SES: Myrtle Beach preview
Lavender, Gordon and Prince head home to Myrtle Beach Speedway with Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring. MYRTLE BEACH, S. C. (June 28 2002) - Jody Lavender of nearby Hartsville, S. C., Benny Gordon, Ladson, S. C. and Kevin Prince, ...
Lavender, Gordon and Prince head home to Myrtle Beach Speedway with Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring.
MYRTLE BEACH, S. C. (June 28 2002) - Jody Lavender of nearby Hartsville, S. C., Benny Gordon, Ladson, S. C. and Kevin Prince, Wilmington, N. C. always enjoy coming back to their home track with the Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring.
But for this year's stop at the huge .538-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway, Lavender will have extra incentive to put his H & R Block/Lavender Carpets Chevrolet in the Myrtle Beach Speedway victory lane for the Hills Bros. 250 presented by Lavender's Discount Carpets.
"We have raced only once at the beach with the series," said Lavender who finished runner-up for rookie honors last year. "Our run was not good and we finished 16th after starting fourth. And this year we are only 14th in points after five races but we have had one top five and two top ten runs. We really feel much more confident this year and we have been running well."
"I certainly would like to have my first win in a race sponsored by our carpet company and my dad," said Lavender.
Lavender is not the only driver looking for his first win. Gordon and Prince have been close to their first stop in victory lane but either mechanical problems or not enough laps have precluded that first checkered flag.
For Gordon it was a heartbreaker last year at Myrtle Beach. He was running second to Tim Sauter when Sauter's car lost a wheel on the white flag lap and was able to get across the line ahead of Gordon.
Gordon is off to a fast start in 2002 with his Johnny's Haulmark Trailers Pontiac. In five races he has been a top five finisher twice along with three top ten runs.
"We had good runs at Greenville-Pickens and Nashville Superspeedway, said Gordon, and we were running in the top three till the last lap at Nashville. Our time will come and with our experience at this track we should definitely be in the hunt."
Prince is hoping this event will change his racing fortunes. He was on the verge of winning at Bristol last year until a late race accident, while he was leading, ended his night. Prince has one top five and top ten run this year.
All these drivers will be chasing series points leader Charlie Bradberry who shows no sign of having a sophomore jinx. He is the only driver to complete 100% of the laps run through the first five races and has the most top five finishes with four and five top ten finishes to his credit. Bradberry is also looking for his first NASCAR victory and has been in the hunt for a win on the last lap in the last three races.
Another outstanding points battle is ensuing with the Rookie-of-the-Year Program led by Jason Hogan of Cleveland, Ga. Five drivers are competing for this honor in 2002 with Hogan holding a five point edge over Joe Aramendia of San Antonio, Tx. and Jarod Robie of Candia, N. H. Dusty Williams of Savannah, Ga. trails Hogan by just seven points with Johnny Brazier of LickSkillet, Al. in fifth, 14 points behind Hogan.
"We need to turn around our racing season, said Williams. "We started our first series event strong finishing on the lead lap at South Boston but yet finished 15th. Then we went to Greenville-Pickens Speedway where we have many laps and finished 10th and on the lead lapbut since then we have been struggling. We are racing at tracks my team has never seen before, especially the superspeedway tracks, but believe me I wouldn't trade the racing experience I am getting for anything. We have some super short track drivers on the Hills Bros. All Pro Series and every race we learn something new."
"Sure we might be disappointed after starting strong and thinking we had the world by the tail but we can only learn and get better just like everyone else."
Action will start for series drivers with an autograph session on July 12 at the NASCAR Café in Myrtle Beach located on Hwy 17-A ByPass. Drivers will have their Hills Bros. All Pro Series cars on display starting at 4:00 pm that day with the autograph session taking place inside the Café.
On Saturday the Hills Bros. All Pro Series cars will take to the track for practice at 1:00 pm with qualifying set for 6:00 pm. The Hills Bros. 250 presented by Lavender's Discount Carpet will fire off at 8:30 pm.