Ocala, FL, March 13, 1999 – Great weather, packed grandstands, hot racing and Ocala Speedway; not much more could you want!
Pre-show festivities are always fun at Ocala Speedway. Spectator racing had fans on the edges of their seats as they cheered on their favorites. Wolf Bower of WTRS Thunder Country, the track announcer, had a special prize for the kids, as he extracted promises from them to stay drug free.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers were hot out of the pits tonight. Jeff Hatcher in the 5 car had pole position with Bruce Teague in the 63 car on the outside. Hatcher took the lead, but Pete Close in the 86 car was right behind him after making a quick move during the second lap. It started out as the classic battle we’ve all come to expect between these two, but on lap 5 it seemed as if Friday 13th came on a Saturday this month. Hatcher got into the backstretch wall and did a spectacular flip onto his roof. Close also got a-hold of the wall, but there wasn’t racing-ending damage to his car. Hatcher got out of his car, and besides being stiff, he seemed to be ok. To be on the safe side, he was transported to the hospital for a check-up. Racing restarted with Bruce Teague in the lead with his 63 car, but every lap until lap eight had a caution flag. Todd Jolly in the 55 car was in second position until lap 10 when he lost power and fell back, allowing Matt Connelly in the 007 car to take second position. Tim Ellis in the 12 car took second position on the next lap. Bruce Teague took the checkered flag for his first win. Tim Ellis took home second with Pete Close in third. Matt Connelly and Todd Jolly brought home fourth and fifth.
The WTRS Pure Stocks came out in force with a full field. Richard McGlashen in the 113 car sat on the pole and David Walls in the 35 car was on the outside. McGlashen held his lead by the skin of his teeth; four other cars hard on his bumper. Drivers were in top form, as the leaders kept close for the first 5 laps. A caution flag came out on lap 6, taking Mark Mitchell in the 71 car to the rear. With the close-up restart, Dave Dinehart in the 79 car took the lead. Larry Bowden in the 77 car also moved up to second position. John Betts in the 81 car was making his move from the middle of the pack. Betts tried a bold move in turn 4, going outside three wide and he took a bite out of the wall in turn 4. On lap 15, Bowden was able to take the lead from Dinehart to claim the checkered flag. Dave Dinehart came in second with Richard McGlashen close behind for third. Chuck Stewart and Mark Mitchell filled out the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks were next out of the pits. David Baxley in the 64 car sat on the pole. Shane Nichols in the 65 car sat on the outside. Baxley kept his lead although he was hard pressed at first. The second lap came under caution as the 08 car spun in turn 4. The restart was good for 9 laps of clean racing with Baxley leading the way. The leaders were doing an excellent job of driving through the lapped traffic, until Shane Nichols got bunched up and spun in turn 1. He was put back in place, but another caution flag fell before that lap was finished. Car 53 went for a spin in turn 3, but Nichols also took to the wall in turn 4 as his motor let go. After the cleanup and with Baxley still leading, the racing got back under way. Eddie Kilbury in the 71 car was now in second position with Tim Quick in the 97 car in third. Turn 1 claimed another car and with that caution, time just ran out. The checkered flag fell for David Baxley as the pack made their way around to the finish line. Eddie Kilbury took second with Tim Quick coming in third. Moose Alderman earned fourth with Glen Baum coming in fifth.
The Outlaw Winged Spring cars came to visit Ocala Speedway tonight. The very large field made the traditional salute to the fans as the drivers took the rumbling, alcohol burning, winged monsters four wide around the track. They reformed in rows of two with S. Hartley in the 32 car holding the pole. J. Aguilar in the 48 car sat on the outside. The start went bad immediately as several leaders took a taste of each others’ bumpers, and six cars went into the turn 4 wall where it comes into the front stretch. B. Hartley in the 3x car and S. Farr in the 68 car were the new pole sitters. The bad luck was towed off the track and the winged outlaws reigned. The whole 25-lap feature ran with no more caution flags. Hartley lead for a good half the race with S. Butler in the 61 car pushing hard. Lap traffic was being encountered by lap 4, which made things even more exciting for fans as driving skills were being tested. Butler was finally able to make a bid for the lead stick and he opened up a small distance for himself. K. Cahill in the 63 car found one small spot of bad luck and his car spun just out of turn 4, taking him into the infield. The race never slowed as Butler took the checkered flag. B. Hartley claimed second and E. Teed took third. K. Beard and W. Reutimann brought home the field.
The Budweiser Modifieds came out in full-field colors tonight. Red Vann in the 32R car had pole honors and E.J. Wise in the 7 car was on the outside. Racing was fast and furious with Vann leading the whole way. All went well until lap 8 when cars 34 and N8 had problems in turn 4. The 34 car left with a flat and the N8 car continued to race. The restart came quickly and racing was clean for another 8 laps, although Loren Thornton in the N8 car had to exit to the infield. On lap 18, Bob Hughes in the 13 car took a bit of bad luck and hit the turn 4 wall a little hard, bringing out a caution flag. The race continued and Scott Grossenbach in the 09 car struggled with Wise, each grasping for second position. Two laps later a third caution flag fell when 31 and 92 tangled on the backstretch. Two laps more and, Red Vann claimed the hard earned checkered flag with E.J. Wise only a half-fender behind him for second. Scott Grossenbach took third with Dennis Maples and Rob Akoury bringing home fourth and fifth.
Ocala Speedway is definitely the place to be on Saturday nights. Next Saturday, March 20th, Ocala Speedway will host all divisions except the Budweiser Modifieds, plus the Dwarf cars and the Pro Figure 8. There will also be 25 cent Draft Beer. Don’t miss any of the 1999 season at Ocala Speedway.