Baxley and Bontrager Take 50 Lappers at Ocala Speedway
There was plenty of action to go around Friday night at Ocala Speedway as David Baxley outgunned a good field
of Modifieds in their 50 lap special while point leader Todd Bontrager of Sarasota topped the visiting FASTRUCK Series.
Baxley’s H&B Cycle machine was fast right out of the box as he set quick time with a blistering lap of 15.276 sec.
The re-draw saw Baxley start from the third spot right behind polesitter John Gerstner who zipped to the early
lead with Baxley hot on his heels. Gerstner’s brother Jeremy, the outside polesitter, raced the two for
several laps but was eventually shuffled back to sixth spot.
Lap 13 would prove unlucky for the leader as Gerstner got tangled up with the lapped car of Norman Woodring
and had to pit with a flat tire.
Baxley managed to avoid the tangle and emerged as the new leader, but with last weeks winner Troy Robinson
right on his tail.
Only one more caution would be needed on lap 26 for a Shawn Taylor spin as Baxley and Robinson resumed
their battle again as the green flew.
Try as he might, Robinson could not unseat Baxley from the top spot seven though Baxley’s car developed
a bad push condition over the final laps.
Baxley took the win and completed a great month of October as one of the hottest Modified drivers in the
state with wins here, at New Smyrna and at Bronson.
Jeremy Gerstner got his car working to his liking late in the race and he drove back to a third place finish
just ahead of Alan McCafferty and Chris Fadling.
Jeff Conyers, Mike Wilson, Kevyn Terry, Darren Jackson, and RayEthridge completed the top ten while early
leader John Gerstner pitted and came back to salvage 11th.
Seventeen FASTRUCKS took the green for their 50-lapper with polesitter Danny Foster jumping out to the early
Caution was out quickly in this one as Johnny Mitchell spun in turn four just as the field completed one lap.
As the race resumed, it became apparent this one was going to be a battle as Jimmy Gill, Jeff Firestine,
James Wright III, and Todd Bontrager all moved in on the leader Foster.
Paul Grynewicz and Patrick Thomas tangled on lap seven for the second yellow flag and when the race resumed,
Bontrager began to make his move to the front, slowed only by a brief caution on lap 15 for debris on the track.
As the green reappeared, it was Sarasota drivers Foster, Gill and Bontrager 1-2-3. Bontrager passed Gill for
second, then went to work on Foster, finally putting his Budweiser Chevy at the point just as the crossed flags were shown for halfway.
James Wright III followed Bontrager around Foster and they ran that way to the checker despite two late race
caution flags for minor altercations.
Bontrager’s win solidified his FASTRUCK point lead going into the Series’ final points race next week in Orlando. Wright III, of Auburndale, had a great run for second while Foster, wheeling a different truck than he normally drives, held on for a strong third. Jimmy Gill was fourth with Jeff Firestine fifth.
Rounding out he top ten were Jason Seekins, Gary Foxworth, Johnny Mitchell, Wendell Bristol and Richard Houston.
For the third week in a row, Chiefland’s Roger Damron dominated the Steven A. Bagen Sportsman division and was virtually in a class to himself.
Damron charged past early leader Tommy Brkaeman on lap four and led the remainder of the distance, sometimes by as much as a full straightaway.
Tom Posavec got by Brakeman on lap seven for second but had nothing else for Damron on this night.
The race ran caution free after a frightening opening lap crash that saw Gary Wayne’s car smash the front-
stretch wall after tangling with Pete Close, Jr. who also got a piece of the concrete.
With nowhere to go, Jim Higginbotham hit Wayne’s stalled T-Bird and both Wayne and Higginbotham had to be towed to the pits by Tiny & Sons while Close made repairs to his bent sheet metal and continued.
It was a tough blow to Gary Wayne, who had his car badly damaged in another crash two weeks ago. This time his car was nearly demolished, but fortunately no one was hurt.
Despite no more cautions, there was still plenty of action as Bob Masciarelli got tangled up with Brakeman battling for third spot and had to go to the pits with a flat tire while Brakeman was black-flagged for dragging a rear bumper after having a good run.
William Edwards started dead last in the field and drove to a third place finish behind Damron and Posavec while newcomer L.B. Skaggs re-passed Pete Close, Jr. late in the going to get fourth with Close battling his ill-handling machine to fifth.
It was yet another highly entertaining Street Stock feature that saw a little bit of everything before point leader Doug Webster finally grabbed the checker.
Entering turn one on the opening lap, William O’Quinn spun and was collected by Paul Gladin, Michael Fiddia
and James Dunn. The crash brought out the red flag for the clean-up with no laps completed.
During the red flag downtime, Frank Buckanan’s car showed up at the pit gate.
Buchanan, watching the race from the grandstands, raced to the pits and grabbed his driving suit, unloaded his Camaro in the parking lot and drove to the pit entrance all to the tune of the William Tell Overture over the PA system.
The field refired with Gladin and Dunn the only drivers able to continue of those involved in the crash. Buchanan came on the track and lined up 19th for the start.
Kyle Maynard jumped to the lead only to see the yellow flag out on lap three for a spin by Roger Brass.
