St. Augustine Speedway Report

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA -Tuffy Carrigg of Jacksonville, Fla. took over the lead on lap eight of the Rick's Muffler Modified main event Saturday night at St. Augustine Speedway and then held the wolves at bay for the remaining 17 laps to score his...

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA -Tuffy Carrigg of Jacksonville, Fla. took over the lead on lap eight of the Rick's Muffler Modified main event Saturday night at St. Augustine Speedway and then held the wolves at bay for the remaining 17 laps to score his first win of the 1999 season. But this win was bigger than your "run of the mill" first win, it was huge at the pay-off window as well. Carrigg collected an additional $500 above his normal race winnings by becoming the fist driver to beat the incredible George Thrift of Fernandina Beach in the last nine events here. Thrift, a 14-race winner in 1999, found himself in the fight of his young racing career as "Hot Shoe" modified drivers from around the state descended on the fast St. Augustine oval, all there with but one goal, to keep him from winning his ninth race in a row and collecting his own hefty bounty. In the first few laps of this event, Thrift had dropped in behind pole winner Larry Martin and was pushing the veteran hard for the lead. As the pushing progressed, primarily through the corners where Thrift's No. 44 was the most impressive, Martin's No. 07 suddenly spun as the pair exited turn two. Both drivers were relegated to the tail of the field for the incident leaving Carrigg's Hatch Logging entry to pace the leaders. Martin and Thrift quickly worked their way back through the field and had caught Carrigg on lap 17. But the bounty jinx jumped up and bit Thrift a second time when he tangled with Gary Southard's No. 39 out of Gainesville, Fla. as the two battled door to door for the third spot. Thrift again restarted from the tail of the field but was only able to move back into the third spot one more time before running out of laps and having to settle for the show money behind Carrigg and Martin. "I was really worried about both Larry and George," said Carrigg in Victory Lane. "Either one of those guys can beat you even when they're having a bad day. I was just trying to stay focused and run my race but I knew they were all over me. That bounty money is a big incentive." "I would have gone to the back ten times," said Thrift. "We had the car to beat, we just ran out of laps after that last deal. These two guys in front of me ran a super race. I'd rather run against the best there is all the time, it's better racing for the fans and it makes you be better." Thrift was leading the ShorTrack Series by NASCAR in the Sunbelt region going into this race. NASCAR will release the new standings Thursday afternoon. In other action from the Speedway Saturday night, Todd Ponce of St. Augustine stretched his consecutive win streak to five in a row, increasing the bounty on him to $300 for the next event. That particular event is a double points affair one-week from tonight. That Sept. 11 date will also mark the last race on the schedule in which Winston Racing Series points may be accumulated. Ponce's win at the St. Augustine oval Saturday night moved him into a tie with Jacksonville's Les Burl for fourth in overall point standings. Kenny Hall continues to lead the point battle over Tiny Cline and Bo Allen. The Southern Pro Trucks made their second stop at the St. Augustine Speedway this season with a 75-lap feature that brought the fans to their feet with a heart-stopping finish. No, it wasn't the race for the win, but rather a frightening accident that saw local favorite Toby Sims of St. Augustine slam the turn four retaining wall with the bottom of his race truck after getting airborne coming to the checkers and racing for fifth. After careening off the barrier and turning over again, the St. Augustine native quickly scrambled from the vehicle uninjured. The same could not be said for the catch fence or guardrail that did the job it was designed to do but had to undergo some minor repairs before racing could continue. Butch Yokum won the Truck event by a relatively safe margin over Scott Bramlett and Hubert Simmons Jr. In the 20-lap Hobby Stock main event Stucco, Fla.'s Jody Stratton won his second feature in the last four outings over Grady Lundquist and Jimmy Bunn. Stratton's Lawn Ranger sponsored machine had the field covered for the entire event, coming from his pole starting spot to lead from start to finish. After missing a couple of weeks of action, Mickey Leth was back to his winning ways picking up another Mini Stock feature win. Leth grabbed the lead from pole sitter John Thigpen at the start and the held off the hard charger for his third win this year. Mike Ponce came from his eighth starting spot to finish third.

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