St Augustine Local divisions back in action after long layoff

March 30th, St. Augustine, FL -- A survey of drivers and fans would likely show a sigh of relief for this Saturday, April 1st's racing program at Florida Speed Park as all six local divisions are returning to action after a three week ...

March 30th, St. Augustine, FL -- A survey of drivers and fans would likely show a sigh of relief for this Saturday, April 1st's racing program at Florida Speed Park as all six local divisions are returning to action after a three week layoff.

Following a nine day February speed weeks program and two special event Saturday nights in March, including last week's USAR Hooters ProCup, the local racing divisions, competing in the national ARA Weekly Racing Series, will settle in to the Saturday night program throughout the month of April.

"I'm as excited as anyone to have all of our boys back this weekend," says speedway general manager Louis Smith. "They put on a great show on opening night, and all of this time has given everybody a chance to get all of their machines back up to par."

Joining the locals this weekend is Speedo the Clown, who will bring his zany speedway antics to St. Augustine for the first time in several years. Speedo, who will entertain both the young and young at heart, caps off a packed April Fool's Day program.

The 2000 schedule is filled with numerous touring series and other racing vehicles, in addition to the six divisions that comprise the weekly program. The six ARA divisions are the Late Models, Sportsman, Rick's Muffler Modifieds, Thunder Trucks, Old Rooster Mini Stocks and the Alpha Communications Hobby Stocks.

"Throughout the course of the season, we will rotate all of the local divisions to make sure each is getting in enough races to compete in the overall national points race," says Smith. "A week off here and there is good for the driver and their car, and their families. March was a little too much time off, though."

Highlighting Saturday's program are Donnie Oden and Les Burl, who each captured their first speedway victories on opening night, Oden in Late Models and Burl in trucks. Kenny Hall, who defended his 1999 track championship with a win in the Sportsman division, will seek to maintain his pace in what has shown itself to be an extremely competitive field of cars.

Jimmy Britts will seek to become the season's first three-peat winner in the Rick's Muffler Modifieds. Britts will also be competing in next weekend's NASCAR Goody's Dash Gold Star Dodge Dealers 125.

Due to operating restrictions in the county's zoning, the Saturday night racing program will be moved back from a 7:30 pm features start to an 8:30 pm start. Qualifying and heats will begin at 6:45 pm instead of 6:00 pm. Open practice will be from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The public is invited to the grandstands free of charge to watch practice.

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