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How Close Can You Get?

. Posted in Racing News

 

IMG_5453
24 Danny Martin
The drivers in the Top Gun Sprint Car Series, UMP Open-Wheel Modifieds, Sportsman, Barrett's Race Cars Hobby Stocks, and Gladiators were all pushing the issue which resulted in some great action. Of course, when you push it to the limit, things can go crazy on the clay at Bubba Raceway Park.

 

In their long-awaited return at Bubba Raceway Park, the Sportsman ran a very exciting race with a familiar face in victory lane. The lap 6 caution came out for debris in turn 2 and allowed for hard-charging Davey Kinsey, in the 2010 championship car for Big Frog Motorsports, to catch the leaders. After the yellow break, Forrest Gough drove his 21 from the back in an impressive drive. Lap 9 saw contact result in Collin Wright's 38 spinning and stalling in turn 2. The final 6 were green and JO Nobles absolutely dominated the event in his special Sportsman. Davey Kinsey took 2nd with Gough in 3rd. John Bradley ran a clean race and went home 4th and the same of 5th place Charlie Davis. Bill Adams, Adam Collins, and Collin Wright took the checkered flag within the top 10 while "Big Puddin" Billy Costello, with clutch troubles, and Chris Shea, who had a tire cut earlier in the race, took 9th and 10th, respectively, while in the garage.

Barrett's Race Cars And Components of Daytona Beach sponsors the Hobby Stocks for 2011 and everyone must have been impressed with that exciting race. From the drop of the green it was Tim Powers in his 44 at point with "Smokin" Joe Belkey and Kevin Durden in tow. Chad Scranton started mid-pack and immediately drove up to the top 5. On lap 3 Belkey lost air in his tire and missed pit-in and the yellow waved over the Barrett's Race Cars Hobby Stocks. It took 4 restarts to go back green after Scott Haas and Joe Boyd spun on attempt 1, a jump-start occurred, and the Cory Hupp/Buck Woodhouse accident in turn 2. The lap 5 caution for Joe Belkey's spin allowed Donnie Reed and Tommy Ausburn to hold onto what they had gained. On lap 13 as Joe Belkey went past him, Luke Sadler saved his #9 machine with a veteran move. Not only did he keep it straight but he made no contact with anyone or anything. James Erickson was doing an impressive job until his 7E quit on the back stretch. Erickson's misfortune was good for Kevin Durden as he could pit for his flat tire and it also gave Mike Tovet and Chad Scranton a shot at Powers. The checkers fell and Tim Powers took win #3 of 2011 with the other 3-time winner, Chad Scranton, on his bumper. Mike Tovet, Donnie Reed, and Buck Woodhouse rounded out the top 5. "Smokin" Joe Belkey drove back to 6th with Tommy Ausburn in 7th. Kevin Durden, Luke Sadler, and Walt Kahrs rounded out the top 10.

The start of the UMP Open-Wheel Modifieds feature saw Garret Stewart go around in his 67 in an evasive move. Lap 5 was scary as Kyle Bronson started catching leader Buzzie Reutimann, but Bronson tapped the backstretch wall and flipped the 40 bringing out a red flag. A 4 lap run gave drivers suck as Kent Corbin, Rich Pratt, and Jeff Mathews to climb from their starting spots, before Scott Mooers and Michael Flick made contact and did a loop in turns 1 and 2. Austin Sanders, driving the 333, climbed the turn 2 wall ending his night on lap 10 and knocking the 333 more points behind the 33. The lap 11 yellow flew for debris from the infield tires. On lap 13 Jeff Mathews made the first lead change of the night by passing Buzzie Reutimann right before Ronnie Soltis slowed in turn 3. The lap 14 restart saw Tommy Gamble make contact with the very slow Kent Corbin. The re-restart saw Scott Mooers and David Moheng spin in turn 1. The timer had expired so the call was Green and White simultaneously which gave Reutimann 1 last chance. Buzzie drove under Mathews but couldn't battle the speed from the high line. Mathews took win #2 of the season with Reutimann 2nd. Devin Dixon watched all night and took 3rd with "Crazy" Jim Passino an impressive 4th and Ronnie Chance 5th. Garret Stewart drove back up to 6th while Dave Barber went home a quiet 7th. Paul Sizemore, Jason Davis, and Henry Hall rounded out an impressive top 10.

The Top Gun Sprint Cars battled each other and the clay and the carnage showed it. Dan Jones and Mark Ruel, Jr. made contact before the green flag which resulted in Ruel's night being over. The restart saw Gene Lasker grab a rut and flip his 02 into the turn 4 catchfence. An extended red flag was put out to relocate the Ned Zone fans with that shortened catchfence courtesy Lasker. The re-restart saw Brandon Grubaugh and Tony Agin spin and Dan Jones flip his 14W. The lap 2 yellow came out for infield tires which allowed hard charging Robbie Smith and Rich Alexander to catch the field again. Agin spun at the half-way point which put Danny Martin on Tyler Godwin's rear. After 4 laps Godwin hit the turn 1 wall and flipped his 4C violently. Godwin, however, was okay. Martin inherited the lead with Matt Kurtz and Robbie Smith behind him. On lap 17 Terry Witherspoon gripped a tire from the infield and flipped his 43 which was the final yellow of the night. Witherspoon was okay after the accident. Kurtz and Smith shot at Martin but Martin put his 24 in victory lane. Kurtz was 2nd with Smith 3rd, AJ Maddox 4th from 21st starting spot, and Stephen Darvolics was 5th. Tim George took 6th, Ryan Partin 7th, Shawn Murray 8th, Tim Grubaugh 9th, and Jimmy Ballew, Jr. finished 10th.

The very start of the Gladiators feature was crazy as Denica Hetznecker, Chase Gustafson, Jerry Taylor, Richard Todd, Steve Johnson, George Christensen, and Brandon Haseleu found damage on the frontstretch. Christensen and Haseleu would, however, be done for the night. The lap 1 yellow came out for debris off of a bumper. On lap 2 Reid Christensen overtook Richard Todd for the race lead, but would lose it 2 laps later when the 30 ran out of power and brought out a yellow flag. On lap 8, Steve Johnson, who inherited the lead on lap 4, gave way to team-mate Steve Cox. With 2 laps to go Cox had a right front go down in a non-power steering car and Denica Hetznecker smelled blood. "Rowdy" put the 16 to the inside and a little bit of rubbing helped her take the lead. "Rowdy" took the win and was speechless after. Steve Johnson took 2nd with Jerry Taylor 3rd. Steve Cox salvaged 4th with 3 tires and Chase Gustafson took an impressive 5th. Matt Kramer and Richard Todd battled to the end with Kramer 6th over Todd. Reid Christensen, Brandon Haseleu, and George Christensen took top 10s from the garage.

Next week at Bubba Raceway Park it's Double Points Night for the Top Gun Sprint Cars. The RaceCar Engineering Late Models return as do the Amsoil V-8 Thunderstocks. Also, the Florida Mini Sprints Association and Gladiators will race on the clay. For more information you can go to www.bubbaracewaypark.com or call the Speedway hotline at 352-622-9400

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