Jeff Fultz made it two for two at Kentucky Motor Speedway Saturday evening winning the Kentucky 150 for his fifth trip to victory lane in 2003 and his 16th career NASCAR short track win.
Finishing behind Fultz's C & C Boiler/Cleaver Brooks Chevrolet was Jason Hogan with a career best finish, series points leader Charlie Bradberry, Terry Mason Jr. and Dusty Williams with his career best series finish.
"This is a tight little race track but a good race track," said Fultz after the race. "We have been very fortunate this year but we do not come to a race to run second. We are after another championship and we are right where we need to be going into the last race," continued Fultz.
"The only place you can pass on this track is in the corners and you just have to wait for the right time to make a move. We just tried to be patient and when the opening came we were able to get around Hogan. There was some beating and banging going on tonight but that is just good Saturday night short track racing," chuckled Fultz.
Louisville, Ky. native Keith Gardner earned his first career Bud Pole Award breaking the existing qualifying mark set in June when the series visited this track for the first time since 1988. Gardner's Owens Motorsports Chevrolet was clocked at 15.632 Secs (86.361 mph).
With the series inversion procedure, Gardner pulled an eight putting A. J. Frank's Thunder Island Chevrolet at the point for the start the race. Chris Prince was outside front row with his Land O'Frost Lunch Meats/Uncle Yammy's Grillin Sauce Chevrolet.
Frank took the point at the start of the race with Williams, John Wilkinson, Mason and Hogan on his back bumper. Prince's car pushed high between turns one and two at the start and he got shuffled back to eighth quickly.
Frank led the freight train of cars through the first 36 laps until Wilkinson was able to get the nose of his car inside of Frank's Chevrolet in turn 1 and grab the point. Wilkinson pretty much had the field in tow with Hogan and Fultz looking for an opening to take the lead. That came for Hogan when he was able to get the nose of his car on the inside of Wilkinson's car
in turns 1 and 2 on lap 135. The two cars rubbed allowing Fultz to go low on the backstretch inside Wilkinson and Hogan.
Wilkinson backed off as Hogan took the lead but then Wilkinson's machine and Frank's machine locked together with Wilkinson's C & W Drilling/Murphy Automotive Chevrolet spinning in a cloud of dust and dirt. He recovered in time as the caution waved for the seventh time.
The race was extended three laps when Frank's car spun in turn 4 setting up a green-white-checked finish with Fultz leading Hogan across the finish.
Rounding out the top ten finishers were Bud Pole winner Gardner, Cecil Chunn, Billy McGinnis, Greg Pope and Kevin Prince.
While the championship is up for grabs and will be decided at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on September 20, the Victory Circle Chassis Rookie-of-the-Year title will also be decided at Greenville between brother-in-laws Wilkinson and Mason. They are tied going into the final race. Whoever finishes ahead of the other will win the rookie title.
Fultz not only won the race but also improved the most positions to earn the POWERade "Power Move Of The Race" Award.
The series winds up the 2003 racing year at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on September 20, with a race originally scheduled for August 9 but postponed due to inclement weather.
The Kodak Southeast Series Awards Banquet will be held on October 24 at the Atlanta Airport Hilton honoring the series champion and all series drivers
John "Boy" Wilkinson dominated the event, but couldn't come home with the win.
Charlie Bradberry still leads the point standings heading into Greenville.