Inverness, FL. - Citrus County Speedway welcomed the Late Model Super Trucks of the Myakka Brokers Southern Pro Truck Series for their first event of the 1999 racing season and despite the un-Florida like cold weather an excellent crowd was on...
Inverness, FL. - Citrus County Speedway welcomed the Late Model Super Trucks of the Myakka Brokers Southern Pro Truck Series for their first event of the 1999 racing season and despite the un-Florida like cold weather an excellent crowd was on hand to see the up and coming series begin their fourth competitive season. It may have been a new season, but it was a familiar face in Victory Lane when the Myakka Brokers Blastoff 75 was completed as Butch Yoakam in the Pasco Aluminum/Goodwin Construction/Meadowood Homes/Kolortrak Ford F-150 , the 1998 Series Champion, from Newport Richie, FL, dominated the event to post his first win of the new campaign. Yoakam, who considers the Inverness, FL speedplant his home track, took the lead at the drop of the green and then led every lap to take home the win.
"I have a little bit of an advantage from racing here for so many years," Yoakam stated of his wire-to-wire win. "The truck was really hooked up tonight. We had a little problem with lapped traffic a couple of times, but we made it through. This truck had a good chassis set-up and that made it a little easier."
Yoakam's run to the checkers was slowed by only 5 caution periods, all of them for minor spins, and the lapped trucks that were racing so hard for position that they could not get out of the way of the flying front-runner.
Yoakam was able to work his way around the slower traffic and set such a blistering pace that by the time the checkers came out he had lapped all but the top five trucks.
1999 Rookie of the Year candidate Rusty Dixon of Riverview, FL in the Myakka Brokers/ Jimmy Cope Race Cars/T.C. Koon Transmissions Ford, set the "X-1R Fast Time" in time trials with a quick lap of 14.720 seconds around the semi-banked quarter mile oval for an average speed of 61.141 mph. Dixon then drew the #4 pill to invert the top four trucks, putting Jeff Sloan of Springhill, FL on the pole.
When flagman Burt Thomas threw the green flag to start the event, Yoakam shot into a lead he would never surrender. Dixon settled into second place at the end of the first lap with Scott Bramlett third, Bruce Gaskins fourth and Hubert Simmons Jr. filling the top five. Yoakam began to slowly open the gap between himself and Dixon as it was obvious his truck was getting up off the corners better than his challengers. Dixon was under heavy pressure from Bramlett while the remainder of the field was battling hard to try and improve their positions.
The first caution of the event came out on lap 9 when Jason Williamson looped his Chevrolet in turn three. The field closed up and when the green came back out Dixon got a good jump and rapped Yoakam in the rear, this only seemed to spur the veteran on as he quickly opened a three truck-length lead over the next three laps.
By lap 19 the leaders were beginning to encounter lapped traffic and the gap between Dixon and Yoakam fluctuated as each had to deal with slower trucks. Dixon was also pushing up slightly in the corners, and Bramlett kept trying to get his nose under the rookie and take the position. Finally on lap 32 Bramlett got some good bite off turn two and was able to pull alongside Dixon down the back straight. Dixon contested the pass through three and four, battling back on the high side, but at the start/finish line it was Bramlett in second place.
Now Bramlett set off to try and run down the speeding Yoakam, who had increased his margin to six truck-lengths as the trucks behind him battled. Slower traffic continued to slow the pace at the front, but the leaders were working both high and low as they made their way through a pack of trucks.
Yoakam soon came up on the Dodge of Mark Manfredi, the Championship runner-up in 1998, and closed right to his rear bumper entering turn one on lap 67. Bramlett closed up on Yoakam with Dixon right on his tailgate. As the four trucks began to exit turn two, Manfredi's truck belched a cloud of smoke, Yoakam checked and then went to the high side while Manfredi quickly pulled into the infield. Bramlett and Dixon were also forced to check up, and by the time they could get back into the gas, Yoakam had a two length lead.
During the ensuing caution to clean up the oil on the track, that was subsequently found to have come from the Dodge breaking the oil cooler, Bramlett was found to be leaking fluid from his truck and was sent to the pits to make repairs. He was able to return to the track before the green flag flew, but was now on the tail end of the lead lap.
With an eight lap shootout to the finish coming, the order at the front was Yoakam, Dixon, Simmons, Fred Wagner and Bramlett. They were the only trucks still on the lead lap.
When racing resumed Yoakam took off from the pack and cruised home to the checkered flag. Dixon was able to hold off fellow Rookie of the Year candidate Simmons and take second, with Wagner and Bramlett rounding out the top five. Eddie Hartin came home in sixth with 1998 Rookie of the Year Tommy Caveney seventh. Rob Lyons, Steve Smith and Todd Blevins rounded out the top ten.
With his second place finish, Dixon took the early lead in the Rookie of the Year chase with Simmons, who piloted the Simmons Construction/Grubbs Construction/Castriota Chevy, Cross Bar Ranch/Triceat Commications Chevrolet to third was the highest finishing General Motors truck just behind. Yoakam is the leader in the overall points with Dixon and Simmons trailing. By winning the 'X-1R Fast Time' award, Dixon became the first qualifier for the Astec Industrial Coatings Pole Shootout at the end of the season. The 20 lap race will pay the winner $1,000.
The Myakka Brokers Southern Pro Trucks will appear next at Charlotte County Speedway in Punta Gorda, FL on March 13. The 'Fastest Trucks in the South' will also visit DeSoto Speedway in Bradenton, FL during the month of March. For ticket information, contact the track ticket offices.
Citrus County Speedway -SPTS - Provisional results for the Southern Pro Truck Series, Myakka Brokers Blastoff 75:
Ps.Ql.No. Driver , Car Laps Notes -- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- -------
1 47 Butch Yoakam, Newport Richie FL Pasco Aluminum Ford 75 2 97 Rusty Dixon, Riverview FL Myakka Brokers Ford 75 3 74 Hubert Simmons Jr, Hudson FL Simmons ConstructionChev 75 4 22 Fred Wagner, Bradenton, FL Marine Surplus Chev 75 5 12 Scott Bramlett, St Cloud, FL Chev 75 6 5 Eddie Hartin, Lakeland FL Bear Motorsports Chev 74 7 46 Tommy Caveney, Mulberry FL Mid Florida Diesel Chev 74 8 41 Rob Lyons, St Cloud FL Miller Peformance Chev 74 9 28 Steve Smith, Lakeland FL Scotty's/Super Slots Chev 73 10 95 Todd Blevins, St Pete FL G&R Enterprises T100 73 11 7 Randy Davis, Cocoa FL Hi Tech Host/Custom Indust Chev 72 12 44 Mike Gamache, Palm Harbor Bobby's Aviation Chev 70 13 20 Mark Manfedi, Debary FL Massey Chrysler/Express Dodg 66 14 4 Jim Santjer, Palmetto FL Big A Auto Parts Chev 60 15 10 George Receveur Jr Brooksville FL South Down/DAPSChev 30 16 37 Bruce Gaskins, Inverness FL S Perform Coatings Ford 18 17 70 Jason Williamson Lakeland FL QMI/Lloyd Bailey Chev 9 18 31 Jeff Sloan, Springhill FL Roy Brown Linc/Merc Ford 0
Margin of Victory : 2 truck lengths Lap Leaders : Yoakam 1-75 Cautions : 5 for 27 laps Track Length : 0.2500 Miles
John Kaiser - SPTS