Hardeeville race summary 2002-10-12

Finney wins first race ever as the Florida Pro Series invades Hardeeville Motor Speedway on its season finale. HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (October 12, 2002) The Florida Pro Series 100 showcased the best Late Model drivers in Florida in prime fashion ...

Finney wins first race ever as the Florida Pro Series invades Hardeeville Motor Speedway on its season finale.

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (October 12, 2002) The Florida Pro Series 100 showcased the best Late Model drivers in Florida in prime fashion as first-time winner Kevin Finney of Merritt Island, FL bested the field that included local favorite Skeeter Godbee of Sylvania, GA. The Legends Cars Semi-Pro division points championship was also settled as Jonathan Haidon of Hilton Head, SC finished in second place behind two-time winner Billy Tysinger of Hardeeville, SC. Haidon clinched the championship over Jimmy Lang of Bluffton, SC. The Xtreme Stocks and Mini Stocks championship were settled as Don Dean of Sheldon, SC and Steven Moore of St. George, SC who not only were declared the track champions in their divisions, but also put an exclamation point on the occasion by winning their respective features. Newcomer John Rewis of Savannah, GA was victorious in both Road Warrior races and the special Road Warrior Challenge race found Debbie Bolton of Gator 104.9FM victorious Dr. Peter Frank of Bluffton, SC with a "little help from the Hardeeville Fire Department."

In the Florida Pro Series feature event, polesitter Doyle Boatwright of Starke, FL traded places with fellow front-row starter Jonny Kay of Deerfield Beach, FL throughout the early stages of the 100-lap race while the Finney brothers, Kevin and Brian both of Merritt Island, FL worked their way towards the front. Dick Anderson, the all-time short track career feature leader from Wildwood, FL and Skeeter Godbee of Sylvania, GA gave chase behind the Finney's. Several cautions worked on the attrition rate as fast timer Jay Middleton of Lake City, FL broke an axle on the first lap and was not a factor from there on. Kevin Finney held on to the end and overtook Boatwright for his first ever victory. Brian Finney finished third.

The Legends Car racing was hotter than ever as the stage was set early on to see who would win the Semi- Pro division track championship. From the drop of the green flag Jonathan Haidon of Hilton Head, SC, Jimmy Lang of Bluffton, SC, Andrew Smith of Pooler, GA and Billy Tysinger of Hardeeville, SC all appeared poised to claim victory. Once he moved out into clean and open air, the "Billy Tysinger Show" was on it became apparent that no one would catch the youngster. From second through fifth, Haidon, Smith and Lang traded several spots until the late race surge by Evans, GA native Trey Carr. Carr worked his way up through the field stepping ahead of Lang and keeping him out of reach for the trophy as Smith and Haidon tried to gain some time on Tysinger. Haidon finished second just ahead of Smith. After the race, both Tysinger and Haidon, both emotional about their accomplishments, congratulated each other sharing handshakes and a "nod" towards racing for the title in 2003.

The Xtreme Stock Cars ran their final points series race of the 2002 season as well with Don Dean of Sheldon, SC besting the field as Timmy Dasher of Bluffon, SC came home second just ahead of Summerville, SC native David Taschner. The eyes were gleaming throughout the practice sessions as Don Dean was a no-show to practice and narrowly made the race as his trailer had a flat tire making the trip to Hardeeville.

In the Mini Stock feature, Steven Moore of St. George, SC nearly lapped the field and came home victorious and captured the Mini Stock Track Championship. Coming in second almost a ½ lap behind the leader was Johnny Brown of Bluffton, SC and third was Bobby Duncan of Ludowici, GA.

The Road Warriors were in action for two feature races as newcomer John Rewis of Savannah, GA won both events. Peter Frank of Bluffton, SC came in second in the first race just ahead of fan favorite Chelsea Carr of Martinez, GA. First timer, Paul Caldwell of Savannah, GA came in second narrowly ahead of Carr in the second feature.

A special Road Warrior "Challenge" race was run featuring local radio personality Debbie Bolton of Gator 104.9FM squared off against Dr. Peter Frank. Bolton held off the charging Frank until the final lap when Frank passed her using a sling shot move to the outside. In turn three on the last lap, Bolton overtook Frank and held on for the victory as Frank and his car were doused with water from the Hardeeville Fire Department. Post race interviews concluded a possible "fire or spark" coming from Frank's car lead the fire department to hose down his car during the race. As part of the "Challenge", Bolton said during the post race interview that now "Big John must shave his legs and wear a dress for the IPRA Rodeo coming to Hardeeville in two weeks."

The IPRA Pro Rodeo comes to town again on Friday and Saturday night, October 25th and 26th. Cowboys and cowgirls from all across the United States will compete in seven events that include bullriding, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc, team roping, steer wrestling, calf roping and barrel racing. Gates open at 5 p.m., exhibition and pre-event activities at 6:00 p.m. and the rodeo begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Ticket prices for general admission are $12 for adults with reduced rates for seniors, military and children. Advance tickets on sale for reduced rates from day-of-show prices. A special VIP trackside seat is also available on both nights.

The Hardeeville Motor Speedway is located three miles south of I-95 (exit 5 in SC) on Highway 17 or just ten miles north of Savannah on Highway 17. For more information, contact (843) 784 RACE (7223) or visit online at www.hardeevillespeedway.com.

-hms-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Andrew Smith