SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (Aug. 12) — Two-time ASA champion Gary St. Amant took a big step towards his first USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup series title by clinching the Sears Auto Center Northern Division title with a third-place finish Saturday night in the Miller Lite 250 at South Boston Speedway.

St. Amant, who has led the Northern Division points since the second race of the year, pockets $20,000 for winning the division and will carry a 25-point bonus into the five-race Championship Series.

“We’re absolutely thrilled and relieved to get this done,” St. Amant said. “To hold off Benny Gordon, one of the best short-track racers in the country, down the stretch of the regular season was a real test. That guy is awesome and I can tell you he didn’t win three Northern Division titles by accident. He’s a racecar driver.”

St. Amant needed to finish in eighth place or higher to secure the Northern Division title. The only racer capable of catching and passing him in the points was Gordon, who ended this race in second place.

“I might have made a run at winning this race but I saw Benny right in front of me and I just decided to follow him in,” the 44-year-old St. Amant said. “There was no point tempting fate. I just got on his bumper.

“To make it through the entire regular season with hardly a scratch on this No. 7 Monte Carlo makes me feel very fortunate. We’ve had a bunch of top-five finishes and even got a win in there so it’s been almost a perfect season. I really feel like we just need to keep doing what we’re doing heading into the Championship Series.”

The best of the North and South will begin the five-race sprint to the USAR title Sept. 1 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway in St. Amant’s home state of Ohio. St. Amant hails from Delaware, Ohio.

“It’s a thrill and an honor to present my great friends at JEGS and Speedco with this Northern Division title but the real goal in the championship,” St. Amant said. “The season is already a big success but we’ve still got some racing left to do and I can’t wait to get started. We’re going to enjoy the next few days and then it’s back to work.”

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