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Five Divisions Open Ocala's Points Season

. Posted in Racing News

OCALA, FL-  After a one week delay caused by stormy weather, Ocala Speedway opened the 2011 points season with five divisions hitting the famed 3/8ths mile clay oval on Friday night.  And despite cold temperatures, fans took in an exciting night of racing, headlined by a 25 lap, $1000 to win Modified Challenge.

The Hobby Stocks opened the night's events by going from green to checkers without a caution, in what turned out to be a very competitive feature race. Robert Sirmons jumped out to an early lead and looked to be in complete control before Michael Tovet flexed his muscles and stole the lead with a gutsy slide job in turn 4.  Kevin Durden also got past Sirmons and began chasing Tovet, but to no avail as Tovet drove away to score the first victory at Ocala Speedway this season.  Kevin Durden settled for second place after lapped traffic slowed his efforts at catching Tovet, and Robert Sirmons wound up in the third spot on the night.  Matt Shea and Devin Walker had moved up from the Gladiator class to the Hobby Stocks for this season, and they placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ocala's Mini Stocks went through a lot of changes in 2010, and the first race of 2011 indicated that even more changes could be in store.  After two heats set the field for the feature race, only four cars were able to answer the call when race time came, and race officials shortened the event to 10 laps.  Ryan Babcock led the race from the pole position and fought off every challenge from Tim Zackery except for one.  With the laps winding down Babcock hit a rough spot in turn 3 and briefly lost control, allowing Zackery to take advantage and steal the lead.  Zackery earned the win while a disappointed Ryan Babcock followed in second place.  Third place went to Cody Kinsey while Jamie Tinkham claimed the fourth spot.

The message was loud and clear from the Amsoil Thunder Stocks from the moment that the first heat race took the green flag, that the rough and tough attitude that the division is famous for would continue in 2011 and would possibly get even tougher.  Eddie Lake held the early lead and looked too fast to tame, but Ray Wheeler refused to give in and kept after Lake until he finally took control on lap 15.  Meanwhile Jonathan Gillette, Richard Calmes, and Wally Douglas, all battled for the third spot with each gaining the advantage at times during the race.

The pushing and shoving continued throughout the field for the entire race while Eddie Lake tried his best to regain the lead from Wheeler, but Ray Wheeler proved too strong as he held off Lake for the win.  Richard Calmes followed the front two for third place, and Jonathan Gillette made a late charge to grab the fourth spot.  Wally Douglas rounded out the top five finishers.

Anytime a $1000 cash carrot is dangled in front of the top Modified racers in the region there are bound to be fireworks, and Friday night was no exception.  The race was punctuated by cautions due to solo spins and plenty of car to car contact, but everytime the green flag waved Kyle Bronson would rocket into the lead and then expand it.  At the same time that Bronson was dominating the race, Devin Dixon was making his way from the back of the pack into the top five contenders.  Dixon's night began badly with mechanical issues during heat racing, then he was tangled up in a multi car fracas in turn 2 early in the feature race.  But Dixon never relented, and although Bronson may have been far out in front, Dixon was managing to close the gap.

There was no doubt that Kyle Bronson was in complete control as he collected a convincing win, and Buzzie Reutimann, who surrendered his early lead to Bronson, held on to claim second place.  Devin Dixon's persistence and determination paid off with the third place finish, and Garret Stewart got a heat race win but finished fourth in the feature event.  And rounding out the top finishers was the 47 of Bill Howard, who hung tough for the top five result.

The final race of the night featured the Gladiator Division, and a new name on the starting roster looked to be ready to take control.  Sammy Dale had dominated his heat race and jumped out to an early lead in the feature, but a mechanical issue repeatedly slowed him to the point that he was unable to keep up.  That allowed Casey Feaster and Kyle Morse to wage battle for the lead, with Feaster eventually outrunning Morse.  In fact, Casey Feaster was uncatchable once he got in front, so Robert Graham had to settle for second while Kyle Morse finished third.  Sammy Dale limped home in the fourth spot and Rebecca Paugh claimed her first top five finish.

Ocala Speedway will be back in action again on Friday, March 18th, with the Miller Lite Night of Thousands.  the Hobby Stocks, Sportsman, and Amsoil Thunder Stocks, will all be competing in $1000 to win feature races.  Ocala's Gladiators will round out the night's action.  For more information on this and other events at America's Dirt Track, please visit www.OcalaSpeedway.com.

Ocala Speedway Results for 3/11/11

Hobby Stock

1- 98T Michael Tovet
2- 56 Kevin Durden
3- 94 Robert Sirmons
4- 96 Matt Shea
5- 55 Devin Walker
6- 7E James Erickson
7- 08 William Edwards
8- 81 Don Woosley
9- 18 Courtney Eubanks
10- 11 Jody Wells
11- 9 Sean Babcock
12- 98 Mike Graham

Mini Stock

1- 47 Tim Zackery
2- 9 Ryan Babcock
3- 11 Cody Kinsey
4- 3 Jamie Tinkham
DNS- 11Z Johnny Zackery
DNS- 12 Jimbo Bird

Amsoil Thunder Stock

1- 27W Ray Wheeler
2- 96L Eddie Lake
3- 4C Richard Calmes
4- 64 Jonathan Gillette
5- 6 Wally Douglas
6- 19 Brian Shea
7- 3W Vaughn Woodall
8- 96Z Eddie Lentz
9- 15 Michael Valdez
10- 121 Gordon Cade
11- 44 Todd Roberts
12- 42 Roy Bare
13- 18 Chris Watson
14- 23 Charles Smith
15- 86 Mickey Jackson
16- 56 Jonathan Appleby
17- 27F Danny Fletcher
18- 09 William O'Quinn
19- 14 Tim Mathieu
20- 73 Brandon Tillender
21- 5W Jeff Barrett
22- 76 Chris Shea

Open Wheel Modified ($1000 to win/25 laps)

1- 40B Kyle Bronson
2- 00 Buzzie Reutimann
3- 2 Devin Dixon
4- 67 Garret Stewart
5- 47 Bill Howard
6- 9 Roger Crouse
7- 7 Dalton Lanich
8- 0 Richard Dickinson
9- 10 Scott Mooers
10- 2H Cory Hupp
11- Z06 Larry Mott
12- 06 Kris Douglas
13- 33F Michael Flick
14- 33 Jeff Mathews
15- 22 PJ Wiggins
16- 34 Jim Passino
17- 11 Chuck Gustafson

Gladiator

1- 20 Casey Feaster
2- 126 Robert Graham
3- 82 Kyle Morse
4- 8 Sammy Dale
5- 23 Rebecca Paugh
6- 11 Dave Ladrie
7- 85 Rex Hollinger
8- 10 Chase Gustafson
9- 76 Ken McLeod
10- 201 Jason Brown
11- 3H Brandon Haseleu
12- 15 Hunter Gustafson
13- 198 Lake Smith
14- 31 Jerry Taylor

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