Ocala, FL, June 5, 1999 – The weather threatened the racing at Ocala Speedway, but no one was scared! Racing started and after the clouds moved out, the night air cooled and all fans and drivers were treated to a great night of racing.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers fielded a full complement of entries tonight. Jason Tharp (85) sat on the pole. Shannon Gill (9g) sat on the outside. The green flag flew and things got busy. Gary Hotalen (312) leapt out front and Tharp slipped in behind him. The next lap changed the order again as Matt Connelly (007) moved into second, but back in the pack, Tom Posavec (01) was moving. By lap three, Posavec was in a place to seriously challenge Hotalen who had opened up a comfortable lead. The first caution period was during the fifth lap because Brock Oglesby (88) went for a spin in turn one. With the pack bunched back up for the restart, Posavec was in an excellent position to work on Hotalen. By lap six, Posavec was in the lead and opening it up. Another caution put a crimp in the action when Tim Ellis (12) took his spin in turn two. Lap eight brought out the last caution flag when a large tangle appeared in turn two and took out Hotalen and Connelly who had been running second and third. Posavec led the way to the checkered flag. Dave Neiswender came in second with Tim Ellis running third. Jamie Portera and the number 10 car filled out the top five.
The Mini-Cup cars filled the track tonight at Ocala Speedway. Chris Fontaine (47) had pole honors and David Tullis (56) sat beside him. Fontaine grabbed the lead and Tullis fell in behind him. A yellow flag flew on lap three when cars 5 and 0 had some trouble on the backstretch. Hans Mobley (5) came inside to sit out the rest of the feature. Fontaine held his lead on the restart but Tullis wasn’t making it easy. The first five positions settled in for the ride until the last lap. Terry Tullis (31) who had been cruising along in fourth made his move and claimed third from Doug Smith (17). Chris Fontaine flew under the checkered flag to take the win. David Tullis took second with Terry Tullis taking third. Doug Smith and Bob Stryke filled out the top five finishers.
The WTRS Pure Stocks brought out a full field tonight. John Betts (81) sat on the pole with Richard McGlashan (113) sitting on the outside. This feature started out hot as Betts took the lead with McGlashan close behind. The battle was fierce until lap six when to physical and both Betts and McGlashan went spinning in turn two, bringing out the only caution flag of the feature. Betts regained his lead when all was straightened out but McGlashan went to the rear, giving Larry Bowden a shot at Betts. Betts definitely had his hands full and on lap nine, Bowden was able to take the point. Dave Dinehart also moved with strength and passed Betts. Larry Bowden won the checkered flag. Dave Dinehart took home second with John Betts coming in third. Paul Gladin and Paul Fletcher earned fourth and fifth.
The Classic Cars filled the track tonight for a great feature race. Mo Davenport (27) sat on the pole. T.K. Grief (25) sat on the outside. When the green flag dropped, Davenport took the lead but Grief was pushing him hard. As the leaders came around turn four, the pack got tangled up and body parts littered the track. Dan Hammerbeck (65) had to pit his car to get a new tire. A double up restart was called since the first lap wasn’t officially completed before the caution flag. Again, Davenport leapt for the lead and this time, Jim Rahman (5) fell into second position. Rodney Eary (6) wasn’t satisfied with third position and he moved past Rahman. On lap six, Rahman showed his meddle and passed Davenport for the lead. Rahman came up to second, leaving Davenport in third. A yellow flag flew on lap 8 when the John Murkerson (1m) spun in turn four. Hammerbeck took this opportunity to re-enter the race with his new tire. The race continued to the wire with Rodney Eary taking the checkered flag. Jim Rahman finished second with Danny Shearer coming in third. Mo Davenport took fourth and Eddie Thornton took fifth.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks fielded a very large group of entries tonight. Rick Benschoter (57) sat on the pole. Al McCafferty (32) sat on the outside. McCafferty quickly claimed the lead with Shane Nichols (65) close behind. Mike Wilson (79) was riding in third and David Baxley (64) was holding fourth. This feature was caution free, but the fans were kept on their seats. The battle between McCafferty and Nichols was fierce and never let up. Back a short way, the fight for third between Wilson and Baxley was just as hot. The tension was high all the way to the wire. Alan McCafferty took the well-earned win with Shane Nichols hot on his tail for second. David Baxley used the last lap to find some extra power to get by Wilson for third. Mike Wilson took fourth with Moose Alderman taking fifth.
The Budweiser Modifieds filled the track tonight for their feature. Justin Tilton (10) had the pole with Scott Grossenbacher (09) sitting on the outside. Grossenbacher had the lead by the end of the first lap. Tilton sat in second with Red Vann (32) in third. Loren Thornton (N8) looked strong in fourth. Vann was definitely not content with this though as he was constantly pushing the inside door under Tilton and on lap twelve he managed to take second. Unlucky lap thirteen was when the only caution of the feature occurred. Scott Millar (07) blew an engine, and when it was determined how big the oil spill was, the yellow became red and all engines were shut down. The clean up went quickly, and shortly the restart was called. Grossenbacher was still leading the way with Vann in second, hunting for a hole. Tilton was in third but Thornton was giving him cause to watch his tail. Vann found that inside hole but it was a bit small and sparks flew as he passed Grossenbacher. Red Vann took the checkered flag with Grossenbacher not far behind in second. Justin Tilton took third. Loren Thornton took home fourth with Rick Hall taking fifth.
The Steven A. Bagen Super Late Models had a full field of cars tonight. Tate Pierce (8) had the pole. Rich Pratt (0) had the outside position. Pierce kept his lead for one lap but Pratt was very strong and took the lead on lap two. Chuck Burkhalter (30) also got by Pierce, as did Harold Rankin (8). Herb Neumann (98) was fighting his way through the pack and on lap fourteen, he moved into third past Rankin. This feature was caution free due to the great driving skills displayed by the racers. Rich Pratt raced for the finish and claimed the checkered flag. Chuck Burkhalter had pushed hard the whole race but had to settle for second. Herb Neumann took third with Patrick Williams earning fourth. Harold Rankin brought home the pack in fifth.
Ocala Speedway, Florida’s Number One Short Track, will be holding the Fourth Annual Powell Memorial 125 for Late Model Sportsman on June 29, 1999. This year’s race will benefit Ted Novinger, the racer who was injured earlier this year at Ocala Speedway.
Last year’s Powell Memorial 125 was won by David Reutimann after a hard fought battle.
A large field is expected and to date, the following drivers have entered the Powell Memorial. James Powell, Mike Franklin, Jimmy Britts, David Reutimann, Johnny Kay, Larry Osteen, Wayne Anderson, Herb Neumann, Harold Rankin, Chuck Burkhalter, Kevin Bryant, John Brenan, DC James Batson, Kelly Charles, Terry Cater, Billy Biggly, David Westrich, John Rankin, and Rich Pratt.
A celebrity race is also on tap. Last year, J H Powell, 79 was the winner of the Pure Stock Celebrity race.
For entry information or if you wish to contribute to the Ted Novinger fund, contact Ocala Speedway at (352) 622-9400 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday June 12th, is Anniversary Night at Ocala Speedway. There will be 45-lap features and a huge fireworks show. Bring the whole family for a great night of racing entertainment.