USA Sprints Okeechobee race notes

Dean Bartholomew "The Loxahatchie Outlaw" Rode into Okeechobee Florida and made known that there's a new "Boss" in Town by gunning down the best of the USA Sprints Stars and Cars. Bob "Thunderfoot" Schaeffer in from Colorado driving Dan ...

Dean Bartholomew "The Loxahatchie Outlaw" Rode into Okeechobee Florida and made known that there's a new "Boss" in Town by gunning down the best of the USA Sprints Stars and Cars. Bob "Thunderfoot" Schaeffer in from Colorado driving Dan Barths # 22 J&J Budweiser sponsored car shot out of a cannon to take the green coming off of turn 4 and was followed by John "Party Time" Cickota's # 45, Andy "Hammer Down" Kelly Staggs Tree Service # 11, Bartholomew in his #63 Gambler and Tim George in the Venice Wrecker "Shaw Racing" chassied mount # 1. By Lap 8 Schaeffer had a commanding lead and was running the high side to his advantage.

On lap 10 Mike "Hollywood" Schroeder in the # 6 spun in turn 3 to bring out the first caution. When the race was restarted John Cickota was battling Andy Kelly for 2nd position with Dean Bartholomew and Tim George just behind in 4th and 5th. Cickota a 27 year racing veteran was hooked up and was giving Kelly fits as the 2 went back and forth for several laps. David "Skeeter" Kelly who was driving the #1x for Harry Brigham because the #12 car that Skeeter normally drives blew an engine in hotlaps spun in turn 4 almost collecting his brother in his wake. That was close call for both drivers. However when the race was restarted Andy Kelly reverted back a lap and Cickota was back in 2nd.

As the cars exited off of turn 4 for the lap 14 restart Cickota's #45 car momentarily lost traction which bottle-necked Andy Kelly's # 11 and allowed Dean "The Loxahatchie Outlaw" to blast into 2nd position past the 2 stunned drivers. At this point it certainly looked like "The Outlaw" was a force to be reckoned with as he set aim for the high flying Bob "Thunderfoot" Schaeffer's # 22. Back in the field there were heated battles going on with Sean "Zippy" Namor's # 10n, Bruce "The Rocketman" Durden from Jacksonville in the # 17 and Mike "The Professor" Steinruck making his first appearance of the season in his # 44a all trading "flyin mud" back and forth from positions 6th thru 8th.

By lap 17 Bartholomew had caught Schaeffer when the 22 slid high off of turn 4 allowing Dean to make the pass with authority. Meanwhile "Hammer Down" Kelly and "Party Time" Cickota were waging war of thief own at which time Kelly made a crossover move that had the fans cheering on thief feet. "The Outlaw" Bartholomew was in control and out front as Andy Kelly was in hot pursuit as he made his move past the # 22 of Schaeffer who was having some handing problems in turn 4 keeping his car in the groove. Kelly was charging and making ground on the leader Bartholomew but Dean was able to run his line and bring home the Checkered Flag on this chilly Winter night in Okeechobee Florida. After the race Dean commented that he knew he had only one chance and he needed to take advantage of the #45 of John Cickota's car not able to get a clean start. He did just that to stake his claim in Victory Lane as the 4th Winner in 4 Races to the Start of the 2004 USA Sprints Southern Thunder Tour Season.

The final rundown had Bartholomew in 1st, Andy Kelly-2nd, Schaeffer hanging on for 3rd, John Cickota in the #45-4th and Tim George in the # 1 coming home in 5th. Mike Steinruck who drove a fantastic race to earn the coveted "Hard Charger" award from KSE Racing Products came home 6th after started 12th. He was followed by Sean "Zippy" Namor's # 10n in 7th, Bruce "The Rocketman" Durden in the 17 Maxim Chassis posting 8th, Mike "Hollywood" Schroeder's # 6 rallying back from an earlier spin to nail down 9th and Bob "The Bullet" Parrow from New York rounding out the Top Ten with his best finish in his rookie season with the USA Sprints.

The next race will be at the Orange County Raceway in Bithlo Florida as the USA Sprints will make thief 2nd appearance of the 2004 "Southern Thunder Tour" Season on Saturday Night March 27th @ 7pm. Andy Kelly will take a slim 2 point lead with 236 points into this race over Tim George's 234, John Cickota @ 216, Mike Schroeder-208 and Bob Schaeffer with 204 points. From all indications there should be another different Winner so be sure not to miss the exciting magic of the USA Sprints Stars and Cars at a Track near you. Call Lou at Orange County Raceway for more information @ 321-377-2496.


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Series Sprint