SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (April 10) — Two-time world champion Gary St. Amant will begin a quest for his first USAR (United Speed Alliance Racing) Hooters Pro Cup Series championship Saturday night at the season-opening Farmer’s Foods 250 at South Boston Speedway. The four-tenths-mile, paved oval is celebrating its 50th year of racing in 2007 and St. Amant is happy to be a part of the festivities.

After finishing the 2006 season on tear, St. Amant will start ’07 in familiar surroundings, captaining the same No. 7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo he finished last season with as he waits for a new Laughlin chassis to be completed. Considering he contended for just about every trophy down the stretch in ’06, he’s confident he’ll have a fast start this weekend.

“We had a top-five finish the last time we raced SoBo so we certainly know what this car is capable of there,” St. Amant said. “It’ll be neat to be a part of the 50th anniversary celebrations at the track. It’s always been a great place for us and, although I haven’t won there, we have a bunch of top-five and top-three finishes there so maybe this will be our year. I’d love to have a good beginning to the season.”

A two-time champion on the now-defunct American Speed Association (ASA) sanction — winning titles in 1998 and 2000 — St. Amant’s 23 race wins and other various accolades make him a feared competitor wherever he pulls into the pits.

“We’re pretty confident coming into this race,” said St. Amant, who will compete in 14 events. “We have three Gaerte engines all ready to go and the crew is very excited about getting started. I think we’d all feel even better if we had our new car ready but we got it so late we just ran out of time.

“We’ll have it for the next race and that’ll be special because this is the first time I’ve ever had a car built specifically for this series rather than an old Busch of NASCAR chassis. It’s 200 pounds lighter and even though we have to all be at that 3,300-pound minimum, it’s a big advantage when you can put the weight where you want it to be.”

St. Amant is also excited about his relationships with sponsors and Speedco Truck Lube. is an industry leader in the high performance mail-order parts business, while Speedco is one of the largest quick change oil facilities for 18-wheelers in the country.

“We’ve got two great companies behind us and we’re anxious to show all of their employees and associates a bunch of wins this year,” St. Amant said. “Both groups really understand and appreciate racing and what it takes to win and you just couldn’t ask for a better group to back you. They’ll be on our minds a lot this year.”

St. Amant and his No. 7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo first hit the track from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday evening for testing. They’ll have another practice session from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday in preparation for qualifying at 4:30 p.m. The Farmer’s Foods 250 begins at 7 p.m.

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