Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2001

Gas gamble pays as Parker claims Auto Club 300

April 29, 2001

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— Hank Parker Jr. gambled and won Saturday, running the final 62 of the 150 laps in the Auto Club 300 Busch Series race on a tank of gas.

With everyone on his Cicci-Welliver Racing crew holding their breath, the engine in Parker's Chevrolet never faltered as he led the last 10 laps at California Speedway and beat runner-up Jeff Purvis to the finish line by 5.458 seconds about a quarter of the 2-mile oval.

In fact, Parker had just enough gas left to celebrate his first victory in 72 starts by spinning a couple of doughnuts on the banked track before his engine started to sputter and died.

"Believe me, I can do better doughnuts than that," Parker said, laughing. "I just didn't have enough gas to do it right."

The 26-year-old driver, son of a professional fishing great, credited crew chief Billy Nacewicz with making the winning call.

"He told me to stay on the race track and that won us the race," Parker said. "It was a gutsy call. But we decided before the race, if we could gamble we were going to go for it."

There were only two caution flags during the race, both of them coming within a seven-lap period. Parker and Purvis were the only drivers to pit during both of those yellows.




1. (26) Hank Parker Jr., Chevrolet, 150, $87,545.

2. (20) Jeff Purvis, Pontiac, 150, $65,150.

3. (4) Jeff Green, Ford, 150, $66,450.

4. (8) Kevin Lepage, Ford, 150, $34,425.

5. (5) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 150, $32,025.

6. (3) Greg Biffle , Ford, 150, $35,625.

7. (24) Jimmy Spencer, Chevrolet, 150, $22,925.

8. (2) Tony Raines, Chevrolet, 150, $28,075.

9. (7) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 150, $19,600.

10. (9) Mike McLaughlin, Pontiac, 150, $31,750.

11. (12) Tim Fedewa, Chevrolet, 150, $31,525.

12. (14) Elton Sawyer, Ford, 150, $25,625.

13. (18) David Green, Chevrolet, 150, $25,400.

14. (1) Bobby Hamilton Jr., Chevrolet, 150, $26,720.

15. (16) Jason Keller, Ford, 150, $29,995.

16. (33) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 149, $22,770.

17. (17) Todd Bodine, Chevrolet, 149, $22,620.

18. (13) Chad Little, Chevrolet, 149, $19,495.

19. (31) Scott Wimmer , Pontiac, 149, $19,370.

20. (22) Matt Kenseth, Chevrolet, 149, $18,025.

21. (30) Larry Foyt , Chevrolet, 149, $19,120.

22. (21) Ashton Lewis Jr., Chevrolet, 149, $18,995.

23. (6) Mike Skinner, Chevrolet, 148, $20,125.

24. (15) Christian Elder, Ford, 148148, $18,720.

25. (28) Tim Sauter , Chevrolet, 148, $18,595.

26. (23) Kevin Grubb, Chevrolet, 148, $19,550.

27. (36) David Donohue , Chevrolet, 147, $18,325.

28. (25) Jay Sauter, Chevrolet, 147, $19,200.

29. (29) Rich Bickle, Chevrolet, 146, $19,075.

30. (11) Randy LaJoie, Chevrolet, 146, $21,550.

31. (41) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 145, $18,825.

32. (19) Marty Houston , Chevrolet, 145, $15,700.

33. (32) Shane Hall, Ford, 145, $18,575.

34. (35) Kelly Denton, Chevrolet, 127, $15,470.

35. (37) Robby Faggart, Ford, 106, crash, $16,260.

36. (38) Jeff Streeter, Pontiac, 96, brakes, $15,250.

37. (27) Jamie McMurray , Chevrolet, 94, vibration, $18,140.

38. (10) Kenny Wallace, Chevrolet, 75, overheating, $18,130.

39. (39) Stanton Barrett, Ford, 13, vibration, $14,995.

40. (42) Sean Woodside, Chevrolet, 12, transmission, $14,960.

41. (43) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 6, electrical, $14,925.

42. (40) Jeff Fuller, Chevrolet, 5, vibration, $14,890.

43. (34) Mike Chase, Chevrolet, 3, vibration, $14,855.

Race Statistics

Winner's Average Speed: 155.957 mph.

Time of Race: 1 hour, 55 minutes, 25 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 5.458.

Caution Flags: 2 for 8 laps.

Lead Changes: 19 among 12 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B.Hamilton Jr. 1-3; T.Raines 4-6; G.Biffle 7-45; K.Lepage 46-47; T.Fedewa 48; S.Wimmer 49-50; L.Foyt 51; K.Grubb 52; G.Biffle 53-57; J.Nemechek 58-67; G.Biffle 68-76; J.Nemechek 77; G.Biffle 78-81; J.Green 82-93; G.Biffle 94-101; J.Green 102; G.Biffle 103-127; J.Green 128-135; K.Harvick 136-140; H.Parker Jr. 141-149.

Point Standings

1, G.Biffle, 1,454. 2, K.Harvick, 1,451. 3, J.Green, 1,410. 4, J.Keller, 1,358. 5, M.McLaughlin, 1,327. 6, J.Purvis, 1,240. 7, T.Bodine, 1,215. 8, J.Johnson, 1,190. 9, T.Raines, 1,133. 10, C.Little, 1,103.

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