DEMPSEY AND MARTIN TAKE SARA DOUBLE HEADER SKY LUNGSTON LEAPS TO NEW WORLD RECORD ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA -Race fans were treated to yet another, spectacular night of action Saturday night at St. Augustine Speedway as both, the Late Model ...
DEMPSEY AND MARTIN TAKE SARA DOUBLE HEADER
SKY LUNGSTON LEAPS TO NEW WORLD RECORD
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA -Race fans were treated to yet another, spectacular night of action Saturday night at St. Augustine Speedway as both, the Late Model Sportsman and Modified divisions of the Southern Automobile Racing Association (SARA) paid their second visit to the fast, paved half mile this season. The evening started out very optimistic for the home contingent of St. Augustine Speedway Modified division drivers who had chosen to compete with the touring SARA teams. Four of the first five positions on the starting grid being occupied by St. Augustine regulars, Jerry Lee Yarbrough, Justin Moore, Josh Manning and Tuffy Carrigg. But this 50-lapper was to belong to another driver who has also seen a lot of laps at the North Florida paved oval, Gainesville, Fla.'s Larry Martin. Martin's uncharacteristically poor 14th starting spot was just exactly that, a place to start, as the veteran driver immediately started knocking off positions by the handfuls on each lap. Following a brief caution on lap five, Martin continued his charge from the fourth spot systematically picking off Josh Manning for third, the No. 98 car of Yarbrough and the No. 8 of the "Wild Child" Justin Moore to take the lead on the next three consecutive laps. Martin went on to notch the victory handily followed by New Smyrna's Jerry Symons and Dwayne Dempsey of St. Petersburg. Local drivers Moore and Carrigg rounded out the top five finishing positions. "We were lucky this one ended when it did," said Martin in victory lane. "The car was really starting to go away pretty fast. I had to use a lot of tire getting to the front and they were about shot there at the end." Martin went on to praise the entire St. Augustine facility adding, "Some tracks just feel good to you, and this one feels real good to me." The 100-lap SARA Late Model Sportsman event had a more difficult time getting underway as the initial start had to be tried four times before the drivers were able to complete a full lap under green. The second attempt to get this race rolling brought out a red flag period when one of the cars appeared not to fire when the green flag flew triggering an 11-car pileup at the end of the front straightaway. The chain reaction bump and grind session eliminated only three cars from competition, Marlon Lynn, Shane Sawyer and Mike McCrary Jr. who also had a similar end to his race when the SARA Late Models visited St. Augustine earlier in the year. In the end it was Pole sitter and SARA Late Model point leader Dwayne Dempsey of St. Petersburg, Fla. who dominated the field, and held off a last ditch effort by Wayne Morris with just a handful of laps remaining to take home his second consecutive win at the St. Augustine half mile. "This car always runs good everywhere, but for some reason or another it really loves this racetrack, said Dempsey. "After the last race here we just took it back to the shop and put it on the scales to see where everything was. We wrote all that information down and this week we just put it all back like it was. We unloaded it off the trailer today and everything was right where it should be." Dempsey was chased across the line by archrival Wayne Morris of Mulberry, Fla., Jeff Scofield and Joe Boyd both of Riverview, Fla. and rookie of the year candidate Clint Slaggy of Bradenton. Also making a return trip to St. Augustine this weekend was a young professional motorcycle jumper, Sky Lungston who thrilled the crowd with a new world record, ramp to ground jump over 17 cars. Lungston originally set the limited distance record in the summer of 1996 here at St, Augustine Speedway when he successfully cleared 16 cars. He wanted to return to this site to try and better the record, a feat that he accomplished with only inches to spare. In other racing action Saturday night, point leader Larry Osteen of Clermont, Fla. picked up his fifth win of the season in the Late Model division over Chris Tedder of Gainesville and Nolan Wilson of Sanford. Pole sitter and early leader of this event, Donnie Oden of Lake Butler escaped injury in this event when he suddenly lost control of his racecar and slammed the turn two retaining wall head on. The No. 21 Ford was severely damaged in this incident probably sidelining the talented driver for the remainder of the season. Ironically the incident was almost identical to another accident that happened last week in that same location when another Ford Late Model pilot, Scott Cordon of Brandon, Fla. destroyed his racecar in the same manner. Oden is currently second in the overall point standings in the Late Model division. St. Augustine's Jody Stratton took home the winners share of the purse in the Hobby Stock feature, beating out two consecutive race winner Chris Manucy of St. Augustine and Jacksonville's Scooter Hicks. Next week the PARTS Pro Trucks are back in town for the Arrow 100, the biggest truck race of the year at the St. Augustine half-mile. The Speedway will be open to the public on Friday from 6-9 PM for PARTS Truck practice and first round qualifying with no charge for admission. Also on Saturday's card will be the Snap-On Sportsman division, the Thunder Trucks and the Mini Stocks.