SES: Ocala: Race report

Jeff Fultz visits victory lane again on NASCAR Elite Division Kodak Southeast Series with win at Ocala Speedway. OCALA, FLA. (July 2 2003) - You can never count Jeff Fultz out!!!! Fultz the 2002 NASCAR Elite Division Kodak Southeast Series ...

Jeff Fultz visits victory lane again on NASCAR Elite Division Kodak Southeast Series with win at Ocala Speedway.

OCALA, FLA. (July 2 2003) - You can never count Jeff Fultz out!!!! Fultz the 2002 NASCAR Elite Division Kodak Southeast Series Champion had his C & C Boiler/Cleaver Brooks Chevrolet well tuned Wednesday evening at Ocala Speedway winning the Victory Junction 150 for this third victory of the 2003 season.

He picked up his second win four days earlier when the series competed at Kentucky Motor Speedway. With six of ten races completed so far in 2003, Fultz has won half of the races yet trails Charlie Bradberry by 35 points in his quest for a second series title.

Fultz qualified second behind first time Bud Pole winner Kevin Prince but started seventh in the 21 car field when the top eight cars were inverted for the start using a new series procedure this year on short track races.

Prince earned his first career Bud Pole award with his Land O'Frost Lunch Meats/Uncle Yammy's Grillin Sauce Chevrolet to establish the qualifying mark for this series with a time of 15.418 Secs (87.560 mph).

Prince's night ended prematurely when he exited the event on lap 16 with suspension problems.

Three of four Victory Circle Chassis Rookie contenders were prominent in the top five finishing positions behind Fultz with Justin Wakefield in second, Cecil Chunn finishing third and Terry Mason Jr. finishing fifth. Bradberry added his fourth top five run this year with a fourth place finish.

Chunn donated half of his race winnings to Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang project. Petty was signing autographs at the speedway before the race.

With the starting inversion, Dusty Williams inherited a front row start with Bradberry outside front row.

When the green waved Bradberry challenged Williams as the two cars were side by side through the second turn. Bradberry's car pushed high in the middle of the backstretch with Reutimann moving to the inside of Williams' Chevrolet and taking the point on lap one.

Settling in behind Reutimann's Pennzoil Chevrolet was Wakefield, Fultz, Shane Sieg, Brian Smith, Bradberry and Prince.

Reutimann had the point and the rest of the field was close behind like a freight train for the first 20 laps getting a good feel for the track since practice time was limited due to afternoon rain showers. Sieg was first to make a move taking his Chevrolet to the inside of Fultz's car on lap 21 and into third. Bradberry was right behind also moving Fultz back another spot.

When Sieg made his move on Fultz with Bradberry right behind, Fultz was out of line and got shuffled back before regrouping and moving back into the runnerup position 43 laps later.

The tight racing action caused the fourth caution to wave when a chain reaction involving Sieg, Brian Smith and race leader Reutimann caused the leader to spin in turn four. The track was almost blocked but Fultz, Wakefield, Chunn, Williams and Bradberry made it through although Bradberry had a crumpled hood. The incident ended the night for Sieg and Reutimann.

When racing resumed on lap 91 Fultz was the race leader with Wakefield, Chunn, Williams and Bradberry in the top five.

Bradberry and Mason improved their positions over the next 59 laps with Fultz maintaining a huge separation over Wakefield who has had three top ten finishes in his six starts this year.

Rounding out the top ten finishers were Jason Hogan, Jarod Robie, Williams, A. J. Frank and Johnny Brazier.

Chunn and Robie improved their starting positions ten spots with Chunn earning the POWERAde "Power Move Of The Race Award" per the NASCAR rule book. Wakefield earned Victory Circle Chassis rookie of the race honors. The next event for the Kodak Southeast Series will be the Thunder By The River 150 on July 12 at Huntsville (AL) Speedway.

Race Statistics:

Time of Race: 50 Mins. 30 Secs
Winner's Average Speed: 66.832 mph
Margin of Victory: 3.147 Secs
Caution Flags: Five Eight for 38 Laps (13-20, 54-60, 71-76, 83-92, 111-117)
Lead Changes: One Lead Change Among Two Drivers
Lap Leaders: David Reutimann, 1-82, Jeff Fultz, 83-150
PowerAde "Power Move Of The Race Award" Cecil Chunn
Victory Circle Chassis Rookie-of-the-Race: Justin Wakefield

NASCAR Elite Division, Kodak Southeast Series Top 10 Points Standing: As Of July 2 2003; (Unofficial), 1. Charlie Bradberry, 904; 2. Jeff Fultz, 869; 3. John Wilkinson III, 812; 4. Terry Mason Jr., 809; 5. Jason Hogan, 792; 6. Brian Smith, 784; 7. Justin Wakefield, 765; 8. Cecil Chunn, 762; 9. Johnny Brazier; 738; 10. Dusty Williams, 736.


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Drivers Kyle Petty , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Brian Smith , Shane Sieg , Charlie Bradberry , John Wilkins
Teams Williams