PONCE CONTINUES TO ROLL AT ST. AUGUSTINE ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA.- After struggling early in the year, Todd Ponce, of St. Augustine, Fla. has made it three straight Winston Racing Series wins in as many weeks following Saturday's 50-Lap...
PONCE CONTINUES TO ROLL AT ST. AUGUSTINE
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA.- After struggling early in the year, Todd Ponce, of St. Augustine, Fla. has made it three straight Winston Racing Series wins in as many weeks following Saturday's 50-Lap Snap-On Sportsman Division feature at the St. Augustine Speedway in Fla. Qualifying his No. 007 on the pole .4 sec. faster than the next fastest qualifier, another St. Augustine native, Kenneth Hall, Ponce went on to lead every lap to capture his fourth win of the 1999 season. Hall was able to challenge Ponce during the early going, but for the second week in a row, Hall's bright yellow No. 3 was not willing to go the entire distance. Just past the halfway point Hall fell off the pace dramatically and eventually retired the Chevrolet a few laps later. St. Augustine's Scott Lagasse, after arriving late to the track, was forced to start dead last in this event without so much as a qualifying lap to test his equipment. But the talented Floridian was undaunted, and proceeded to put on a driving exhibition for the fans, working his way to fifth by lap 17 and taking over the runner up spot on lap 29. As strong as Lagasse's Chevrolet was, he had nothing for Ponce and the young charger cruised to an easy win. "Early in the year we were struggling a lot," said Ponce. "Breaking and not finishing races. But I think we've finally found the handle now and everything seems to be falling into place. Now we'll just have to see how long it takes for those guys to catch up. It probably won't be long." Behind Ponce, Tiny Cline, of St. Augustine was continuously massaging Lagasse's rear bumper the entire second half of the race. But Lagasse remained solid and Cline could never loosen the No. 22 up enough to get around. At the same time, Bo Allen, running fourth, was seriously rearranging the paint scheme on Cline's bumper with exactly the same results. For more than 20 laps the trio pushed and rooted but to no avail, as they crossed under the checkered flag, it was Lagasse, Cline and Allen in second, third and fourth, respectively. Cline's third place finish was enough to allow him to slip past Kenneth Hall in the divisional point standings, taking over the number one spot for the second time this year. The 35-lap, Late Model event went to a visiting big gun, Dick Anderson, of Wildwood, Fla. Anderson took control of the event at the drop of the green flag and never looked back. The 35-year stock car racing veteran was chased every step of the way by pole sitter David Clegg. But the local favorite could never quite get close enough to put a move on the veteran. "We were a whole lot better than we were the last time Dicky was here," said Clegg after the event. "We were great, compared to then. But we've still got some work to do. It'll get lots better before we're through." Anderson's comment, "I love this place. I'd race here every week if I could." Well I guess so. Two very impressive wins in two trips will definitely make the heart grow fonder. Clegg's second place finish was enough to move him into the lead in the Late Model point standings. Nolan Wilson, Dustin Chambers and Brent O'Neill finished a distant third, fourth and fifth to round out the top five. The Rick The Muffler Man Modified feature once again produced some of the best action of the evening as George Thrift, of Fernindina Beach, Fla. and Jimmy Britts, of Orange Park, Fla. battled tooth and nail for the front spot, while Tuffy Carrigg and Robert Deal went at it a few car lengths back for third. The Thrift, Britts battle suddenly went south on lap 25 when Britts' car, which had been showing signs of smoke from the rear for several laps, abruptly launched itself into the turn one wall. Britts was able to extricate himself from the wreckage, shaken, but done for the evening. Thrift and Carrigg then went at it for the remaining ten laps, with Thrift able to stave off the attack and hold on for the win. Another great battle developed late in the race when Russ Miscally mounted a strong challenge to take the third spot away from Deal. Unfortunately, Miscally overcooked the throttle exiting turn two on the final lap trying to get under Deal and looped the No. 2 on the backstretch giving the position to Jamie Carter. Justin Moore filled in the fifth spot in the Muffler Man Modified finish. The 35-lap Thunder Truck feature saw point leader, Alan Moore, of St. Augustine, Fla. jump out to an early lead only to throw it all away when he spun the No. 1 truck, unaided, in turn four just five laps into the race. Ricky Cooper inherited the lead at that point and led a three-truck train the last 30 laps to pick up his second win of the season. Toby Sims and Mike Haney were all over the No. 21 truck of Cooper all the way to the end, but neither could find a way around the speedy Cooper. Andy Waldron and Robert Gorman Jr. were losing ground to the leaders at the end, but managed to hold on for fourth and fifth. Division point leader, Rodney Norman passed Scooter Hicks on lap 10 of the 20-lap Hobby Stock feature and went on post his second feature win of the 1999 season. Grady Lundquist was also able to slip past Hicks late in the race to capture the second spot. Hicks eventually finished third followed by Chris Manucy and Billy Mason. In the 20-lap Mini Stock Feature, Mickey Leth picked up his second feature win this year, getting by Joey Haslauer very late in the event. Kevin Burkett, John Thigpen and Steve Thompson rounded out the top five for the Mini Division. In what might very well be the last Wild Card event we'll ever see at the St. Augustine Speedway, Late Model driver, Dustin Chambers came away with his first win of '99. The thunder rolls on next Saturday night, June 5th at the St. Augustine Speedway with action in all six divisions, including a double points event for the Muffler Man Modifieds. Modified drivers are expected to load up and get here early to take advantage of this opportunity to double up and catch up. Grandstand gates open at 4:30. The action gets underway with qualifying at 6:00 PM. and heat racing at 7 PM.
