DELAWARE, Ohio (May 27) — Memorial Day weekend will certainly be memorable for two-time short track world champion Gary St. Amant as a second straight top-three finish lifted his No. 7 race team into the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Northern Division points lead. A polesitter for the first time in USAR competition, St. Amant expertly avoided numerous pile-ups to assume the No. 1 ranking by 46 points.

“It was another strong race for our team and to start the year with three straight top-five finishes is a real credit to this crew and our sponsors,” St. Amant said. “We’re very pleased and honored to be in the points lead at this stage in the game and we’ll continue to work hard to stay there.”

The starting grid in Madison, Wis., was set by points so St. Amant earned the BFGoodrich Tires Pole Award and a $1,000 cash bonus due to his top ranking heading into the Sears Auto Center 200 presented by BFGoodrich Tires. St. Amant was actually tied for the Northern Division lead heading into the race but Clay Rogers, who shared the top spot with St. Amant, missed the race due to obligations at another venue.

“We’re all thinking it’s that lucky No. 7 on the racecar,” said St. Amant, who carried the digit during his two championship campaigns on the now-defunct American Speed Association sanction in 1998 and 2000. “Our chassis builder, Mike Laughlin, was gracious enough to let us run the 7 this year and it’s the first time since I’ve been in USAR to run it and it’s sure been kind to us so far. It’s the number I’ve always had.

“We’ve been lucky this year to avoid any big accidents. We haven’t had much to fix on the car and that’s allowed us to work on the new car we’re set to debut. The new one is the first one that dad (Bud St. Amant) and I have put together and it’s been a real process. We’ll test in Mansfield (Ohio) next week and see if it’s ready to go.

“If there’s one thing I learned in these first few races it’s that we’ll probably need that new car to win a race. We obviously have a solid top-three, top-five car here and it will be nice to know our back-up car is capable of running strong, but we need to get the new one in service.”

St. Amant will have a chance to run his new pipe June 9 at his home track of Mansfield Motorsports Speedway at the net Northern Division meet.

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