SALEM, Ind. (July 1) — Short-track superstar Gary St. Amant took to the winner’s circle of the Lucas Oil 200 presented by Kmart Saturday night at Salem Speedway, padding his lead in the USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup Series with just three races left in the regular season.

St. Amant, who has held the points lead since the second race of the season, used his prerace strategy of avoiding trouble and surviving until the end on Salem’s high banked corners to score his second USAR win and his first in three years. The former two-time world champion on the ASA circuit broke out a brand-new car for this event and it paid off handsomely with a big victory for his No. 7 Speedco Chevrolet race team.

“I’m absolutely tickled to death,” said St. Amant, who resides in Powell, Ohio. “I believe there were 13 cautions tonight and we managed to stay out of trouble all the way through, which really paid off at the end. We talked about driving smart, and being in the points lead allowed us to do just that early in the race. What a great night for, Speedco, and this entire team.

“I have to hand it to my guys. The car was perfect all night and the pit stops went off like clockwork. This was truly a team win and we’re going to enjoy it together as a team. A great year just got a lot better.”

St. Amant started the race in the 16th slot after driving his new Laughlin chassis to a best lap of 17.816 seconds in qualifying at the .555-mile oval. He stayed steady throughout the night and methodically made his way through the pack as others encountered trouble, finally taking the lead on Lap 139 when an accident claimed a large group of cars ahead of him. He momentarily lost the lead later in the race for one lap but quickly regained the top spot and rode it out for the victory.

The Northern Division will take a weekend off before returning to action July 14 at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. St. Amant already has four top-five finishes this year.

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