FOX SCORES WITH LAST TURN PASS HOBBS, TILLER AND BRUCE CLAIM OPENING NIGHT VICTORIES BLOOMINGTON, IN (May 8, 1999) - Brad Fox narrowly beat Billy Puterbaugh Jr. under the checkers at Bloomington Speedway Friday night, grabbing the lead as they...
FOX SCORES WITH LAST TURN PASS HOBBS, TILLER AND BRUCE CLAIM OPENING NIGHT VICTORIES
BLOOMINGTON, IN (May 8, 1999) - Brad Fox narrowly beat Billy Puterbaugh Jr. under the checkers at Bloomington Speedway Friday night, grabbing the lead as they raced literally wheel-to-wheel off the fourth turn. Puterbaugh had led every circuit of the 25-lap Opening Night Pennzoil Cup sprint car feature, before Fox dug deep inside for one final effort. "It seemed the harder I tried, the further away I got," Fox stated from Victory Lane. "But on the white flag lap I had to go where he wasn't, and it worked."
With Puterbaugh taking the lead from Brian Gerster and Chris Lafollette at the green flag, Fox patiently worked his way from sixth starting position toward the front. On the fourth circuit, Brian Hayden barrel\-rolled four times in turn two when Eric Burns charged into him. Neither driver was injured.
Staying tight in the inside groove, Puterbaugh opened a dozen car-length lead, while Fox battled past Justin Marvel and Lafollette. With two laps remaining, Fox, Bloomington's 1997 Pennzoil Cup sprint car champion, dove under Gerster in the first turn, grabbing second place. He quickly closed the gap, and a lap later carried his Franklin Power Products/FOXCO sprinter high into the third and fourth turns, using his momentum to shove him past Puterbaugh. Gerster finished third, followed by Derek Scheffel, Nick Adams, Lafollette, Lennie Waltz, Jason Knoke, Pete Abel and Justin Marvel.
Lee Hobbs ended an extended losing streak at Bloomington Speedway, in the Indiana Street Stock feature that had been rescheduled from April 14. Hobbs reported that his last feature win at Bloomington was in 1987. Hobbs chased Denny Campbell for the first five laps, before Campbell dropped out of the race. Rusty Smiley ran in Hobbs' tracks the second half of the race, but Hobbs never left the door open wide enough for Smiley to come through. Tom Allman finished third, ahead of Bret Ezzo and Steve Hunt.
In the regularly scheduled Indiana Street Stock feature, Perry Bruce outran Hobbs, Greg O'Neill and Bret Ezzo as he claimed his first victory of 1999. Hobbs dropped out just before mid-race, and O'Neill fought his way past Bruce for just one lap. But slower cars balked O'Neill on the next circuit, and Bruce, last season's Indiana Street Stock division champion, was able to slip back past on the inside. O'Neill never got close to Bruce again. Ezzo finished third, with Smiley, Don Bush Jr., Cory Brown, Jerry Hepworth, Bob Bex, Joe Deckard and Danny Williams trailing.
Matt Tiller survived a seven-car pileup in the UMP Modified feature, and held off Richie Lex to become the second of last season's division champions to score a victory on Friday night. Tiller had just passed race leader Adam Sasser when Sasser spun in the first turn on a restart, and seven cars piled into the melee. When racing resumed, Tiller kept Lex behind him for the win. Ray Humphrey charged from the tail of the field after the wreck, to finish a close third. Completing the top ten were Brian Campbell, Kerry Norris, J.D. Francis, Terry Trammell, Dale Dubois, Jack Taylor and Sam Brandenburg.
Race Summary Bloomington Speedway - Opening Night, May 7, 1999
Pennzoil Cup Sprint Cars Fast Qualifier: Brad Fox, 11.670 Heat 1: Pete Abel, Kenny Carmichael, Brad Fox, Brian Hayden Heat 2: Nick Adams, Derek Scheffel, Kevin Chambers, Lennie Waltz Heat 3: Dave Peperak, Matt Jewell, Billy Puterbaugh, Eric Burns B-Main: Justin Marvel, Jason Knoke, Tyler Waltz, Rick Hayden, James Mills, Glenn Scott, Bill Boggs 25-lap Feature: Fox, Puterbaugh, Gerster, Scheffel, Adams, Lafollette, L. Waltz, Knoke, Abel, Marvel, Carmichael, Peperak, R. Hayden, Chambers, Jonathan Vennard, Mills, Jewell, T. Waltz, B. Hayden, Burns
Indiana Street Stocks - Rescheduled from April 14, 1999 B-Main: Greg O'Neill, Don Bush Jr., Brent Wilson, Steve Hunt 25-lap Feature: Lee Hobbs, Rusty Smiley, Allman, Ezzo, Steve Hunt, Steve Hollars, Don Short, Don Bush Jr., Davis, Tom Plotz, Steve Hawkins, Roy Bruce Jr., Tony Machem, Brent Wilson, Gerald Todd, Denny Campbell, Bigham, Michael Purtlebaugh, Greg O'Neill
Indiana Street Stocks - regularly scheduled event Heat 1: Lee Hobbs, Rusty Smiley, Bret Ezzo, Greg Kendall Heat 2. Perry Bruce, Greg O'Neill, Jack Frye, Joe Deckard Heat 3: Don Bush Jr., Cory Brown, Jerry Hepworth, Bob Bex Heat 4: Brandon Short, Tom Plotz, Travis Todd, Travis Gault B-Main: Tom Allman, Mel Bingham, Don Short, Danny Williams, Steve Davis 25-lap Feature: Bruce, O'Neill, Ezzo, Smiley, Bush, Brown, Hepworth, Bex, Deckard, Williams, Davis, Allman, Plotz, Todd, Hobbs, Bigham, Gault, B. Short, Kendall, Frye
UMP Modifieds Heat 1: Kerry Norris, Bill Cecil, Richie Lex, Donnie Parson, Sam Brandenburg Heat 2: Adam Sasser, Dale Dubois, Brian Campbell, J.D. Francis, Deron Freeman Heat 3. Matt Tiller, Jack Taylor, Ray Humphrey, Terry Trammell, Eddie Lake B-Main: Gary Trammell, Bret Barr, Charlie Phillips, Lee Hobbs, Steve Peden 25-lap Feature: Tiller, Lex, Humphrey, Campbell, Norris, Francis, T. Trammell, Dubois, Taylor, Brandenburg, Parson, Lake, Phillips, Barr, Freeman, Peden, Sasser, Cecil, Hobbs, G. Trammell