May 13th, St. Augustine, FL -- Tim Harrington, starting on the pole by virtue of a top 10 qualifying random pill draw, stayed out front for 100 harrowing laps and scored his first victory of the SARA Late Model Sportsmen 2000 series at Florida...
May 13th, St. Augustine, FL -- Tim Harrington, starting on the pole by virtue of a top 10 qualifying random pill draw, stayed out front for 100 harrowing laps and scored his first victory of the SARA Late Model Sportsmen 2000 series at Florida Speed Park Saturday night.
Harrington, of Miramar, Florida, fought off a valiant effort by points leader Bobby Beauchemin over the final fifteen laps, including a spectacular final lap challenge down the backstretch where the two traded paint as Beauchemin tried a last ditch effort on the outside.
"We were scrambling to put the car back together," said a subdued Harrington, fresh off a victory Friday night in a 100 lap Late Model feature in Orlando. "I'm feeling very lucky right now."
Beauchemin's effort put him in second place, adding to his series points lead. "There was a lot of real good race cars out there, and we had a real good one right here," said Beauchemin. "We're looking at the big picture, but every race we want to be good."
Mike McCrary, Jr. won a tough battle with top qualifier Dwayne Dempsey for third place, while Joe Boyd rounded out the top five.
The St. Augustine faithful were disappointed to learn that local favorite Scott Lagasse, Jr., who nearly pulled off a victory in last year's spring event, was unable to compete in the SARA event due to a discrepancy in the rules involving his clutch. The crowd was outwardly vocal towards SARA officials throughout the evening.
Dustin Chambers, who drives the #54 in the local Late Model series, entered the race and finished 22nd after getting involved in a collision with Tony Amico's #77 car coming out of turn 4 on lap 68. Chambers' car was badly damaged in the incident. Amico was able to complete one more lap before removing himself from competition, his car also damaged from the incident plus several previous altercations. Leo McCullough, another local Late Model driver, experienced car troubles earlier in the event and finished 25th.
Chuck Cumby, starting on the pole in the Rick's Muffler Modified feature, outdueled a hard charging Robert Deal midway through the event to claim his first victory of the 2000 points season. Deal, who began the race at the rear, spun out in turn 2 attempting to pass Cumby on the 19th lap, forcing him back to the tail of the field, from which he could not recover. Jeff Girard finished 2nd, while Marc Kinley, Mark Bergman and Deal rounded out the top five.
The real story of the Modified race involved Deal and Marc Kinley, who were involved in a severe collision during a hot lap session prior to qualifying. Both drivers were taken to the local hospital. Deal, who was knocked briefly unconscious, was treated for a possible head injury and Kinley for a possible head and shoulder injury. The drivers were released from the hospital and both returned to the speedway to find their crews working feverishly to fix the vehicles. After being checked out by speedway officials, both drivers were cleared to enter the race and both went on to post top five finishes.
Chris Manucy, denied the opportunity of a well-earned victory lane celebration, was declared the winner immediately following the Alpha Communications Hobby Stock feature as the 1st place car of Brian Donahue was disqualified for having an illegal carburator and illegal tires. L.H. Davis, Brad Pilinko, Randy Strehle and Bart Heck rounded out the top five.
The official results of the Tattoo Dee's Old Rooster Mini Stock feature are being withheld until Monday afternoon until a protest involving the flywheels of the top two finishers can be properly verified. Unofficial results have Jake Hartley, Mickey Leth, Mike Ponce, Peedie Allison and Troy Kruse finishing 1-5.
Florida Speed Park will be back in action Saturday, May 20th, for WFOY Night as the speedway hosts a demolition derby plus local racing in the Late Models, Sportsman, Modifieds, Thunder Trucks and Hobby Stock divisions. The Daytona Antique Racing Association will also be present with their Classic and Sprint classes. All military personnel, both active and retired, will be admitted half price along with their families in honor of America's service men.
SARA Late Model Sportsmen
1 - Tim Harrington 2 - Bobby Beauchemin 3 - Mike McCrary, Jr. 4 - Dwayne Dempsey 5 - Joe Boyd 6 - Jeff Scofield 7 - Eddie Miller 8 - Marlon Lynn 9 - Michael Faulk 10 - Brent Chilson 11 - Clint Slaggy 12 - Steve Tregear 13 - Michael King 14 - Chris Fontaine 15 - Wayne Morris 16 - Chris Lawrence 17 - Greg Kaouk 18 - David Logan 19 - Dan Crowe 20 - Brian Hutcheson 21 - Tony Amico 22 - Dustin Chambers 23 - Jason Crossey 24 - David Clegg 25 - Leo McCullough 26 - Bill Chapman 27 - Richard Kelley, Jr. 28 - Brent O'Neill 29 - Chip Shell 30 - Robbie Storerr
Rick's Muffler Modifieds
1 - Chuck Cumby 2 - Jeff Girard 3 - Marc Kinley 4 - Mark Bergman 5 - Robert Deal 6 - Bobby Sheffield 7 - Jared Allison 8 - David Linquist 9 - Mark Wortman 10 - George Michael 11 - Chester Mayes 12 - John Galbraith 13 - David Browning 14 - Justin Moore
Alpha Communications Hobby Stocks
1 - Chris Manucy 2 - L.H. Davis 3 - Brad Pilinko 4 - Randy Strehle 5 - Bart Heck 6 - Rodney Norman 7 - Randy Wilkes 8 - Terry Pilinko 9 - Shea Clay 10 - Bucky York 11 - Grady Lundquist 12 - Danny Thomas 13 - Randy Rosenfeld 14 - Jon Torba 15 - Walter Hurlbert 16 - James Reynolds 17 - Jody Stratton 18 - Scooter Hicks