ST. AUGUSTINE RESULTS FOR 5-29-99
SNAP-ON SPORTSMAN 1. 007-Todd Ponce 6. 72-Bobby Gonzalez 2. 22-Scott Lagasse 7. 17-Ronnie Tillman 3. 3-Tiny Cline 8. 42-Nick Pilinko 4. 60-Bo Allen 9. 05-David Hitchcock 5. 58-Les Burl 10. 37-Scott Smith
LATE MODEL STOCK 1. 00-Dick Anderson 6. 74-Jody Turner 2. 07-David Clegg 7. Donnie Oden 3. 18-Nolan Wilson 8. 22-Larry Osteen 4. 54-Dustin Chambers 9. 13-Chris Tedder 5. 9-Brent O'Neill
RICK THE MUFFLER MAN MODIFIEDS 1. 44-George Thrift 6. 99-David Linquist 2. 42-Tuffy Carrigg 7. 00-Mark Wortman 3. 15-Robert Deal 8. 2-Russ Miscally 4. 18-Jamie Carter 9. 14-Jimmy Britts 5. 8-Justin Moore 10. 88-Chuck Cumby
THUNDER TRUCKS 1. 21-Ricky Cooper 6. 8-Brent Hobbs 2. 23-Toby Sims 7. 16-Ron Thomas 3. 22-Mike Haney. 8. 1-Alan Moore 4. 52-Andy Waldron 9. 28-Wade Lynn 5. 88-Robert Gorman, Jr.
HOBBY 1. 53-Rodney Norman 6. 97-Bucky York 2. 7--Grady Lundquist 7. 5-Jay Agan 3. 28-Scooter Hicks 8. 54-Bart Heck 4. 21-Chris Manucy 9. 15-Rob Boykin 5. 18-Billy Mason 10. 6-Randy Moody
MINI STOCKS 1. 8-Mickey Leth 6. 13-Jake Hartley 2. 14-Joey Haslauer 7. 74-Mike Gibbs 3. 30--Kevin Burkett 8. 1-Vern Rozier 4. 5-John Thigpen 9. 202-Jason Miller 5. 6-Steve Thompson 10. 88-Tommy Baker
WILD CARD (LATE MODEL) 1. 54-Dustin Chambers
UNOFFICIAL ST. AUGUSTINE SPEEDWAY POINT STANDINGS AS OF 5-29-99
SNAP-ON SPORTSMAN 1. 3c-Tiny Cline 402 6. 27-Jason Garver 284 2. 3h-Kenneth Hall 386 7. 05-David Hitchcock 270 3. 007-Todd Ponce 370 8. 60-Bo Allen 248 4. 17-Ronnie Tillman 324 9. 6-Tommy Rupp 246 5. 58-Les Burl 316 10. 79-Jim Fogarty 222
LATE MODEL 1. 07-David Clegg 364 6. 21h-Chuck Hiers 238 2. 22-Larry Osteen 354 7. 54-Dustin Chambers 188 3. 74-Jody Turner 288 8. 17-Scott Cordon 150 4. 21o-Donnie Oden 274 9. 13-Chris Tedder 146 5. 23-Toby Sims 270 10. 18w-Nolan Wilson 132
MUFFLER MAN MODIFIEDS 1. 44-George Thrift 354 6. 15-Robert Deal 288 2. 88-Chuck Cumby 336 7. 12-David Hollingsworth 256 3. 8-Justin Moore 308 8. 14-Jimmy Britts 234 4. 18-Jamie Carter 302 9. 27-John Galbreath 220 5. 2-Russ Miscally 300 10. 42-Tuffy Carrigg 202
THUNDER TRUCKS 1. 21-Ricky Cooper 336 6. 8-Brent Hobbs 248 2. 1-Alan Moore 326 7. 23-Lee Sims 224 3. 52-Andy Waldron 298 8. 28-Wade Lynn 180 4. 88-Robert Gorman Jr.278 9. 16-Ron Thomas 116 5. 22-Mike Haney 256 10. 16-Matt Hartley 108
MINI STOCK 1. 30-Kevin Burkett 402 6. 74-Mike Gibbs 290 2. 33-Jay Farris 370 7. 13-Jake Hartley 286 3. 6-John Hopke 342 8. 8-Mickey Leth 280 4. 1-Vern Rozier 334 9. 83-Curt Messina 270 5. 5-John Thigpen 304 10. 6-Steve Thompson 254
HOBBY STOCKS 1. 53-Rodney Norman 422 6. 88-Seth Caudill 296 2. 28-Scooter Hicks 384 7. 7-Grady Lundquist 316 3. 21m-Chris Manucy 380 8. 6-Randy Moody 262 4. 21p-Brad Pilinko 332 97-Bucky York 262 5. 54-Bart Heck 298 10. 65-Bobby Giles 210
Points are unofficial and subject to audit.