St. Augustine Speedway Report 1999-09-11

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA -It was "Quick" Mickey Leth of St. Augustine scoring his second consecutive victory in the big Mini Rama double point special Saturday night at St. Augustine Speedway. Leth started on the pole and led the first...

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA -It was "Quick" Mickey Leth of St. Augustine scoring his second consecutive victory in the big Mini Rama double point special Saturday night at St. Augustine Speedway. Leth started on the pole and led the first seven laps of the 40-lap Mini Stock Feature before another St. Augustine native, Mike Ponce was able to make the move on the 1998 Mini Stock champion to take over the point. Ponce continued to lead the field with Leth in pursuit until lap 29 when the clutch on Ponce's No. 7 let go on a restart turning the lead back over to Leth. Leth was able to keep a hard charging John Thigpen at bay for the remaining 11 laps to bring the St. Augustine Services sponsored ride to victory lane for the fourth time in 1999. "That would have gotten interesting if Mike had been able to stay in there," said Leth after the race. " He was setting a good pace, I don't think he was running as fast as he could, at least judging from his earlier lap times, but he was running consistent laps. I was just trying to gauge where he was slipping and I felt like we had him set up there on that restart. We were definitely going to give him a run for his money. I just hate that he broke though. It was about to get real exciting" Leth picked up $400 as his share of the purse in addition to several bonus lap awards that had been put up by area businesses for certain positions on several laps. Ricky Cooper also picked up a little bonus money following his victory in the Thunder Truck division. The St. Augustine native now living in Elkton, Fla. started on the pole and led every lap of the 25-lap feature for that division and in doing so picked up the $300 bounty on fellow competitor Alan Moore. "Yes, we had a bounty on us several weeks ago but now we get to pick up a little of somebody else's money for a change," said Cooper. It just feels good to be back on the pole and back in victory lane for a change. It's a very good feeling." Cooper's L Wernick and Sons No. 21 was followed across the line by Ron Thomas of Elkton and Alan Moore of St. Augustine. The Snap-On Sportsman division also battled for double points Saturday night in a rescheduled event from two weeks ago when the threat of Hurricane Dennis shut down the Speedway. In that 35-lap feature for the NASCAR Winston Racing Series division, Todd Ponce of St. Augustine continued his domination of the division by beating Kenny Hall of St. Augustine and Ronnie Tillman of Green Cove Springs to the finish line. The win was Ponce's sixth in row raising his bounty to $400 next week. The convincing streak of wins though, were too little too late to chase down Kenny Hall for the W.R.S. title at the speedway. Hall took the NASCAR Winston Racing Series Track Champion for the second time in a row by a very close margin over Tiny Cline of St. Augustine. Although the NASCAR Winston Racing Series points are now over, track points will continue to accrue throughout the remainder of the season. Nick Pilinko of Jacksonville was transported to a local hospital for treatment and later released after his No. 42 Chevrolet was struck broadside by first time St. Augustine Speedway competitor Mike Barr in a turn two incident. Pilinko received a facial cut in the incident that required several stitches to close. Word today was that Nick was home, comfortable and recovering. Scotty Lagasse Jr. of St. Augustine picked up his second Late Model win in the 35-lap feature for that division. Lagasse grabbed the lead at the onset from his pole starting position and held off the challenges of veteran Larry Osteen for the victory. Behind Lagasse and Osteen, Donnie Oden, Chris Tedder and Kelly Charles finished third through fifth respectively. Russ Miscally of Jacksonville picked up his inaugural St. Augustine Speedway win in an exciting finish over George Thrift in the Rick's Muffler Modified event. Miscally took advantage of a rare mistake by Thrift on lap eight to grab the lead from the "Fernandina Beach Flyer" and then held off challenges from Robert Deal of Jacksonville and again late in the event from Thrift to put the Crosley Trailers No. 2 in victory lane for the first time this year. Behind Miscally and Thrift, last week's winner Tuffy Carrigg, Deal and J. F. McClellan rounded out the top five. Jody Stratton of St. Augustine put another No. 2 in victory lane Saturday night to become the first back-to-back feature winner in the Hobby Stock Division in several weeks. Stratton had to come from his fifth starting spot to pull off the win, taking the lead for the first time on a lap eight restart from Bobby Thornton. Thornton reclaimed the top spot and appeared to be ready to fend Stratton off. But a late caution was just what Stratton was hoping for taking the lead back on lap 19 of the 20-lap feature and held on for the win. The last lap dash for the checkers spelled disaster for several teams dicing for the third through sixth positions as an incident exiting turn four triggered within the group took many of the competitors out of the running. The next event for the St. Augustine Speedway will take place this Saturday as the PARTS Pro Trucks come to town for a 100-lap showdown.

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