April 15th, St. Augustine, FL -- The best was saved for last Saturday night as Todd Ponce, trading his top qualifying position for a shot at a record $700 8 Ball payoff, bided his time and picked his ...
April 15th, St. Augustine, FL -- The best was saved for last Saturday night as Todd Ponce, trading his top qualifying position for a shot at a record $700 8 Ball payoff, bided his time and picked his #007 through a tough field to claim his second consecutive victory in the Florida Speed Park Sportsman feature.
Ponce's victory was in doubt for much of the race as a game Shaw Hallman stretched an outside pole position into a sizeable advantage early in the event. Midway through the race, Ponce picked off Kenny Hall heading out of Turn 4 for second. With fifteen laps to go, Ponce targeted the bright teal #22 of Hallman a full straightaway ahead and began his final charge.
As the laps wound down and Ponce slowly closed the gap, Hallman became entangled with the rear car on the lead lap, bringing Ponce to within easy striking distance. Hallman's troubles with the lap car continued, resulting in a spin and yellow flag. Hallman was awarded back his position, but a deft Ponce wasted no time and quickly seized the opportunity, passing the #22 heading into Turn 3, never looking back. Hallman would hold onto second, while Jason Garver, Bo Allen and Kenny Hall rounded out the top five.
"Everybody drove me a good, clean race and I want to thank them for that," said Ponce. The win earned Ponce a track record $1,100 Sportsman winning payoff.
In the Rick's Muffler Modifieds, Jimmy Britts continued his season-opening hot streak by posting his fourth consecutive victory in as many races. A determined Robert Deal challenged Britts all evening, but could not quite muster enough traction to make it around Britt's #14, forcing the bounty to increase to $200 for next week's race.
"My hands were full tonight," said Britts. "Robert Deal gave me a good run for my money. He let me know he was back there a few times, but that's okay." Justin Moore, Marc Kinley and David Linquist completed the top five.
Chris Manucy ended Brad Pilinko's three-race win streak in the Alpha Communications Hobby Stocks, nabbing a $100 bounty bonus in the process. Pilinko, giving up his outside pole position for a shot at the 8 Ball in the night's opening feature, made a valiant effort but did not have enough for the dialed in Manucy. Jody Stratton, who unsuccessfully tried to fend off Pilinko in the race's final laps, placed third. Bobby Thornton and Rodney Norman finished in the top five.
Tim Laurent took advantage of a strong second place run and converted it into a Late Model victory when Larry Osteen, who paced the pack for most of the night, experienced motor trouble late in the race and dropped out of the competition. Jeremy Fitch, who seemed like a sure bet for second, just narrowly missed an opportunity to stun the crowd with a last gasp pass attempt in Turn 4, falling just short at the victory stripe by less than half a car length. Rick Rogero, Harold Rankin, Jr. and Jody Turner completed the top five.
Les Burl was back on top for the second time this season in the Thunder Truck division. Ron Thomas finished second, but only after a spectacular crash on the frontstretch involving Alan Moore and Wade Lynn took the two, running second and third at the time, out of action. Lynn, who lost control following a failed pass attempt on the outside of the tight turn 4, hit the wall and careened into Moore just past the start/finish line, seriously damaging both race vehicles. While neither driver was harmed, both machines took severe beatings.
The Dwarf Car Racing Association thrilled the fans with their first visit to the speedway of the 2000 season, as Bob Quick, living up to his name, bested a top five field of Dennis Archinal, Bill Burback, Allen Davis and Rick Lundeen, all separated by less than ten 5/8-scale 1930's vintage car lengths.
The Southern Pro Trucks make their first visit of the 2000 season next week, highlighting a field including Late Models, Sportsman, Modifieds, and Mini Stocks. Racing begins at 6:45pm.
<pre> Race Results
1 - Todd Ponce 2 - Shaw Hallman 3 - Jason Garver 4 - Bo Allen 5 - Kenny Hall 6 - Davey Cline 7 - Joey Parks 8 - Joey Haslauer 9 - Leo McCullough
1 - Les Burl 2 - Ron Thomas 3 - Jody Turner 4 - Wade Lynn 5 - Alan Moore 6 - Brent Hobbs
Alpha Communications Hobby Stocks
1 - Chris Manucy 2 - Brad Pilinko 3 - Jody Stratton 4 - Bobby Thornton 5 - Rodney Norman 6 - Randy Wilkes 7 - L.H. Davis 8 - Shea Clay 9 - Bucky York 10 - Brad Paulson 11 - Randy Moody 12 - Bart Heck 13 - Glenn Nedrow 14 - Brenda Little 15 - Jon Torba
Rick's Muffler Modifieds
1 - Jimmy Britts 2 - Robert Deal 3 - Justin Moore 4 - Marc Kinley 5- David Linquist 6 - Chester Mayes 7 - Kevin Nolan 8 - Chuck Cumby 9 - John Galbraith 10 - D.J. Braddock 11 - Lewis Lindsey
1 - Tim Laurent 2 - Jeremy Fitch 3 - Rick Rogero 4 - Harold Rankin, Jr. 5 - Jody Turner 6 - Dave Hussey 7 - Tommy Denton 8 - Lee McCullough 9 - Scott Stevens 10 - Donnie Oden 11 - Larry Osteen 12 - Dustin Chambers 13 - Leo McCullogh