Florida Speed Park 2000-04-29

April 29th, ST. AUGUSTINE, FL - Robert Deal drove to a convincing victory in the Rick's Muffler Modifieds Saturday night, beating out Chuck Cumby and a hard charging Jimmy Britts for his second win in as many weeks. Deal's effort also has given...

April 29th, ST. AUGUSTINE, FL - Robert Deal drove to a convincing victory in the Rick's Muffler Modifieds Saturday night, beating out Chuck Cumby and a hard charging Jimmy Britts for his second win in as many weeks. Deal's effort also has given him two consecutive perfect 10's in the points race.

"Every once in a while you have a car that's just great," said Deal. "Tonight was my night. Since we unloaded the car this afternoon it's been super fast. The car was good last week, we made it a little better this week. It was a total team effort."

Britts, who started the season with four consecutive wins before missing a week due to his NASCAR Goody's Dash commitment, came up short in competition for the first time this season, placing third behind Chuck Cumby. Marc Kinley and Jason Lowe rounded out the top five.

Todd Ponce collected his third consecutive perfect score in the Sportsman division, charging from the sixth spot to claim victory over Shaw Hallman and Bo Allen. Scott Hezel and Jason Garver completed the top five. Ponce earlier set pole with a new track qualifying record for Sportsman with a 17.226 time, or 104.49 mph, which he traded for an opportunity to accumulate charger points.

"Whenever we made laps during hot laps, we knew it was pretty quick, but I had no idea that it was going to be in the low 2's," said Ponce. "It was awesome. It stuck when I put it in there, it didn't slip, it did like a race car's supposed to."

Brad Pilinko regained his winning form in the Alpha Communications Hobby Stock feature, again outdueling Chris Manucy for the victory. Shea Clay, Scooter Hicks and Rodney Norman, driving Brad Paulsen's #51 for the evening because of motor problems, rounded out the top five.

A crash coming out of turn two took out a third of the Tattoo Dee's Old Rooster Mini Stock field on the second lap, including points leader Jay Farris, while Jake Hartley blistered the remaining field en route to his second win of the season. Hartley, who was DQ'd the prior week following post-race technical inspection, made good on his vow to come back stronger than ever. Troy Kruse placed a respectable second, while Jared Cooper, Kevin Burkett and Mark Smith completed the top five a full half lap back.

Wade Lynn put on an equal display of force in the Thunder Truck race, easily outdistancing second place truck Jody Turner, who has been pulling double duty lately in both trucks and late models. Ron Thomas, who was late to lineup, forcing a start on the rear, charged back to third and nearly overtook Turner on the final lap. Les Burl and Mike Ponce, making his first truck start of the season, rounded out the top five.

Harold Rankin, Jr. notched his first St. Augustine Late Model win, beating out a strong outing by Larry Osteen and Jeremy Fitch. Rankin, who started on the outside pole, quickly planted himself in front of Fitch on the inside and never looked back. Osteen, the night's fast qualifier, starting sixth after the invert, ran out of time trying to overtake the hooked up Rankin.

"The crew worked on it, changed a little stagger here and a little wedge back there, I don't think there's anything they didn't work on tonight," said a jubilant Rankin.

Florida Speed Park has an off date next weekend and will return to action Saturday, May 13th with the first of two 2000 season engagements of the SARA Late Models, a 100 lap event featuring Florida's top Late Model drivers, including a number of local speedway drivers. Modifieds, Mini Stocks and Hobby Stocks are also on the schedule.

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Series Stock car