Old Dominion Speedway driver Danny Fair saved his worst for last, but finishing eighth in Old Dominion's season finale in September gave him his third Winston Series Late Model Stock Car track championship.

The eighth-place finish was the lowest of the season for Fair, 38, but it didn't dampen his enthusiasm after two winless seasons. "It feels good -- it's been so long since we've won," he said. "I don't know how to explain it. We didn't win a whole lot of races but we were always there at the end."

And in a sport where attrition is often the deciding factor, his title stands as a testament to consistency. He won twice and posted an astounding 15 top-eight finishes in the 17 race schedule. At one point he registered six straight second-place finishes. He also captured two races at Southside Speedway near Richmond.

"All I did was sit up there and drive," said Fair, who totaled 378 Winston Series points. "The only thing I can do is give credit to {crew chief} Bobby Davis. I could see Bobby was giving it all that he had. I felt as a driver I had to do the same and it paid off."

Fair, who also won track titles in 1982 and 1986, led by 10 points over Curtis Markham with a race to go. But Markham, who ended the season with seven wins and 348 points, chose to miss the final event at Old Dominion to race at North Wilkesboro.

"I still wish he had shown up at the end but I was going there with full intentions of winning the race," said Fair, who led the final race before being slowed by tire problems.

Fair has a sponsorship with Service Specialists Inc. of Centreville, but with the costs of racing for a season around $25,000 he has had to cover many expenses himself. And unless his track title attracts more financial backers, it may be his last ride to the top.

"I say a prayer every night before I go to bed {hoping for a sponsor}," he said. " If I can't find a full sponsor I just might have to get out of it."Hagerstown Races On

While most regional tracks have closed for the winter, Hagerstown Speedway is gearing up for a grand finale Saturday and Sunday. The 16th annual Hub-City National Open 150 will feature late model winners from six qualifying races at area tracks and 24 other drivers to be determined in Saturday's qualifying heats.

Saturday's action will also include the fourth annual Hamill/Enterprise Race of Champions, which will include 30 track champions from speedways throughout the northeast.

In addition, the top four Hagerstown regulars take on four challengers from above the Mason-Dixon Line in the North-South Shootout. Track champion Gary Stuhler, Nathan Duboraw, Rick Workman and Charlie Schaffer will compete for Hagerstown in the 12-lap event.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. both days with racing beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

NASCAR Notes

Paul Sawyer of the Richmond International Raceway recently announced that the speedway will host the Pontiac Excitement 400 Winston Cup race Sunday Feb. 24. Annually held the week after the Daytona 500, the Richmond race will again be the series' second event of the season.

Mark Martin, the Winston Cup points leader, won the 1990 event. The Pontiac Excitement 200, a Grand National event, will take place Saturday Feb. 23. Time trials and practice for both divisions will begin Feb. 22.

Bill Elliott's victory in the Peak Performance 500 at Dover Sept. 16 extended his string to nine consecutive years in which he has won at least one race.

Darrell Waltrip, who missed two months of the season with a broken leg and has not won this season, has the longest current streak at 15 years. Dale Earnhardt, with a eight victories this year, has extended his winning run to nine years. Terry Labonte's streak of eight years is in jeopardy with only two events remaining.

With his success at Dover, Elliott also became the fourth driver of the year to claim the Unocal 76 Challenge bonus awarded to a driver that wins an event from the pole. He took home to Dawsonville, Ga., an extra $15,200. Kyle Petty, Geoff Bodine and Earnhardt have also earned the Unocal money.