GODBEE STILL MAN TO BEAT AT JAX RACEWAYS By: Donnie Helmly: JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, (May 30, 1999) Racing action at Jax Raceways half mile NASCAR sanctioned track was fast and furious on the memorial day weekend, as speeds picked up on the "D" ...
GODBEE STILL MAN TO BEAT AT JAX RACEWAYS
By: Donnie Helmly: JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, (May 30, 1999) Racing action at Jax Raceways half mile NASCAR sanctioned track was fast and furious on the memorial day weekend, as speeds picked up on the "D" shape oval, from a week ago.
Track officials resealed the surface a week ago, making the track slow the first week. Since then the speeds have picked up as the surface continues to cure. Jeff Godbee was the man to beat in the NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Model division, in qualifying, as well as in the 30 lap feature event.
Godbee turned in a lap of 18.867 Saturday night, just a few clicks shy of the track record. Last week's winner and current point's leader Buddy Geiger set second fastest with a 19.068.
Godbee got the jump at the drop of the green flag, and would never be challenged for the 30 lap event, leaving the battle for the second spot for the rest of the field to contend for. Buddy Geiger followed Godbee for 12 laps, until "Mr. Excitement" Chuck Chitty made the pass for second, where he would remain for the final laps of the feature event. Geiger would place third, with Robert McCormick, Terry Pless, rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth was made up of JO Nobles, Chuck Meredith, Michael Murrer, Homer Leonard, and Buster Delay.
The Hobby Stock 20 lap feature event was once again a crowd pleaser as the lead would swap three times before the final run down could be decided. Tim Nolan set fast time in qualifying action turning in a lap of 21.629 in his Ford Thunderbird, but unfortunately for Noland he would once again experience mechanical trouble, failing to finish the feature. Randy Clark set second fast time, and would take the lead from his outside pole position and show the way for the first 12 laps. Points leader Eddie Holton took the lead from there, and looked as though he would add another victory to his impressive '99 resume. But, Rohn Moon, in just his third start in the division, would have other thoughts in the matter. Moon spun his Camaro on lap five and was forced to restart on the tail of the 20 car field on lap six, and began his move back to the front. By lap 18, Moon had put himself in a position to challenge Holton for the lead, and went to work doing so. Moon made his move with Holton battling back on the outside for the last two laps, but Moon prevailed and claimed his first feature event ever at Jax Raceways, Holton was forced to settle for second, with Tony Callaway, Joey Miller and Tillman Baxley Jr. making up the top five. Sixth through tenth was made up of John Wood, Bill Adkins, Rick Hutchinson, Calvin Pike and Greg Fife.
Points leader Darren Greenslet bounced back from a disappointing loss a week ago to bring home the feature win in the Pure Stock division. Greenslet took the lead from Joshua David on the second lap and held David off, until lap 11, when Priscilla Yergy took over the second spot and set her sights on Greenslet. David would drop out of the event a short time later, and Ray Pruett moved to the third spot. Yergy would apply pressure to Greenslet, but would settle for the runner up spot at the stripe, with Pruett in third. Fourth through tenth was made up of Hardy Jarvis, Joey Zimmerman, Chad Grogan, Mark Whitener, Bubba Watson, John Taylor and Robert Hyers.
In just his second start in a Open Wheel Modified in 7 years, Steve Whitener found his way to the front of the 20 lap event, and held on to win. Ronnie Ponce started on the pole position and held the top spot until lap four, where Whitener, driving the car that won the championship last season with Donnie Hall at the wheel, took over for the next 16 circuits, for the victory. Robert Balkcom crossed to finish in second with Keny Porter in third from the tail of the field. Fourth through tenth was made up of Kevin Bayless, Donny Higginbotham, Ponce, Robert McCormick, Wayne Meyer, Kerry O'Steen and Marty Whitener.
The Florida Mini Sprints made their annual stop at Jax Raceways last weekend, and when the checkered flag flew it was local driver Bruce Durden of Jacksonville Beach in the winners circle. Durden, a former competitor at East Bay Speedway in Tampa, in a full size sprint car, took the lead on the 3rd lap, and never looked back. Jesse Teed of Orlando crossed the stripe in second, with Orlando's John Craddock in third. Fourth through tenth was Terry Schaeffer, Tom Hopkins, Mike Schroeder, Bob Schaeffer, Jeff Gaudin, Steve Miller and Kelly Thorton. The Florida Mini Sprints travel all over the state, competing on different track surfaces.
( Donnie Helmly host "The Race Report" Monday nights @ 7PM on 1320 AM WJGR Jacksonville, Florida)