OCALA, FL- Many parts of Marion County were hit with heavy rains in the couple of hours before Car Warz invaded Ocala Speedway on Friday night, but while thunder and lightning were evident in the distance, the track remained dry. Fans came from all over the region to see everything from a RV demo derby to a 4 cylinder enduro race, and the grandstands were full by the time that the show got underway.
1- 8 Johnny Alexander
RV Dave opened the show with his famous flying T-bone into the roof of a van placed in a vertical position in the infield. Dave does the stunt by launching his car off of a small ramp and hitting the van roof in just the right place to soften the impact. Hit too low and the car strikes the ground first, and hit too high and the car could clear the van completely. Dave timed his approach and launch perfectly and hit the roof of the van almost dead center, walking away from the wreckage unscathed.
The first racing event was the 4 cylinder enduro, which began from a three wide standing start on the front stretch. Curtis Clark took control early and lead for most of the race, but was passed by Johnny Alexander later on. Meanwhile all sorts of banging, bumping, and spinning, was going on in every corner of the track, with some racers winding up waiting out the race in disabled cars sitting on the racing surface.
But an unexpected complication came with about 20 laps complete, as rain began falling and the race continued. The track was relatively dry to begin, but the rain quickly caused the surface to become slimy and slick, and while some racers found ways to adapt to the slick surface, others fell victim to it. The rain increased in intensity causing the officials to shorten the event to 40 laps as cars slipped and slid their way around the circuit to the checkered flags. The win went to Johnny Alexander with Curtis Clark scored in second place. Mike Autenrieth claimed the third spot followed by Don Paugh and James Sullivan for fourth and fifth places.
As cars staged for the figure 8 event the rain showed no sign of any let up, so event officials decided to call a halt and let nature rain itself out. As the rain continued they announced that the RV demo event would go on despite the weather, but quickly were forced to reverse that decision when the rains became torrential and were joined by thunder and lightning. And with the infield quickly submerging under the deluge, officials called the event, gave tickets out as rain checks, and announced that the Car Warz show would be made up on October 8th. All fans presenting the returned tickets will get in free of charge that night, and pit pass holders will be able to present their arm bands for free admission as well. The tickets and arm bands will be honored for free admission only on October 8th.
Ocala Speedway officials did not announce what would become of the race events that had been originally scheduled for October 8th, so fans and racers will need to refer to the schedule posted at www.OcalaSpeedway.com for further information. Fans or racers with questions about the rain check policy for this event should contact Ocala Speedway at 352-622-9400.
4 Cylinder Enduro Top Ten
1- 8 Johnny Alexander
2- 12C Curtis Clark
3- 31 Mike Autenrieth
4- 23 Don Paugh
5- 49 James Sullivan
6- 1 Thomas Hughes
7- 4L Gene Gross
8- L9/67 Garret Stewart
9- 114 John Thorpe
10- 12D Justin Durbin