Gordon Clinches in Style
DuBois, Pa., driver wins Miller Lite 250 presented by Strutmasters.com
South Boston, Va.—All Benny Gordon needed to do is beat Gary St. Amant to claim his fourth Sears Auto Center Northern Division title. Well, Gordon did that and more.
Gordon, driver of the No. 66n Samuel Metals Ford, led a season-high 222 laps en route to his victory in the Miller Lite 250 presented by Strutmasters.com at South Boston Speedway.
With Gordon's fourth win of the season, he clinched his fourth Sears Auto Center Northern Division title in the last five years.
"I'm just proud of the effort my team put in tonight and, actually, all year long," said Gordon, who picked up $20,000 and a 25-point bonus heading into the Championship Series for winning the Northern Division title. "Obviously you want the money, but we really wanted the bonus points, because the big money comes in the Championship Series."
While Gordon's 222 laps led may have looked like he cruised to his series-high fourth win, but that wasn't the case.
After late-race pit stop, Gordon lined up fifth for a restart with 50 to go. Gordon needed just 11 laps to make his way back to the top spot. But as the laps clicked off, Gordon's lead—and fuel—was dwindling.
Jeff Agnew, driver of the No. 73n Team 7 Ford, caught Gordon with 20 laps to go and looked high and low for a way around. On two occasions, Agnew was able to get a nose under Gordon for the lead.
"I know he was driving like crazy to catch me, but I was driving like a mad man to stay ahead of him," said Gordon. "He's always good at South Boston, but we were a little better tonight."
After Gordon staved off Agnew's lead bid, the only question was if Gordon, who never pitted for fuel, could make it all the way. But Gordon not only made it the scheduled distance, he made to Lap 253 after a late-race caution set up a green-white-checkered finish.
"We work on fuel mileage all the time," said Gordon, who took home $12,200 for his win on Saturday night. "We made a fuel run in practice, and we knew we weren't going to stop for fuel tonight. This team is spot-on right now."
Agnew, who finished .511 of second behind Gordon, agrees.
"His car didn't budge off the corners all night; he could run straight up off the corners, which really made it tough to get by him," said Agnew. "He had a great car tonight, and they're tough every week. If that's not bad enough, he's seems to be able to run 500 laps on a tank of fuel."
Gordon was pretty sure he couldn't make it 500 laps.
"I know we could've gone to Lap 260," said Gordon.
Jason Sarvis, driver of the No. 8n Black's Tire/Snow King Chevrolet, posted his best finish of the season by coming home third.
"To finish third in our third race back is awesome," said Sarvis, the 2002 Hooters Pro Cup Champion. "Johnny Rumley always ran well here in this car. You've got to give Mark Huff Motorsports credit. They get around this place pretty good.
"I'm just glad to be back. I love racing, but I hate running bad. It feels good to be competitive again."
Sarvis, who led eight laps, was competitive enough to hold off Southern Division point leader Mark McFarland, driver of the No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevrolet, at the end for his first podium finish since 2003.
McFarland's fourth-place finish was his seventh top-five finish of the season.
Gary St. Amant, driver of the No. 7n Jegs.com/Speedco Chevrolet, completed the top five.
Derek Kale, Jay Fogleman, Allen Purkhiser, Mikey Kile and Jonathan Cash rounded out the top 10.