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Wed, 1 Jun 2005, 03:15 PM

Spiess Captures First Top Spot
Courtesy of Paula Motolik

Makes Move On Showdown Field

DINWIDDIE, Va. -- It has been a long time in the making, but Manhattan, Ill.,-driver, Steve Spiess has finally achieved his first-ever No. 1 qualifying spot during qualifying at the AC Delco Nationals in Richmond Va.

In doing so, Spiess became the first Chevy to capture the No. 1 spot this season, and managed to move up in the chase for the 2005 Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock Showdown crown.

"I feel very confident going into the first round. We know what we did wrong on the last run in qualifying. We made a couple of little changes, and it didn't like it, so I don't even know why we did it," Spiess said. "I think we could maybe go to the winner's circle, there's a lot of good competition out there."

Spiess qualified his new Chevy Cobalt with a 6.470,216.10 pass, followed by Rick Jones and his Cobalt. Spiess' run now stands as both ends of the Virginia Motorsports Park track record.

Robert Patrick, who held the pole at the first two races of the year, finished qualifying in the third position. Tony Gillig and Jerry Haas rounded out the top five in qualifying for the Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock Showdown.

The unofficial top ten in the Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock Showdown following qualifying for the Spring Nationals are:

1. Pete Berner
2. John Nobile
3. Robert Patrick
4. Steve Spiess
5. Frank Gugliotta
6. Brian Gahm
7. John Montecalvo
8. Robert  Mansfield
9. Rick Jones
10. Elijah Morton

Participants in the Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock Showdown began earning points for this year's contest at the 2004 Amalie Oil Northern Nationals.

Torco Race Fuels also presented a total bonus of $1,000 to the top four qualifiers in the Pro Modified Shootout. Based on final qualifying position the No. 1 qualifier received $400 followed by $300 for No. 2, $200 for No. 3, and $100 for No. 4.

The next opportunity for drivers in the Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock class to obtain points towards the shootout will be at the Mopar Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada.

The Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock Showdown will be contested in Budds Creek, Md., during the Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals.

The winner of the shootout will receive $20,000, while the runner-up is set to obtain $9,000. Semi-finalists will pocket $2,500 and the quarter-finalists will net $1,500 each.

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