April 1st, St. Augustine, FL â€“ The seventh position turned out to be a lucky 7 for Todd Ponce on a fun-filled April Foolâ€™s Day program at Florida Speed Park. Ponce, who started seventh twice during speed weeks competition with less than ...
April 1st, St. Augustine, FL – The seventh position turned out to be a lucky 7 for Todd Ponce on a fun-filled April Fool’s Day program at Florida Speed Park. Ponce, who started seventh twice during speed weeks competition with less than stellar results, turned a top eight invert into a hard-charging-fest, tearing through the field in his #007 car and taking the victory in the Sportsman division.
Kenny Hall, last year’s champion and the season opening winner, fought off another strong outing by Shaw Hallman and Jason Garver to claim second. Hallman settled for third, while Garver placed fourth and Ronnie Tillman took fifth.
Wade Lynn finally managed to put it all together in the Thunder Truck division Saturday, passing Ron Thomas late in the race and claiming his first career truck victory at the speedway. Thomas kept up his Victory Lane streak, finishing second and prompting yet another donation from Prosperity Bank to the American Cancer Society. Prosperity Bank is matching Thomas’s winnings and donating it to the charity of Thomas’s choice whenever the driver of the #16 places in the top three, which he has done all season, dating back to speed weeks. Toby Sims, in his first truck race following a last lap flip in last September’s Southern Pro Truck event, finished third. Mike Lowe, driving the only Dodge, placed fourth while Les Burl finished fifth.
In Late Model action, Larry Osteen took a fourth place start and easily converted it into victory in his first start of the points season. In a race that took a third try to get started following two first lap cautions, including the loss of polesitter Leo McCullough, Osteen eased past Dustin Chambers and Rick Rogero to claim his second win of 2000 in dominating fashion. Tommy Denton, driving St. Augustine for the first time this year, managed to outgun Tim Laurent for second, with Laurent third. Donnie Oden, caught in a mid-race spin in turn four with Rick Rogero, charged back to finish fourth. Rogero would place fifth.
Jay Farris began the Tattoo Dee’s Old Rooster Mini Stock feature exactly where he wanted to be, in eighth place shooting for a $300 8 Ball bonus. Early on, it looked like Farris might deliver as he took his #33 to the outside of an incredible five-wide field coming out of turn two, barreling into second place behind Kevin Burkett. As the race progressed, though, both Farris and Burkett’s cars seemed to fade, and Jake Hartley, charging from a twelfth place start, led a trio of cars including Jody Miller and Mike Ponce into the lead. The three would finish the race accordingly, while Burkett and Farris finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Jimmy Britts continued his early season mastery in the Rick’s Muffler Modified division, beating out a powerful field which included the return of “King” George Thrift, III, back to defend his 1999 title. The fireworks began immediately as Robert Deal, Chuck Cumby and Mark Bergman all tangled on the second lap, sending Deal to the tail and Bergman out of the race with a flat tire. Cumby continued, turning his early race fortune into a second place showing. Deal managed to pick his way through the field and finish third. Marc Kinley, the 1998 Modified champion, finished fourth, while Thrift rounded out the top five.
The Alpha Communications Hobby Stocks provided fans with the most excitement of all as a loaded field traded positions, paint, and friendly gestures for twenty intense laps. In the end, Brad Pilinko found himself in Victory Lane for the second consecutive week, beating out Chris Manucy, Randy Wilkes and Jody Stratton, the three of which put on a dazzling show for second. Shea Clay took the fifth spot.
The NASCAR Goody’s Dash series returns to Florida Speed Park for their only 2000 engagement with the Gold Star Dodge Dealers 125 next Saturday. Joining the program are the Thunder Trucks, Mini Stocks and Hobby Stocks. Gates open at 2pm. The Triple Rock Blues Band will perform prior to the race, which begins at 8:00 pm.
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In other speedway related news, the Florida Speed Park Astros won their season opening game in the St. Augustine Little League's Minor League division, defeating the Royals 7-4, at Herbie Wiles Field.
1. Todd Ponce 2. Kenny Hall 3. Shaw Hallman 4. Jason Garver 5. Ronnie Tillman 6. Scott Hezel 7. Charles Seroki 8. Jimmy Bunn 9. Tommy Rupp 10. Joey Haslauer
1. Larry Osteen 2. Tommy Denton 3. Tim Laurent 4. Donnie Oden 5. Rick Rogero 6. Dave Hussey 7. Lee McCullough 8. Hal Bodway 9. Dustin Chambers 10. Jeremy Fitch 11. Leo McCullough 12. Jody Turner
Rick’s Muffler Modifieds
1. Jimmy Britts 2. Chuck Cumby 3. Robert Deal 4. Marc Kinley 5. George Thrift 6. Jared Allison 7. David Linquist 8. John Galbraith 9. Jason Lowe 10. Mark Bergman
1. Wade Lynn 2. Ron Thomas 3. Toby Sims 4. Mike Lowe 5. Les Burl 6. Joey Turner
Old Rooster Mini Stocks
1. Jake Hartley 2. Jody Miller 3. Mike Ponce 4. Kevin Burkett 5. Jay Farris 6. Jason Miller 7. Peedie Allison 8. Frank Andrews 9. A.J. Weathers 10. Curt Messina 11. Josh Leth 12. Vern Rozier 13. Jimmy Peele
Alpha Communications Hobby Stocks
1. Brad Pilinko 2. Chris Manucy 3. Randy Wilkes 4. Jody Stratton 5. Shea Clay 6. Rodney Norman 7. L.H. Davis 8. Brad Paulsen 9. Bart Heck 10. Randy Moody 11. Jim Reynolds 12. Bucky York 13. Brenda Little 14. John Torba 15. Charles Danko