Talladega: Race summary
Segars so good in Talladega. TALLADEGA AL (10-5-02) - Hungry for his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory, Keith Segars, in the Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q Chevrolet, filled up with a huge victory in the 40th running of the Food World 300 Saturday ...
Segars so good in Talladega.
TALLADEGA AL (10-5-02) - Hungry for his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory, Keith Segars, in the Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q Chevrolet, filled up with a huge victory in the 40th running of the Food World 300 Saturday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway while Frank Kimmel clinched his fourth RE/MAX Series national championship in five seasons.
Segars held off the Talladega train for the final 36 laps to earn the hard-fought victory in his 30th RE/MAX Series attempt.
"I don't know what to say," said Segars after the race. "It feels so good. I haven't felt this way before. We went out in the final practice and were just a little off. We made a decision to change the gear and they told me my restarts wouldn't be as good as what we really wanted. But Larry McClure (team owner) promised me if I ever got it into fourth gear, it would really go."
Getting it to go was not a problem for Segars who led 62 of 113 laps throughout the 300-mile race. A little advice from Winston Cup driver Mike Skinner the night before probably didn't hurt either.
"Skinner sat me down last night and gave me a lot of ideas and suggestions, and he has been wonderful to work with," added Segars. " I just listened to him and trusted him and everything went wonderful."
Things weren't too bad for Kimmel either whose third place finish, from the 35th starting position, netted the Jeffersonville, Indiana driver another well-earned title.
"It's a wonderful feeling for sure," said Kimmel. "This championship is just a product of this whole team. In this series, this Advance Auto Parts-Pork team is consistently the best there is and I think are record proves that. My guys are the best and it shows every week."
ARCA RE/MAX Rookie of the Year Chad Blount was a factor all day and charged from the 36th starting position to finish second in the APP Gas Dodge.
"Second place; we'll take that," said Blount. "When you have those two yellow stripes (rookie stripes) on your back bumper cover, that don't always get you a whole lot. We just had to hold our own line. If we got out of line, we couldn't get any help."
Blount was glued to Segars' back bumper in the remaining laps with Kimmel in tow however each time Blount stepped out to challenge, he could bring no drafting partners along for the needed push.
Rick Carelli, in the RE/MAX Int'l Chevrolet, raced from the 17th starting position to fourth in the final running order ahead of Jason Jarrett who steered the Biomet-Damon RV Pontiac to a fifth place finish.
Chase Montgomery, running second at the time, was very much in contention to win leading 27 laps throughout the race in his father Ray Montgomery's Pontiac until he got a boot from behind from Michael Vergers on a late-race restart. The collision sent Montgomery's machine hard into the outside retaining wall ending his day just 20 laps shy of the finish. As a result, Montgomery picked up the Landrum Spring Hard Luck honors. In addition, Montgomery won the Loctite Halfway Leader award for leading at the halfway point. He was not injured in the accident.
Old Milwaukee polesitter Bobby Gerhart led the first 13 laps and was in contention most of the way until his BodyCote.com Chevrolet overheated after 95 laps completed. Vergers also led 11 laps during the relatively caution-free event that saw 8 lead changes among the aforementioned four drivers. In all, four cautions, all for minor incidents, slowed the event for 20 laps while the rest was filled with your typical Talladega two, three and four wide, green-flag racing.
Richard Mitchell finished a solid sixth in the Coach USA-Mountaineer Gaming Pontiac with Mark Gibson, in the Williams Brothers Lumber Pontiac, trailing in seventh. In addition, Gibson, who started 25th, picked up the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions. Vergers finished eighth in the Ken Schrader Racing Pontiac ahead of Robby Benton who finished ninth in the MAC Tools Ford. Billy Venturini, in the Sports Authority Pontiac, finished tenth.
CURRENT ARCA RE/MAX SERIES POINTS AFTER TALLADEGA:
1) Frank Kimmel 5680
2) Chad Blount 5170
3) Jason Jarrett 4695
4) Chase Montgomery 4400
5) Shelby Howard 4350
6) Billy Venturini 4310
7) Ron Cox 4130
7) Mark Gibson 4130
9) Andy Belmont 4105
10) Norm Benning 3880