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Watts Spins, Bagwell Wins ISCARS 100 at Shenandoah Speedway

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  ISCARS 100, Danny Bagwell

Watts Spins, Bagwell Wins ISCARS 100 at Shenandoah Speedway

Tony Stevens/ISCARS PR
July 22, 2006

Shenandoah, Va. (July 22, 2006) – It came down to the last half-lap at Shenandoah Speedway on Saturday night for the ISCARS Dash race, but the fans certainly received their money’s worth despite the event being shortened by 50 laps, due to a one and a half hour rain delay. Side-by-side for the lead out of turn two on the final lap, second place Mike Watts spun to the inside of the track allowing Danny Bagwell to capture his tenth career Dash Series victory in the Prime Time 100.

Jake Hobgood took the pole for the second consecutive ISCARS Dash event with Danny Bagwell to his outside. Unlike Nashville, however, Hobgood also started from the front row and rocketed to the lead in the first corner. Telltale tire smoke from the No. 64 Cedar Creek Collision Pontiac soon spelled the demise for the South Carolina driver as Danny Bagwell overtook him for the lead on lap 21.

The biggest mover on the track before halfway was Mike Watts who finished second in this event last year. Watts started fifth on the field and was battling for second with Johnny Chapman when the competition yellow was displayed. Early leader Jake Hobgood had visually used up what speed he had and was shown as the fifth place runner at halfway.

Bagwell led the field back to the restart on lap 61 and again pulled out to a sizeable lead. Jake Hobgood began a brief charge back to the lead from the fifth spot but eventually continued his drop through the field.

The night’s third yellow flag was displayed on lap 74 when Ned Combs had a hub break on his No. 9 Duragloss Mercury in turn three. Despite rolling on three wheels, he was able to keep the machine off of the wall and earned the GoFastBeSafe.com Safe Move of the Race Award and an extra $50. The red flag was displayed on lap 77 to cleanup the incident, but the field was back racing with 20 laps to go.

The field bunched up for the green and Mike Watts made his way by Johnny Chapman on lap 82 and set his sights on Danny Bagwell. The gap slowly shrunk for the next five laps but became stagnant as the 90 lap mark approached.

“With about ten laps to go I didn't think I could do any better than second,” said Mike Watts, driver of the No. 17 Corporate Image/Chuck G Fabrication/Patterson’s Mercury Cougar. “It looked like Danny's car started falling off a bit and pushing in the center of the corner and my car was driving perfect, albeit a little bit looser than I like it, but other than that it was perfect.”

Watts clawed his way to within striking distance of the No. 10 Torbert Trucking/5 Bros. Produce/Stops, Inc. Mercury, almost touching the bumper of the Alabama driver’s car. As the white flag was displayed, Watts drove his car deep into turn one, the door opened on the bottom of the track and he was able to pull up to the door of Bagwell off of turn number two. On corner exit, however, Watts bobbled and spun in front of the field. In the ensuing chaos, points leader Eric Wilson spun his No. 4 John Boy & Billy Pontiac in turn three trying to get by Hobgood on the way to the checkered flag.

“I knew Mike was back there but I learned a long time ago that no one can win a race when they're behind you,” said Bagwell after his victory. “I just tried to run a good line and stay on top of it and make no mistakes. Mike may have been a little quicker than we were. It got kind of tight in the middle of the corner and he would catch us, but I could get off better than he could and get a little bit down the straightaway but he'd catch back up getting in.”

“I probably got a little aggressive and mashed the gas and flatfooted it,” Watts said with a smile on his face. “I didn't come here to finish second, I came here to win. Unfortunately, we didn't win or finish second, either, but I feel pretty good about it. My guys came up here wanting to win and none of them are mad, we're all happy. Next week when I cash the check I'll probably be disappointed.”

Following Bagwell to the stripe amidst all of the last lap chaos was Johnny Chapman, Randy Humphrey, Jake Hobgood, and Eric Wilson. Bagwell pocketed an extra $200 from GoFastBeSafe.com for winning the event and Wilson, the race’s hard charger, pocketed a cool $100 for his charge through the field.

ISCARS will next visit Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tenn., for the second time this season on August 11, 2006, for a 100-lap contest. Highlights from the Shenandoah race can be seen on the next edition of ISCARS Full Throttle, a nationally syndicated television magazine airing in over 40 million homes nationwide. For more information about ISCARS, visit www.iscarsonline.com.



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