St. Augustine Race Report 1999-07-10

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA - Bo Allen stormed past Nick Pilinko on lap 23 of Saturday night's 50-lap NASCAR Winston Racing Series, Snap-On Sportsman Division feature at St. Augustine Speedway, then held off a battered Kenny Hall to pick up his...

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA - Bo Allen stormed past Nick Pilinko on lap 23 of Saturday night's 50-lap NASCAR Winston Racing Series, Snap-On Sportsman Division feature at St. Augustine Speedway, then held off a battered Kenny Hall to pick up his second consecutive win at the North Florida half-mile. Allen, who started on the pole for this event, quickly fell to fourth in the early going. But the Florida native drove a clean line, steered clear of trouble and eventually parlayed his patience into the winners purse as his competitors began systematically dismantling each other's race equipment all around him. "We did a lot of hard work this week," said Allen. "Last week, I missed a gear and Don (Halliday) got up under me. I turned it eight grand and broke three main caps. We ran 49 laps with the main caps in the oil pan and 20 pounds of oil pressure. That's my back-up motor in there now. We'll have the good motor back next week. The car was just handling this week. It worked good. It's still a little tight, but we just hung on to it." Hall, in surveying his damaged racecar, was not as pleased with the outcome, and voiced his displeasure to all that would listen. "I think there was some (bad) driving going on out there. I ain't touched nobody all night." Then, pointing out some of the damage on the yellow, No.3 Chevrolet, Hall continued, "Todd (Ponce), he does this right here, Nick (Pilinko), he does that over there." "I ain't crying about it because I know what goes around, can come around. I can't believe…look here. I just fixed this fender today at three o'clock, and that quarter panel over there. Now look at it." Hall's complaining was met with mixed reaction from the crowd, but most agreed that it could get interesting in the next week or so. David Hitchcock, of St. Augustine, Ronald Tillman, of Green Cove Springs, and Joey Parks rounded out the top five in the Snap-On Sportsman event. George Thrift of Fernandina Beach continues to be the hot shoe in the Muffler Man Modified Division. Thrift came from his fifth starting spot to grab the lead from Tuffy Carrigg on lap four, and fought off repeated challenges from Carrigg over the next 30 laps to pick up his third win in a row and his sixth win in seven outings. "Things really seem to be going our way," said Thrift in victory lane. But you never know about those two guys behind me, any of the three of us could win on any Saturday night. I was just in the right spot at the right time here tonight." Thrift and Carrigg were followed across the line by Robert Deal, Mark Bergman and James Pagulcia. The win was Thrift's ninth trip to the winner's circle in 13 attempts this year. In the Late Model Division, George Ingles, Donnie Oden and Chris Tedder, all took turns at the point before Chuck Hiers grabbed the top spot on lap 19 and led the final 16 laps to the checkers. The ongoing feud between Hiers and Larry Osteen, who finished second in this event, reared it's head again as Osteen opted not to participate in the victory lane celebration for the top three finishers. Osteen had pulled into the runner-up position on the front stretch, but suddenly fired the car and sped off before being interviewed and receiving his trophy. Osteen has been on the short end of the lucky stick during his last two outings with two of the regional touring series in Florida. And apparently finishing second to Hiers was just a little too much salt in a very open wound. Behind the two archrivals, Tedder, Ingles and Greg Boyle, making his first St. Augustine Speedway start in 1999, finished in the third through fifth spots. The Thunder Truck Division saw Alan Moore lead a twenty-five-lap flag to flag parade that included himself on the point, followed by Andy Waldron, Brent Hobbs, Robert Gorman Jr. and Wade Lynn. Moore, by virtue of his win in this event, took over the point lead from Ricky Cooper. Cooper managed to dodge the bounty hunters again this week by taking the easy way out. He chose not to show up. Mickey Leth won the Mini Stock feature, but not without first, facing serious challenges from Steve Thompson, Jay Farris, Jake Hartley, and Kevin Burkett, who finished in that order behind Leth. In the Hobby Stock Division, Jimmie Bunn became a member of the three for three club by picking up his third win in as many starts. Bunn has also won the three heat races for the Hobbies on those same outings. Bunn was followed across the line by divisional point leader, Rodney Norman, second place point man, Scooter Hicks, newcomer, Jody Stratton and Seth Caudill. Early on in this event, Chris Manucy took a heavy hit into the turn three retaining wall while leading. Manucy was uninjured but the racer was too badly damaged to return. St. Augustine Speedway race fans in attendance were treated to a couple of bonus events on this evening. The Antique Auto Racing Association put on a great show featuring both, open wheel and stock bodied racecars from yesteryear in specially organized heats. For those old enough to remember these classics, the nostalgia flowing. Racing continues next Saturday night with Craftsmen Night sponsored by Craftsmen Tools. Grandstand gates open at 4:30 and Qualifying gets underway at 6. The program will feature six NASCAR racing divisions with heat races at 7:00 and the main events rolling off at 7:30.

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