"NEW TRACK SURFACE HARD TO GET A HOLD OF AT JAX" By: Donnie Helmly: JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, (May 23, 1999) A new track surface was the order of business at Jax Raceways' NASCAR sanctioned half mile track last weekend, as speeds were down,...
"NEW TRACK SURFACE HARD TO GET A HOLD OF AT JAX" By: Donnie Helmly:
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, (May 23, 1999) A new track surface was the order of business at Jax Raceways' NASCAR sanctioned half mile track last weekend, as speeds were down, crashes were up, and a post race inspection changed the outcome of one feature event.
The night opened up with a one hour autograph session and photo shoot, as fans were allowed to tour the pits, meet the drivers, and get photos prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Models and Powder Puff divisions.
Qualifying action had few surprises, as Jeff Godbee turned in the fastest lap for the Late Models, and three-Time division champion Karen Greenslet followed suit for the Powder Puff.
The first feature of the night had the Hobby Stock division hitting the track. Mitch McCoy had the pole after the re-draw of a four put him at the front. McCoy would take the lead for a few laps with Kenny Tyler in hot pursuit. McCoy's night would end early after contact with a tire in turn two would put him out for the night. Tyler would take over the lead, but wouldn't make a lap, as he too would be forced to the pits for a flat left rear tire. Joey Miller would take the front spot from there and hold on to claim his first victory of the season. Points leader Eddie Holton moved up into the second position with a few laps remaining, but settled for second at the checkered flag. Defending division champion Tony Callaway was third with Randy Clark Jr and Marty Kelly rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth was Randy Clark Sr., Mark Beebe, Perry Dowling, Calvin Pike and Gary Burger.
The Open Wheel Modified division saw two false starts before they were lined up in single file for the start of their 20-lap feature event. Points leader Kevin Bayless showed his strength once again, as he would lead from flag to flag. Steve Whitener, making his first start in the division, showed he had no trouble adapting to the squirrelly out of control, over horsepower, under tired, racecars. Whitener moved up the second spot to battle for the win, but was forced to settle for second. Bobby Balkcom, Ronnie Ponce and Eric Tatum made up the top five. Sixth through tenth was Steven Skipper, Kerry O'Steen, Keny Porter, John Byers and Gary Porter.
The Powder Puff division lined up for their ten-lap feature, with the division's two hot shoes, Karen Greenslet and Cindy Holton on the front row. It was Holton taking the lead at the drop of the green flag, but was forced to restart the race, after a first lap caution flag lined the field back up for a restart. Greenslet would take the lead on the next start where she would stay for her third win of the year. Holton followed in second and hold on to a slim point's margin over Greenslet. Shelly Peteway, Julia Callaway and Maudie Baker made up the top five. Sixth through tenth was Patty Duren, Misty Beebe, Jennifer Jones, Belinda Horton and Kim Lester.
The Pure Stock division saw excitement from the drop of the green flag until the drop of the checkered flag. Darren Greenslet took the lead of the 15 lap feature event with Richard Goodwin and Hardy Jarvis applying pressure during the first few laps of competition. Greenslet would hold onto the lead through numerous caution flags, and red flags and would take the checkered flag a head of Chad Grogan and Joey Zimmerman. Greenslet, however, would have a protest filed against his engine, by second place finisher Grogan. Tech official failed Greenslets' engine for apparent grinding on the intake manifold, and Grogan was awarded the victory, his first in his career. Zimmerman moved up to second with Windal Clark, James Martin and Vince Waters rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth was Bubba Watson, Wade McBride, Kevin Kirkpatrick, Bill Burkhart and Hardy Jarvis.
The NASCAR Winston Racing Division Late Models competed in the final event of the night. Jeff Godbee had the pole, with Buster Delay on the outside, and four time division champion Steve Whitener in the third spot. The drop of the green flag had Whitener driving under Godbee to take the lead, but it was to be short lived. The caution flag was displayed because the line up wasn't correct. On the restart Godbee took the lead and would hold on for eight laps, when he slowed with motor troubles. Whitener took the lead from there, and would hold on until points leader Buddy Geiger made his move to the front spot from his last place starting spot. Geiger had been sent to the rear of the field after changing cars prior to the start of the feature. The change was a good one, as Geiger was never challenged after taking the front spot, and held on for his third win of the year. Whitener held on for second with JO Nobles in third, Terry Pless in fourth and Vel Lowdenslager making up the top five. Sixth through tenth was made up of Homer Leonard, Michael Murrer, Buster Delay, Chuck Chitty and Jeff Godbee.
( Donnie Helmly hosts "The Race Report" Monday nights @ 7PM on 1320 AM WJGR Jacksonville, Florida)