SARA Lakeland report 2001-06-02

LAKELAND, Florida - Jason Boyd did it all, winning both SARA Executive Racing School Twin 100's Saturday evening at USA International Speedway collecting $5,600 for his efforts. "It's a real credit to my crew that I was able to sweep both ends of...

LAKELAND, Florida - Jason Boyd did it all, winning both SARA Executive Racing School Twin 100's Saturday evening at USA International Speedway collecting $5,600 for his efforts. "It's a real credit to my crew that I was able to sweep both ends of these Twin 100's," said Boyd. "They really had this car on target tonight." Boyd of Orlando, Fla., driving his GPC/Right Hand Man Late Model Chevrolet, also set fast time in the 29-car field, turning the three-quarter mile high-banked asphalt oval at 123.96 mph. It was his third straight SARA Late Model victory this season. It was a matter of patience in the first 100-lap event, but Boyd proved to be very much up to the task.

"Beauchemin was running real good, but he didn't appear to be getting in the corners that good so I put pressure on him until there was a hole," said Boyd. After staring eighth following inversion, a determined Boyd stepped to the outside taking the lead in lap-69, passing early leader Bobby Beauchemin of Davie, Fla., in the Lakeland based Don Robinson owned Chevrolet. "There's no doubt he had the car to beat in this race," said Beauchemin. Beauchemin, starting from the outside pole, moved to the front in the opening lap looking very strong. Boyd moved up two spots by lap-12 and you could sense it was just a matter of time. Beauchemin now had Boyd close in tow in lap-21 and the duo opened a 20-car lead over third place running Wayne Morris of Mulberry Fla., driving the GGR Roofing Chevrolet. "My car was a little tight going in but, the bottom line is we didn't have enough for those two (Boyd and Beauchemin) tonight, because they were so much better on the short runs," said Morris. Still leading at 50-laps Beauchemin was coming under the careful scrutiny of Boyd for any sign of weakness. Morris was third, followed by Richard Kelley of Gulf Port, Fla. and Dwayne Dempsey of St. Petersburg, Fla. With Boyd still running very quickly, Beauchemin began to slow as his Chevrolet appeared to be suffering from tire wear. Boyd bolted to the outside in lap-69 taking the lead and quickly opening a sufficient lead for victory.

Dempsey, driving the CD Roma's Chevrolet was moving strongly on Morris for third, but was unable to catch him mostly because of lapped traffic. Boyd coasted home followed by Beauchemin, Morris, Dempsey and Kelley. In the SARA Executive Racing School second Twin 100 Late Model race Boyd again proved he would be the man to beat, but it would be a little tougher the second time around. The 28-car remaining field was inverted with Boyd starting 20th. Things looked a little bleak for Boyd when he scraped the wall developing handling problems. "About lap-15, I felt a vibration in the front end on the inside of the car and it didn't work well," said Boyd. "The problem turned out to be a loose ball joint and the crew had to set the tow and tighten the ball joint back up." Tony Amico of Clearwater, Fla., running his best race of the season put his Executive Racing School Chevrolet on the point early, leading through lap-21. A quick moving Troy Hall of Deerfield Beach, Fla., driving the Window Tint USA ride took over in lap-22 leading through lap-52 as the field started to sort out following the early inversion. After starting 17th, Dempsey was flying and moved into fourth by lap-40 as his car showed some early muscle. Dempsey then had Hall in sight moving into second following a caution shortly after lap-50.

"It feels good to get behind the wheel and be competitive because we were beginning to doubt this race car," said Dempsey. In lap-53, Dempsey took the lead going into turn three and Boyd was running fourth. The crowd now sensed Boyd had a shot at winning and were waving him on every lap. Early lapped traffic slowed the front-running cars down, but veteran drivers quickly put things in the proper perspective. Edward Howell of Lakeland, Fla., driving the Bartow, Fla. based Chevrolet owned by former Winston Cup driver Rick Wilson was now second and the only thing that was between Boyd and the leading Dempsey.

Boyd slipped by Howell in lap-59 and by lap-75 had reeled in Dempsey. The duo of Dempsey and Boyd then became involved in a side-by-side battle beginning in lap-77, bringing the crowd to their feet for six laps. Jay Middleton of Lake City, Fla., driving the North Florida Medical ride made a good run finishing third, his best SARA Late Model effort.

"It was tough out there tonight, because of lapped traffic," said Middleton. Boyd started his winning pass in turn four completing it going into turn one. The winner then opened up a five-car lead by lap-94 and took the checkered flag. Dempsey, Middleton, Amico and Hall followed Boyd across the stripe. Thee next SARA Executive Racing School 100 is at USA International Speedway on July 21 on the three-quarter mile paved oval.

-SARA

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