Little Bobby had a strong run in today’s FirstPlus Financial ARCA 200 at Daytona. He spent the closing laps looking for a way to get past leader Bobby Gerhart. He tried high and low, but was blocked both ways.
Finally, with four laps to go, Bobby tried going high in turn two, but got too high. Shawna Robinson was able to slip underneath him. The two ran side by side for a lap before Shawna was able to slip by. Then, a wreck on the front straight brought out the caution with only 2 laps to go. The race finished under caution, forcing Bobby to have to settle for a third place finish.
The Sadler Racing Shoney’s Inn was solid all day. After starting 12th, Bobby ran in the top ten through the first half of the race. Bobby had to make a quick move when the leaders wrecked coming off turn four.
Mark Gibson got loose, and spun around. Several cars were spinning through the tri-oval, causing Bobby to swerve into the grass to avoid hitting the spinning cars. Bobby was able to maintain control and get back on the track without incident.
The second caution waved when Shane Yoder lost control directly in front of Bobby. The 66 car got loose going into turn one and spun to the inside of the track. Lil’ Bobby was able to get by the spinning car before it slid back up the banking, into the outside wall.
During this caution, most of the leaders pitted for tires and fuel. The Sadler crew chose to replace all four tires while most teams only replaced two. Shawna Robinson’s crew only added fuel, no tires. Bobby went in to pit road in 5th and came out in 15th due to the four tire stop.
Running back in the pack, Bobby was running in a tight three wide pack when Jimmy Kitchens slipped coming through the tri-oval. Bobby went to the outside as several cars checked up. Bobby brushed the wall, but was able to keep his momentum.
Within a few laps, Bobby worked his way through traffic up to the lead pack. With 33 laps to go, Bobby made a strong move, going three-wide on the back straight to take second place behind Bobby Gerhart. Bobby rode on Gerhart’s back bumper for a number of laps, sizing up his competition.
The caution flag again waved with 23 laps to go. During this caution, a freak accident occurred. The number 51 car of Joe Cooksey was behind the pace car, when apparently, the pace car came to an abrupt stop. Cooksey locked his brakes and slammed into the back of the pace car. Fortunately everyone was okay.
After the restart, there was a four car breakaway that consisted of Bobby Gerhart in the lead followed by Bobby Hamilton Jr., Ron Barfield and Shawna Robinson.
With seven laps to go Shawna Robinson made a strong move on Barfield, and quickly closed up on Little Bobby’s back bumper.
Bobby tried desperately to pass Gerhart, but was thwarted at every attempt. Gerhart just would not open up the bottom of the track.
When Bobby tried going high, he opened the door for Robinson to slip underneath, forcing Bobby Jr. back to third.
Had the race not ended under caution, the result likely would have been different. Shawna would have likely made an attempt to pace Gerhart, which could have lead to a three way battle for the lead.
The Sadler team is pleased with Bobby’s performance. The experience gained today will help Bobby fight traffic in next Saturday’s Busch Grand National race. The teams has high hopes for the Busch season. Testing at Talladega and Rockingham has had Bobby turning speeds that rank in the top 5 of all Busch teams.
Check back to this page throughout the week for updates on practice and qualifying. The Busch race will be Saturday, February 13th on CBS.
The team is seeking sponsorship for this exciting new driver. If you are interested in putting your company’s logo on the hood of the 95 car for the rest of the 1999 season, come on aboard! Contact Kent Sims at (615)826-1686 or e-mail him at [email protected]. Serious inquires only, please. Get your company into the fastest growing sport in the country!
If you have any questions about the team e-mail them to [email protected] and we will try to get answers as soon as possible.