though.
"I wished I hit the front of his car instead of the rear and put him out of the race."
THE SILENT PREDATOR
David Pletcher has one ProCup win to his credit, but it doesn't seem like the other drivers put much stock in the fact that he will be a threat when it comes time to race. But they may have to give him much more credit now that he has former Bobby Gill crew chief Steve “Duze” Dluzniewski working with him.
ASA champion Butch Miller watches Tom Buzze (#16) practice at Concord.
This is the last time Jason Sarvis seemed really happy by a race car... celebrating his 2002 ProCup championship.
I didn't look forward to coming to Concord,” said Pletcher. “This is just my third time here and we had to use provisionals the last two times we were here. This time, we were up to third at one point. I think we did a pretty good job. I'm happy with it. We've run in the top-five all year long with this new car.
“Duze is different, but he is a good guy. He is a hard, hard worker. We are out there to mind our own business and hopefully, the last five laps, we will be there.
“I don't think a lot of these guys view me as a threat, but I think we can race with them.”
Pletcher finished fifth.
Who better than to talk to the rookies about what a tough track Concord is other than Clay Rogers, a veteran of the tri-oval half-mile? That is what the ProCup Series thought as well. But after the race, Rogers admitted that it didn't seem like the rookies listened too well.
“The last 50 laps it seem liked we ran 30 caution laps. I gave the rookie meeting this morning and I told them all that you have to drive this place like you are running 190 mph at charlotte. There weren’t very many people doing it tonight. When you have to have cars rolled off on rollback, it is a bad deal. They will respect this place when they come back. I learned that the hard way.
Clay Rogers' car carried this bullseye for Shane Huffman but the two never came together on the track this night.
Mowery (#17) was pissed that Sattterfield wrecked his car under caution.
David Pletcher is coming on strong with the help of crew chief Steve Dluzniesski.