ARA: Florida Speed Park notes

The ARA tour series uses a points system which encourages passing, similar to the local ARA divisions that race at Florida Speed Park. The result has been ferocious, often relentless battles up front. "Four-tenths of a second separated the...

The ARA tour series uses a points system which encourages passing, similar to the local ARA divisions that race at Florida Speed Park. The result has been ferocious, often relentless battles up front.

"Four-tenths of a second separated the top 27 qualifiers at Hickory Motor Speedway two weeks ago," says ARA Director of Competition Terry Treadwell. "That's how competitive this series has become, and it's a flat our war when the green flag drops."

Greg Marlowe, a veteran Late Model Stock big show journeyman in the Carolinas, heads into the double points, 200 lap St. Augustine feature having clinched the points championship. However, Marlowe is the only driver whose points position is sewn up. 19 of the remaining top 20 all have a shot of finishing in the top five.

"With a double points event, the whole field is wide open," says Treadwell. "Frampton Ferguson, Kevin Piercy, Westley Huffman, 13-year-old Stephen Leicht, Tom Pistone, JR Robbs and Billy 'Catfish' Parker all have a shot at the runner-up position."

Joining the field will be one of Florida Speed Park's weekly competitors, Larry Osteen. Osteen, the defending track Late Model division champion, will drive the Late Model Stock owned by North Carolina's Jimmy Young.

The ARA Late Model Stock All-Stars will be competing for $5,000 to win, part of an overall $22,000 purse. Bozard Ford, of St. Augustine, has offered a $10,000 bonus for the top qualifier to start at the rear and win the race.

Joining the TBARA Winged Sprints and the ARA Series are the local Alpha Communications Hobby Stock and Tattoo Dee's Old Rooster Mini Stock divisions.

The ARA series will qualify at 6:45 pm, followed by TBARA heat races. An on-track autograph session featuring the Late Model Stocks will begin at 7:45 pm. Features will begin at 8:15 pm, with the running the ARA Late Model Stock All-Stars 200. Grandstand gates open at 5:00 pm.

In the event of postponement due to weather, the event will be run on Sunday, September 3rd, at 3:00 pm.

Grandstand admission is $20 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $2 for ages 7-12. Under 7 is admitted free. A Family Pack allows 2 adults and children 18 and under in for $45.

Stephen Leicht, the 13-year-old driver of the No. 99 goracing.com Ford Taurus, will be at the Bozard Ford dealership in St. Augustine on Friday, September 1st, from noon to 6:00 pm to sign autographs. Leicht, who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Late Model Racer, is currently fifth in the ARA Kool Seal Late Model Stock All-Star Series points standings. Leicht was one of the original ARA drivers who competed in St. Augustine in February, his first ever Late Model race. He finished seventh.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Stephen Leicht