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NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Race Report: Greased Lightning Cleaner 150

10 November 1997

NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series
Greased Lightning Cleaner 150 Race Report
Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex
November 8, 1997


HOMESTEAD, FL - Denver, N.C.'s Hank Parker, Jr. powered to his second NASCAR 
Slim Jim All Pro Series win of 1997 as he earned a $13,975 payday by winning 
the $89,900 Greased Lightning Cleaner 150 at Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports 
Complex on Saturday afternoon, November 8. Also at stake was the NASCAR Slim 
Jim All Pro Series points championship and the outcome was not settled until 
the checkered flag waved. Hal Goodson, who hails from Darlington, S.C., 
earned the '97 title by just two points over Milford, Oh.'s Jeff Fultz, as 
the race played out before a live television audience on WTBS.

Concord, N.C.'s Sean Studer, battling for the runner-up spot in the Port City 
Racing Rookie of the Year chase, surprised everyone including himself as he 
picked up his first career Busch Pole Award during Friday afternoon's 
qualifying session. Wheeling his Old El Paso Mexican Style Foods/Food Lion 
Chevrolet, Studer, along with the entire starting field, broke the track 
record on the reconfigured 1.5 mile superspeedway. He earned the opportunity 
to lead the 40-car field to the green flag with a lap of 37.572 seconds 
equaling a speed of 143.724 mph. Studer became the only rookie to win a pole 
in 1997, and the 14th different polesitter of the year as well.

The 20-year-old got a good start to lead the first lap but outside front row 
starter Mike Garvey took over on the second circuit and paced the field until 
the first caution waved on lap 14, which occurred as a result of a spin by 
Kevin Prince. Prince was able to regroup and keep going but the field was 
bunched up for the lap 18 restart. Just five laps later Parker outmuscled 
Garvey for the top spot and it was apparent that his Delco Voyager 
Batteries/Duragloss/NGK Chevrolet was strong and would figure into the final 
outcome of the 150-mile event.

Parker led from lap 23 to lap 71, giving up the top spot when he pitted for 
right side tires and fuel. Lake Wales, Fla.'s Mario Gosselin, who was having 
a solid run in his W.J. Plemons Insurance Chevrolet in his first ever run at 
Homestead, assumed the lead until he pitted during the event's second caution 
period. The slow go period came about as a result of a broken camshaft on 
Carl Long's mount, which precluded him from getting back to the pit area. 
Parker narrowly escaped going a lap down to Gosselin, being saved by the 
caution flag but several others who had pitted were not so fortunate.

When green flag racing resumed on lap 83 Gosselin regained the lead over then 
leader Robert Burroughs but Parker retook command for good on lap 84. Green 
flag conditions continued until the third and final caution waved on lap 91, 
brought out as a result of debris on the track. Several drivers that were 
gambling on fuel mileage were forced to pit prior to the caution and ended up 
a lap down as the caution occurred.

When the green flag waved on lap 96 a four-lap dash ensued, with only Parker, 
Gosselin and Bobby Hamilton, Sr. being lead-lap cars racing for the win. 
Parker was simply too strong and edged away to a 1.814 second win. Gosselin 
had a tire going down allowing Hamilton to move his Pontiac into the second 
position, with Gosselin settling for a third place finish as the last car on 
the lead lap. 
"We had that caution with five laps to go, my heart was in my throat, I 
didn't know what was going to happen. Mario got beside me in three and four 
and I thought oh no but once we got through three and four I knew I was ok," 
stated Parker after the event. "The new configuration is awesome, it's so 
smooth, and you can race others better now," the winner added.

Scot Walters and Derrick Gilchrist rounded out the top five while Brian 
Sockwell, Larry Raines, Billy Bigley, Jr., Ron Young and Steven Christian 
filled out the top 10, all having completed 99 laps.

Goodson and Fultz waged their own private midpack war for the points 
championship as each experienced difficulties during the event to finish 16th 
and 17th respectively. Goodson appeared to lose any shot at his second series 
championship when he cut down a left rear tire on lap eight. For the better 
part of the event he ran one lap down after a tire change, while Fultz was 
executing a consistent top 15 run. All that changed on lap 72 when Fultz 
entered the pits too quickly during a green flag pit stop on lap 72. The 
JaniKing Chevrolet driver was assessed a 15 second penalty, causing him to 
lose a lap to the leaders. With the caution waving just five laps later, the 
two points leaders were then on the same lap.

Through the balance of the event Goodson scratched and clawed to close on 
Fultz, ultimately finishing one position behind him. This produced a two 
point victory margin for the driver of the Greased Lightning Cleaner/Black's 
Tire Chevrolet, and earned the Citadel graduate a second NASCAR Slim Jim All 
Pro Series Championship in three years. Ironically, when Goodson won the 
championship in 1995 he also cut down a tire during the last race and had to 
battle back in a similar fashion during that event.

"In '95 we cut a tire down, lost two laps but had a bigger (points) lead 
then, I managed to hold on for the championship," Goodson stated. Goodson also
noted, "At the first of the year we had a local car dealer, Burdette 
Chevrolet, helping me out some. Along about July Greased Lightning came along 
to help us out.I'm glad we stuck with it, it was a lot of fun all year, 
racin' with Jeff (Fultz) for the championship."

Ron Young wound up third in the points standings while Parker and 1997 Port 
City Racing Rookie of the Year David Reutimann secured the fourth and fifth 
points positions. The sixth through 10th points positions went to Christian, 
Gilchrist, Mike Harmon, Nipper Alsup and Raines.

Steve Mendenhall and Bobby Hamilton, Jr. earned the Port City Rookie of the 
Race and Race Runner-up honors after notching 11th and 12th place finishes 
respectively. Reutimann had already locked up the rookie title but the 
runner-up position was undecided until the checkered flag waved. Studer 
secured the runner-up spot over Steven Howard and Long.

Ronnie Carrier earned his second Jasper Engines & Transmissions Crew Chief 
Challenge award of 1997 as he guided Parker's journey to victory lane. 
Young's Crew Chief Larry Rapp earned the season long championship over 
Goodson's head wrench Delbert Ray.

A final celebration will take place on Friday evening, January 2, 1998, at 
the Atlanta Airport Hilton, the new site of the annual awards banquet.

By NASCAR Public Relations