Maynard continued to hold the top spot following the restart before a second crash brought action to a halt on lap six as David Chastain and Paul Fletcher tangled and spun in turn one. Again, Paul Gladin ran into one of the stalled cars and all three were done for the night.
Unbelievably, Buchanan had already worked his way up to fourth spot but his race to the front was shortlived
as he got hooked up with third-running Rick Hart and cut a tire, forcing him to the pits for a new shoe.
Webster finally got around Maynard for the lead just past halfway, but the young driver gave Webster fits
the rest of the distance before finally settling for second spot.
Steady Moose Alderman worked his way from 13th to third at the finish followed by Mark Mitchell and
Clint Foley made a runaway of the Mini Stock feature for the second week in a row taking a very easy
victory over point leader Tater Stainaker.
Caution flew only once in this 20-lapper as Glen Ervin spun while running second just as Jimmy Wear tagged the backstretch wall and took his car to the pits.
The race ran the rest of the way under green as Foley had a huge advantage over Stainaker, Johnny Allen,
Don Strashal, Sr. and Don Strashal, Jr.
Tom Ellis has to be wondering “WHY ME?” after being disqualified after a win for the second time in three
Ellis took the lead with two laps to go for the apparent Four Cylinder Stock win but was found to have
an improper trailing arm on his Mustang thus handing the win to Steve Gallagher and his “Flying Tomato”
Ellis, who bought the car from another competitor told tech inspector Ronnie Wilbanks he’d bring the car out
early next week and have it checked over to make sure everything is the way it’s supposed to be.
This race actually looked like it belonged to Neal Durbin as he powered his way to the front and looked to be headed for an easy win. But his Pinto lost power with five laps to leaving the battle to a large group behind him.
Following Gallagher were Rick Kunh with a great run for second just ahead of Rick Fort, Joey Durbin, and Rocky
Results for 10/25/02
MODIFIEDS (50 Laps)
1) David Baxley #64
2) Troy Robinson #0
3) Jeremy Gerstner #70
4) Alan McCafferty #32
5) Chris Fadling #39
6) Jeff Conyers #47
7) Mike Wilson #79
8) Kevyn Terry #13
9) Darren Jackson #7D
10) Ray Ethridge #25
11) John Gerstner #77
12) Shawn Taylor #83
13) Rick Hall #15
14) Norman Woodring #72
15) Tom Roberts #25R
STEVEN A BAGEN SPORTSMAN (20 Laps)
1) Roger Damron #76D
2) Tom Posavec #01
3) William Edwards #39
4) L.B. Skaggs *71
5) Pete Close, Jr. #86
6) Patrick Mennenga #16
7) Michael Mennenga #22
8) Tommy Roberts #07
9) Kenny Abney #6X
10) Tommy Brakeman #20
11) Bob Masciarelli #72
12) Gary Wayne #28
13) Jim Higginbothan #76
14) Wally Schneider #47 (DNS)
15) Doug Levesque #27 (DNS)
MINI STOCKS (20 Laps)
1) Clint Foley #7
2) Tater Stainaker #14
3) Johnny Allen #68
4) Don Stroshal, Sr. #84
5) Donnie Stroshal, Jr. #15
6) Glen Ervin #0
7) Jim Ervin #0X
8) Jimmy Wear #13
9) Jake Garver #10
10) Larry Goolsby #27 (DNS)
STREET STOCKS (20 Laps)
1) Doug Webster #72
2) Kyle Maynard #07
3) Moose Alderman #7
4) Mark Mitchell #71
5) Rick Hart #13
6) Tom Fralish #79
7) Jay Morgan #7X
8) David Danielson #70
9) Rick Bass #21
10) Jamie Dunn #24
11) Bobby Carter #99
12) Michael Rosa #76
13) Chauna Johnston #43
14) Chuck Stewart #8Ball
15) Frank Buchanan #07B
16) Roger Brass #81
17) Paul Fletcher #94
18) Paul Gladin #9
19) David Chastain #17
20) Mike Fiddia #41
21) William O’Quinn #88
22) Pete Close, Jr. #08
23) Marlon Durbin #4 (DNS)
FOUR CYLINDER STOCKS (20 Laps)
1) Steve Gallagher #39
2) Rick Kuhn #47
3) Ric Fort #2
4) Joey Durbin #38
5) Rocky Bowden #1
6) Robert Oxendine #24
7) Harold Barup #3
8) Chris Noce #99
9) Kurtis Mitchell #00
10) Joey Byall #40
11) Dan Sanderson #7
12) Doug Auriemma #27
13) Mike Oglesby #0
14) Neal Durbin #33
15) Billy Collins #55
16) Chris Antis #19J
17) Tom Ellis #31 (DQ)
FASTRUCKS (50 Laps)
1) Todd Bontrager #8
2) James Wright III #56
3) Danny Foster #2
4) Jimmy Gill #5
5) Jeff Firestine #93
6) Jason Seekins #96
7) Gary Foxworth #25
8) John Mitchell #17
9) Wendell Bristol #18
10) Richard Houston #41
11) Paul Grynewicz III #44
12) Paul Grynewicz #40
13) Kim Scheffler #10
14) Jeff Guilbault #29
15) Bobby Diehl #1
16) Donald Davis #3
17) Patrick Thomas #55