TWO WEEK LAYOFF BUILDS EXCITEMENT AT JAX RACEWAYS By:Donnie Helmly Jacksonville, Florida (July 14, 1999) After a two-week layoff of racing action, competitors and fans alike were ready for some top notch racing action at Jax Raceway's NASCAR...
TWO WEEK LAYOFF BUILDS EXCITEMENT AT JAX RACEWAYS By:Donnie Helmly
Jacksonville, Florida (July 14, 1999) After a two-week layoff of racing action, competitors and fans alike were ready for some top notch racing action at Jax Raceway's NASCAR sanctioned dirt track last Saturday evening. A full field of cars in all six speedway divisions were among the ingredients that made for two track records to drop off the record books, as well as a post race inspection that changed one of the divisions finishing order.
The NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Model division started the night out with qualifying action that saw the top three cars break into the 18 second bracket, with points leader Jeff Godbee breaking his own track record, circling the fast "D" shaped oval in 18.643 seconds. The re-draw would put Godbee back four spots for the feature event, and place Terry Pless and Steve Whitener on the front row. Whitener got the jump on the field at the drop of the green flag for the 30-lap feature event, where he would stay until lap 17 when Godbee made his move to the front spot, bringing former division champion David Browning with him. Godbee would lead the remaining laps, unchallenged, with Browning crossing the line in second. Whitener came home third with Pless and Michael Murrer rounding out the top five. The win was Godbee's tenth of the season placing him in the top five in the Sunbelt Division of the series.
The Open Wheel Modified Division also saw a track breaking night in their ever-popular division. Keny Porter turned in a fast lap of 20.600 setting a new track record for the respected division. Porter took off from his front row starting spot and never looked back, as he drove to his second season victory of the '99 season. The final lap of competition changed the outcome from second on back, as trouble in turn four would send cars spinning out of control. When the dust settled it was Eric Tatum placing second, a career high finish for him, David Ryals, Steven Skipper and Bobby Balkcom rounded out the top five.
The Hobby Stock division had trouble keeping their cars going in the right direction, which made the officials end the event as time ran out before the 20 laps could be completed. Randy Clark Jr. went flag to flag to take home the win leading all 17 laps, with point's leader Eddie Holton in second. Holton, however, filed a protest on the engine in the Clark car, and after post race inspection revealed an illegal carbuerator, and Clark was disqualified. Holton was awarded his 7th win of the year, with defending champion Tony Callaway in second with Joey Miller, Mark Beebe and James Jeffers rounding out the top five.
The Pure Stock Division had Windel Clark claiming top honors as he lead the field to the victory in dominating fashion. Mark Whitener, Bill Burkhart, Chad Grogen and Bubba Watson made up the top five.
The Powder Puff division saw both the top competitors having trouble in the feature event. Points Leader Cindy Holton looked as though she was on her way to her 5th win of the year, when she lost a wheel and tire on the final lap of the 10 lap event. This opened the door for Kim Lester to take home her first win, with Julia Callaway, Shelly Petteway, Belinda Horton and Misty Beebe making up the top five. Three time defending champion Karen Greenslet also had trouble early, losing a tire, and went down a lap.
(Donnie Helmly can be heard as the host of "The Race Report", The Fastest show on radio Monday nights @7 p.m. on 1320 AM WJGR Jacksonville, Florida)