Hooters ProCup Series competes at Jennertown
So it wasn’t a replay of the Robert E. Lee’s venture into Gettysburg, but the Hooters ProCup Series, chock full of southern drivers invaded Jennerstown Speedway for its first race north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Stacy Puryear of South Boston, Va. claimed the checkered flag with an impressive run for his first career victory in the USAR Hooters ProCup Naturally Fresh 200.
‘It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had,’ Puryear said. ‘We were rookies last year in the Southern Division and we finished second one time. All I know is that this is just an awesome feeling.’
Donnie Hill of Columbus, Ohio finished second followed buy Mike Herman Jr. of Kannapolis, NC. in third. Mardy Lindley of Taylors, SC was fourth and Mart Nesbitt of Asheville, NC rounded out the top-five.
‘This is a great deal for us,’ Hill said. ‘To finish second to a guy like Stacy with experience is good.’
Bill Plemons Jr. of Locust Grove, Ga. Was one of the southern drivers who made the trip north and he finished 22nd, 14 laps down after experiencing trouble early in the race.
‘I’m going to run all of it,’ Plemons said of the new Northern Division. ‘There are a lot of similarities with the Busch cars, not so much with ARCA, but there are some excellent drivers up here. Given the day that they have a car they are going to be tough.’
Plemons qualified third and was running up front but on lap 52 got squeezed into the wall on the back straight and lost his front right tire.
After coming into the pits and changing tires, Plemons went back out but came right back in after one lap. Plemons returned but didn’t become factor.
‘Some people asked me about coming up here to race with the northern guys.’ Plemons said. ‘I told them that either they are going to teach us something or we are going to show them something. One of the two.
‘I hot lapped with a bunch of guys from the north and they keep their lines real well,’ Plemons added. ‘We have some youth out here, we have some new cars out here and we have some older cars and some experienced drivers.’
Overall Plemons had a positive view of Jennerstown as a racing facility and even compared it to the Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway.
‘Each track has its own characteristics when the sun goes down, things cool down a bit more here,’ Plemons said. ‘It’s kind of like our fall here during the spring so we know how to adjust. Basically this track is nothing more than a Montgomery Speedway. This is a little more fancy and everything.
‘One thing I respect about the northern guys is that they drive what they have. If they are fast they go with it. If not, they don’t do anything stupid.’
Lindley didn’t have things going his way early on in the evening. He thought he had one of the fastest cars in the field but had an engine let go and he had to turn to his spare car.
‘I think it’s going to be a pretty good deal with the new series,’ Lindley said. ‘I’m pretty impressed by the cars here. We were having a great day, I thought we had the fastest car until we blew the motor up and had to use the backup car. It seems like some of the northern drivers are not yet up to speed, but give them a few races and I’m sure they will be there no problem.’
Charlie Ford of Charles City, Va. Is a veteran driver who will take part in more northern races than racing in the south.
‘Over the winter I got on the Internet and looked at the mileage and it was lower miles to run the northern series,’ Ford said. ‘I’ll run a few southern races too, but the travel made my decision right there. I came up Thursday a week ago and tested and I fell in love with the track right away.’
There are long sweeping turns. You get used to running on a track like this and you just let the car roll through the turns.’