Ocala, FL, June 26, 1999 – Ocala Speedway was blessed again this week. Sitting in the calm with storms all around, the weather cooperates and racing goes off as scheduled. A special event was on tap as all the kids in attendance were given rides around the track on real racecars.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers poured out on the track, filling the field. Neal Durbin (33) sat on the pole with Tom Posavec (01) on the outside. The green flag flew but turn two was hard to get through. Brock Oglesby (88) got loose and with the pack still snuggled up tight, things got messy as he was bumped and tapped. Oglesby took his car to the pits. A double-up restart was called. Posavec took an immediate lead, leaving the pack stretched out behind. Cliff White (18) and Dave Neiswender (69) held onto second and third. One other caution was thrown after lap nine when #8 took a spin in turn two. Tom Posavec came across the line first for the win with Cliff White coming in second. Dave Neiswender and Bruce Teague were third and fourth with Jamie Portera coming in fifth.
The WTRS Pure Stocks filled the track with their cars tonight. Rick Hart (13) had the pole with Hugh Summers (18) sitting on the outside. Hart jumped hard on the green flag with Larry Bowden (77) falling in right behind him. Hart held his lead for four laps but on the fifth lap, the leaders underwent a major shakeup. Mark Mitchell (71II) grabbed the lead, leaving Hart in second while Dave Dinehart (79) passed Bowden for third. A yellow flag flew after lap five when Paul Fletcher (94) and John Betts (81) hit the turn four wall. Mitchell continued to lead as Dinehart passed Hart to take second position. Two more yellow flags marred the feature, but the leaders were never affected. Lap eleven was bad luck for Summers as he lost a tire in turn one. Summers turned into the infield on the turn two road and his tire followed him, coming to rest beside the driver- side door. Mark Mitchell took the checkered flag with Dave Dinehart close behind for second. Rick Hart took home third with Larry Bowden and Richard McGlashan bringing in the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks fielded a full slate of entries tonight. David Baxley (64) had the pole honors with Shane Nichols (65) sitting on the outside. Nichols jumped hard and by the front stretch, he was holding the lead. Baxley settled in behind him, but Nichols didn’t have any time to sleep. Mike Wilson (79) grabbed third and Charles Kopach (53) road along in fourth. Racing was clean until lap nine when Rick Benschoter (57) was black-flagged and sent pit-side. Positions were retained and racing restarted quickly. One more caution flew when Estle Morrow (98) spun in turn four. Nichols and Baxley fought hard for the whole feature but Shane Nichols held tight for the checkered flag. David Baxley took home second with Mike Wilson coming in third. Kopach and Mike Davis brought in the top five.
The Budweiser Modifieds had a full field of racers tonight. Joseph Spivey (2) sat on the pole and Rob Lefevre (93) sat on the outside. The start was called off as the leaders jumped the gun, but during that lap, Lefevre seemed to have some trouble that made him go pit-side. The new outside pole sitter for the double up restart was Frank Polly (34). Scott Grossenbacher (09) found an opening first thing and claimed the lead. Spivey sat in second with Jimmy Britts (14) holding third. A caution flag flew on lap four when Loren Thornton (N8) spun coming out of turn four. He and Gary Southard (39) were sent to the rear. On the restart, Britts moved up into second and Ed Brown (1) also passed Spivey to take third. After lap eight, another caution was thrown because Justin Tilton took a spin in turn two. Grossenbacher was under pressure from Britts but he maintained the point as the pack behind him continued to shuffle positions. Brown still held third but Red Vann (32) and Polly were in a hard battle for fourth position. Vann was the stronger and he eventually moved up to take third from Brown. A third caution flag flew after lap fourteen when Rick Brewer (9) took a spin coming in to the front stretch out of turn four. Turn four claimed Brewer again on lap sixteen, bringing yet another caution flag out. Grossenbacher was invincible, even against Gary Southard (39) who had worked his way through the pack and was gobbling up spaces. The last caution flag to fly came out after lap eighteen when Wesley Burton (92) spun in turn four. This made the restart a green/white combination flag. Scott Grossenbacher took the win and the checkered flag after a hard-fought race. Gary Southard was close behind for second. Red Vann brought home third with Jimmy Britts and Rick Hall bringing in the top five.
The Steven A. Bagen Super Late Models turned out a large field of entries tonight at Ocala Speedway. Charles Hornbeak (67) sat on the pole with Ronald Lentz (96) sitting on the outside. The pack was tight coming through turn four on the start and Hornbeak got loose, keeping the front of the pack on its toes. Kelly Charles (1) came out on top and Lentz took second position. Herb Neumann (9) settled into third. The next lap was full of hard luck though as Rich Pratt (0) took a sharp right coming out of turn three and went nose first into the wall on turn four. This brought out the yellow then the red flag as the track crew rushed to his aid. He was fine, but his car was damaged and had to be towed. Charles continued to lead the way with Neumann hot on his tail. Chuck Burkhalter (30) and Roger Damron (76) were close in. The feature was clean for eighteen laps although several cars spun into the infield or were black-flagged. A yellow flag flew after lap eighteen when it appeared that Hornbeak had an engine fire. All was well and the race was quickly back underway. The restart was exciting, as Neumann and Burkhalter were both able to pass Charles. The field had thinned because of the high rate of car failures. Each of the five were well able to win this race. The last five laps were tough as they raced for the wire. Herb Neumann took the checkered flag with Chuck Burkhalter coming in a very close second. Kelly Charles was third. Harold Rankin finished fourth, using the last seconds to pass Roger Damron who came in fifth.
Ocala Speedway, Florida’s Number One Short-Track, will be holding the Fourth Annual Powell Memorial 125 for Late Model Sportsman on Tuesday 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, Larry Osteen, Wayne Anderson, Herb Neumann, Harold Rankin, Chuck Burkhalter, Kevin Bryant, John Brennan, James “Doc” Batson, Kelly Charles, John Carter, Billy Bigley, David Westrich, Rich Pratt, Mac Johnson, Glenn Whitney, Joe Sumasky, Dwayne Dempsey, Terry Chapman, Billy Mowery, Darryl Shelnut, Rick Elwood, Pete Richardson, Ricky Carlton, Niven Jenkins, Charles Hornbeak, and Patrick Williams.
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 email@example.com.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday July 3rd, Ocala Speedway will be closed. Action will resume on Saturday July 10th. There will be all divisions except Late Models. The Hobby Stocks will race a 50-lap feature.