YOUNG GUNâ€¦..IS TOP GUN @ JAX RACEWAYS By: Donnie Helmly JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, (JULY 18, 1999) The NASCAR Winston Racing Late model Division had a packed grandstand on their feet Saturday night at Jax Raceways NASCAR sanctioned Â½ mile "D" ...
YOUNG GUN…..IS TOP GUN @ JAX RACEWAYS By: Donnie Helmly
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, (JULY 18, 1999) The NASCAR Winston Racing Late model Division had a packed grandstand on their feet Saturday night at Jax Raceways NASCAR sanctioned ½ mile "D" shaped dirt track. Current points leader Jeff Godbee set fast time once again turning in a lap time of 19.103, a little slower than his record breaking lap just a week ago. Godbee however would find himself back in the 8th starting spot after the spin of the wheel landed on the number eight. Buster Delay of Jacksonville Beach started the 30-lap feature on the pole position, with former division champion Steve Whitener of Middleburg on the outside. The field tried to get the feature started, but after two failed attempts, the officials were forced to start the race single file. Delay got the event started but was quickly passed by ten-race rookie, Michael Murrer, just a few laps into the race. Murrer would have an easy go of things, until Godbee made his way to the second spot by the half waypoint. Godbee set his sites on the young 18-year-old, and the battle for the top spot ensued. Godbee began searching for a way around the young gun, looking to the topside as well as swinging his GRT chassis low, to try to find the way to the top spot. Muiltable times, Godbee drove along the outside of the number 99 Warrior chassis car of Murrer but never could make the pass. Murrer gave the seasoned veteran as much racing room as possible but a right rear tire going down with two laps to go would end Godbees attack, and forced him to finish second. The crowd stayed on their feet for the entire second half of the event, and greeted the youngster with a roar, as he entered the winner circle. Buddy Geiger came from the tail of the field to finish in the third spot, Chuck Chitty, and JO Nobles rounded out the top five. Sixth through Tenth was made up of Terry Pless Buster Delay, Kenny Bayless Vel Lowdenslager and Steve Whitener. Murrer gained experience over the years by being an active crew chief for Jax Raceway Late Model Champion David Browning.
The Pure Stock Division saw a battle heat up between the current point's leader Darren Greenslet and a one-time career winner Pricilla Yergy. Greenslet took the top spot from pole sitter and fast qualifier Bill Burkhart early in the 15-lap event, and began to lap cars. Yergy began applying pressure around the 8th lap, and made the pass for the lead where she would hold it through the final laps of competition. Greenslet took one last effort on the final lap using a lapped car, but didn't have the muscle to over take Yergy and settled for second. The win was Yergy second career feature win, and one that was welcomed by the packed house. Following third through tenth was Ray Pruett, Hardy Jarvis, John Taylor, Bill Burkhart, Mark Whitener, Jimmy Balkcom, David Riggs and Ron Doan.
The Open Wheel Modified once again saw a crowd favorite in the winner circle for the second week in a row, and the third win of the season. Last weeks winner Keny Porter carried the momentum from his win into the night's events, and won his respected heat event. But after the race an 8 on the re-draw wheel would place him back in the field and diminish what he though would be his chances of a back to back win. Porter however had second thoughts and moved up to make the challenge early in the event, and make the pass on Mitch McCoy. Porter would then put a lot of day light between himself and McCoy and pull away to an impressive victory, with McCoy following in second. Bobby Balkcom applied pressure in the closing laps but settled for third. With Steven Skipper and Glen Henry rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth was made up of Wayne Meyers, Ronnie Ponce, Kenny Bayless, Marty Whitener and Kevin Bayless.
The Hobby Stock race was the final event of the night, and once again, post race inspection would change the out come of the 20-lap event. Defending 1998 Champion Tony Callaway took the lead from his front row start and take off in an attempt to claim his first checkered flag of the season. Callaway would have his hands full through out the 20-lap event and hold the field off until the waning laps. Bubba Clark had followed in Callaways tire tracks, and made the move to the front, but would cut down a right rear tie as the two battled for the spot. This opened up the top spot to current point's leader and 7-time winner, Eddie Holton, as he rocketed to the lead, where he would stay through the final laps. Bobby Padgett would cross the stripe in second with Joey Miller in third. Miller filed a protest on Holtons engine, which forces him to place the engine up for inspection. Holtons engine failed the inspection, and Holton was disqualified, along with forfeiture of his points for the night. Holton had overcome a protest from the week prior, where he was declared legal. This placed Padgett as the winner followed by Miller, Callaway, Rick Hutchinson, Mark Beebe, James Jeffers, David Ryals, Bill Adkins, Randy Clark JR, and Calvin Pike. y (Donnie Helmly host "The Race Report" Monday nights @ 7PM on 1320 AM WJGR Jacksonville, Florida)