The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

NASCAR Goody's Dash Series: American General Finance 100: Report

22 September 1997


HICKORY, NC - After only three weeks back at the reins of a NASCAR
Goody's Dash Series car, 1995 Series Champion, David Hutto of Rock
Hill, S.C. seems to have regained his championship form. The 20 year
old swept all the honors in Saturday night's American General Finance
100 at the Hickory Motor Speedway, in Hickory, N.C. and in doing so,
picked up his first Dash Series win since April 27, 1996.
Hutto got his No. 16 Love Chevrolet/Irmo Grading/Redline Graphics
Chevrolet off to a roaring start by posting an 83.383 mph lap in
15.128 seconds around the 0.363-mile oval to claim his first Busch
Pole Award of the season. Series point leader, Mike Swaim Jr. of High
Point, N.C. gave Hutto a strong challenge for the coveted inside front
row starting position but came up an imperceptible 1/1000 of a second
short in his attempt for the pole.

The six caution periods that slowed the event for 22 laps were a mixed
blessing for Hutto. The Haskell Willingham prepared Chevrolet had
developed an overheating problem early on in the event, and the slower
pace of the caution laps allowed time for the engine to cool off. The
down side was that David was dangerously close to several of the
incidents and only his quick reflexes kept him from being swept up in
the fray. Despite the overheating problem, Hutto had the strongest
entry on the track and was never seriously challenged.

While Hutto was able to build leads of a half second or more during
the long green flag periods, what was going on behind him was, what
will most likely turn out to be, the race for the 1997 NASCAR Goody's
Dash Series Championship.  Mike Swaim Jr. and Brian Sockwell, of Brown
Summit, N.C. fought door to door and bumper to bumper in their
respective bids for the championship crown. When the checkers fell,
Swaim had edged out Sockwell for the first runner-up spot and added an
extra five points to his slim point advantage over Sockwell.

Will Hobgood was not as fortunate as Hutto when it came to avoiding
incidents in this event. Hobgood was swept up into three of the six
incidents over the course of the event, but managed to recover from
all of them to stay on the lead lap and eventually, finish
fourth. Even Hobgood's son, Jake Hobgood found himself a victim of his
father's unnatural attraction to trouble on this evening. The father,
son tag team tagged each other while diving into turn three and
battling for position. The contact sent both of the Hobgoods into a
long synchronized slide through turn three and four. Jake was unable
to get his Pontiac refired in time to stay on the lead lap and
eventually finished sixth, one lap off the pace.

Dexter Canipe of Claremont, N.C. had just received official word of
his Winston Racing Series National Championship and was making his
first NASCAR Goody's Dash Series start in 1997 in Bill Ricker's No. 30
Ricker Trucking Pontiac. The newly crowned Champion celebrated his
coronation with a strong fifth place finish on the lead lap.

Rookie point leader, Charles Powell III of Goose Creek, S.C. had to
take a provisional starting position in this event after the No. 72
Ocean Conversions and Mobility/Empire Business Pontiac blew an engine
late in practice and was unable to complete the engine change in time
to qualify. As the green flag sent the 28 car field on their way, the
mechanical woes continued for the Alibi's Race Team forcing an
uncharacteristic 19th place finish for Powell.  But this was not a
real good race for most of the 1997 rookie contenders. Doc Brewer of
High Point, N.C. was the highest finishing rookie. Brewer brought the
Hank Jones Sports Designs/John Boy and Billy Racing Pontiac home in
the 11th position for Rookie of the Race honors. Greg Dodgens of
Easly, S.C. and Ricky Bryant of Linwood, N.C. were the next two Rookie
contenders in this race, finishing 13th and 15th, respectively.

In addition to Hutto's $300 Busch Pole Award, the American General
Finance 100 Winners Purse and Series Contingency Awards amounting to
$2150, the "Rock Hill Rocket" picked up his second consecutive Halfway
Leader Award. Excel Telecommunications independent representative
Jerry Rudsill put up the $150 award to the driver who was leading at
the halfway point of this event.

The American General Finance 100 for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series
will be televised Wednesday, September 24th at 8:30 pm on ESPN2.

The next event for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series is The Discount Auto
Parts 150 scheduled for October 4, 1997 at USA International Speedway
in Lakeland, Fl. This event will mark the first NASCAR sanctioned
event ever held at the beautiful 3/4-mile speedway. The event will be
preceded by golf tournaments, personal appearances by many of the
Series' stars, show car appearances and many, many more activities for
fans and racers alike.

By NASCAR Public Relations