Ocala, FL, May 29, 1999 – Ocala Speedway was the hot spot tonight. Pleasant breezes kept the fans comfortable, and the cars kept the track heavy in action.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers fielded a full slate of entries tonight at Ocala Speedway. Brock Oglesby (88) sat on the pole in his new car, and Pete Close (21) sat on the outside in his borrwed car. After one false start, racing got underway. Oglesby took the lead with Close on his tail (chasing his old car – get the picture?). Jamie Portera (77) held third and these positions held until lap 4 when Gary Hotalen (312) spun coming into turn three, bringing out a caution flag. Positions were maintained on the restart, but by lap six, Tom Posavec was moving through the pack and had claimed the third position. Another caution flag flew when Matt Connelly (007) spun in turn four. With the pack bunched up tight, Oglesby had to contend with Close and Posavec as soon as the green flag flew. Posavec got by Close and the battle for the lead heated up. Fans were cheering Oglesby (where is his old car?), but try as he might this was not to be his night. As the leaders approached lapped traffic, Posavec managed to get by Oglesby. Tom Posavec led the last two laps to take the checkered flag. Brock Oglesby took home second (with his new car) with Pete Close taking third (with his borrowed car). Jamie Portera and J.R. Miller filled out the top five.
The WTRS Pure Stock cars came out of the pits with a full field rearing to go. Mark Mitchell (71II) had pole position, and John Cook (17) sat on the outside. Mitchell made a clean start and took the lead immediately. Larry Bowden (77) fired hard and by lap two, he was in second position. John Betts (81) was also racing well and by lap three, he was in third. Coming into lap four, bad luck struck Mitchell and he began smoking hard coming into turn three and four. He drove himself into the infield off the front stretch, saving the track from any leaking fluid, but taking himself out of the race. No yellow flag was thrown so Bowden found himself leading with Betts in second position. Another yellow flag was thrown when Paul Gladin (9) took a spin in turn four, and although he tried to regain the track before the pack returned, he was unable. The restart was very quick and the feature was clean from then on. Larry Bowden took the checkered flag for the win. John Betts claimed second but only after fighting off Dave Dinehart who came in a close third. John Cook took fourth and Richard McGlashan took fifth.
The Pro 4 Outlaw Modifieds returned to Ocala Speedway for their first appearance here since Speedweek in February. Don’t be fooled by the four in the Pro 4 name, these cars are fast and very exciting to watch. John Gilbert Jr. (77) had pole honors and Philip Brigham (7) sat on the outside. The 25-lap feature had a hard time getting started as a yellow flag was thrown before the first lap was completed when two cars spun. Duane Gulfus (21) blew an engine, and the track crew was called out to clean the track. A double up restart was called and racing got underway. Gilbert took the lead with Tom Rahrle (2) pushing up to take second. Ted Hoversen (5) was running well and he pulled into second position on the second lap. Randy Sands (8) also moved past Rahrle, but before the fourth lap was completed, a yellow flag flew because Billy Grace (56) lost his engine and dropped some oil on the backstretch. After a cleanup, Gilbert took the lead but his momentum was lost and Ted Hoversen was able to get by him. Positions in the pack were constantly changing but the leaders looked set until after lap eleven, when Gilbert spun on the backstretch. Gilbert and Lance Hoversen (55) were sent to the rear. The top three positions were now held by Ted Hoversen, Sands and Carl Cormier (22). Racing was clean from this point on and by lap sixteen, Sands had claimed the lead. With a clear track ahead of him, Sands opened up sizable lead. Randy Sands claimed a very large trophy and the checkered flag. Ted Hoversen pulled in second followed by Carl Cormier in third. Tom Rahrle and Dean Bartholomew filled out the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks continued to heat up the track with a full field. Mike Davis (50) sat on the pole with James Carpenter (11) on the outside. Davis took the lead but Mike Wilson was running hot and he quickly moved to the front. A pile-up occurred on the backstretch just as the leaders were crossing the line to start lap two so after the caution period, Davis found himself back in the lead. He couldn’t hold it against Wilson’s charge though and with Shane Nichols and Al McCafferty making their moves, Davis found himself back in fourth. A yellow flag flew on lap five when Don Beasock (3) took another spin on the backstretch. The drivers held their positions for several laps and through two more cautions. The final caution came out because of a spin Jim Carpenter (11) took in turn four but while the flag was flying, Michael Soares (17) had a turn of bad luck when his engine blew in turn two. He quickly left the track but before racing could resume, the Safety crew was called to the pits to extinguish a small engine fire on Soares’ car. Racing was caution free from this point on with Wilson still leading. Nichols wasn’t giving up though and on lap twelve, he made a bold move and slipped by Wilson. With three laps to go and nothing but wind to slow him down, Shane Nichols claimed the checkered flag for the win. Mike Wilson came in a well-fought second and Al McCafferty followed him for third. Mike Davis and Moose Alderman brought home the top five.
The Budweiser Modifieds turned out in force at Ocala Speedway tonight. Justin Tilton (10) sat on the pole with Wes Burton (92) beside him on the outside. Tilton took a quick and early lead, leaving Burton and Duane Bates (15) to fight it out for second. Loren Thornton (N8) also had his sights on a win, and he was racing hard. Tilton didn’t have a care in the world as he raced on ahead of the pack. Bates took second by the fifth lap and Thornton took third on the next one. Burton slowly lost ground and settled back to fight with Scott Grossenbacher (09) and Rick Brewer (9). The feature was caution free and racing was honest and clean. Justin Tilton took the checkered flag well ahead of the pack. Duane Bates held on for second and Scott Grossenbacher improved to take third. Loren Thornton took home fourth with Rick Brewer taking fifth.
The Steven A. Bagen Super Late Models filled the track tonight at Ocala Speedway. Harold Rankin (2) sat on the pole with Herb Neumann Jr. (98) on the outside. Rankin took a commanding lead on the start, leaving Neumann, Wayne Anderson (33) and Rich Pratt (0) to fight for positions. The fight was hard and words are hard to find to describe the excitement this feature brought. Rankin was running very well, but so were the others. Twenty laps went caution free until the battle between Chuck Burkhalter (30) and Ricky Carlton (48) got too physical, causing a yellow flag to fly. Both were sent to the rear. Black flags and self-induced retirements had thinned the field, so both were still in contention. Only one lap was completed though before another yellow flag appeared. This time Dave Westrich (38) took a spin in turn four and again, he and Burkhalter went to the rear. Misfortune had a big hold on this feature by now and the restart for what would have been lap twenty-two took a bad turn as Rankin headed into turn three. Neumann thought he saw an opening on the inside and he started to move. As he came inside Rankin, the two cars locked together. Neumann ended up almost on top of Rankin. Anderson was caught in the mess and car parts were scattered on the track. Neumann went to the rear and after some confusion about positions, Rankin regained the lead. His car was damaged as was Anderson’s who was now in second. On the restart, Rankin was unable to hold his lead though and Anderson took advantage, even though he was also showing damage. Wayne Anderson took the checkered flag, carrying his battle scars. Rich Pratt earned second with Harold Ranking pulling in third. Ricky Carlton had worked his way back to fourth and Mike Bresnaham took fifth.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday June 5th, Ocala Speedway will feature Mini Cup cars, Classic cars, a full slate of events and FREE HOT DOGS for general admission.