Ocala, FL, July 17, 1999 – Ocala Speedway was charmed once again as the racers filled the track and chased away all chances of rain. The fans enjoyed a night of hot racing under the cool breezes of this summer night.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers fielded a full feature tonight. Brock Oglesby (88) had the pole honors. Joe Alphonso (66) sat on the outside pole. The drivers made a false start and had to be restarted. When the green flag dropped for real, the charge was on. Oglesby got a good jump out, but Tom Posavec (01) was quick to take the lead. Oglesby held on to second position until lap three when Cliff White made a power move and got by. A yellow flag flew after lap four, but the race was quick to restart. Posavec held his lead, but he was feeling the pressure from White. Oglesby wasn’t to be counted out yet and he was keeping White occupied from the rear. Another yellow flag flew near the end of the feature, but the race was clean after that and ended quickly. Tom Posavec held his lead and took the checkered flag. It wasn’t a runaway race though because Cliff White was close behind for second with Brock Oglesby in third. Joe Alphonso and Bobby Valeo filled out the top five.
The WTRS Pure Stocks came out in full force tonight. Mark Mitchell (71II) drew the pole and Dave Dinehart (79) took the outside. Mitchell got a strong start and took the lead. Jason Gamble (21) was coming through the pack and on lap four, he took the lead from Mitchell. Gamble was only able to keep it for two laps though and then Mitchell took it back. Dinehart was riding in third and Richard McGlashan (113) was holding fourth. The pack was tight for the whole race and things got sticky as McGlashan and Dinehart fought for third. Both drivers showed off their skills as each kept his car in line. Lap eight saw a yellow flag though when the battle for first got hot. Mitchell and Gamble took a spin in turn one and as the protected leader, Mitchell returned to the lead while Gamble took his position in the rear. Mitchell held on until the wire and took the checkered flag after this hard-fought race. Dave Dinehart earned second and Richard McGlashan took home third. Larry Bowden and John Betts filled in the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks filled the track. David Baxley (64) pulled the pole and Glen Adams (3) sat on the outside. Baxley jumped for the lead and Charles Kopach quickly claimed second. Mike Wilson was riding third but he was hungry and by lap four, he had worked his way into second. Baxley was unchallenged in the early laps, but the battles going on behind him were hot. Alan McCafferty (32) was moving well and he took third position about half way through the feature. Adams was fading back and on lap eight a yellow flag came out when he lost his engine on the front straight. He was quick to get his car in the pit so the oil down was minimal and no one was affected. The track crew worked quickly and racing restarted. Another yellow was quick to follow though when two cars spun in two different corners. The flag was only because they had a hard time getting restarted before the main pack arrived. The last five laps were fast and clean. David Baxley took the win and Mike Wilson took home second. Alan McCafferty earned third with Charles Kopach coming in fourth. Glen Baum finished out the top five.
The Dwarf Cars were in town again tonight at Ocala Speedway. Don Hess (64) sat on the pole and Tim McDaniel sat on the outside. Hess took the lead and held it for six laps. Bill Burback (77) was sitting in second, biding his time. Steve Tregear (18) rode in third as McDaniel faded from the lead. A yellow flag flew on lap seven when McDaniel lost his engine on the front stretch. He was quick to pit so again, the oil down was minimal. When the race restarted, places changed dramatically. Burback made a power move on the jump off and took the lead from Hess. Burback proved he had the car for this race as he opened up a sizable lead. By lap eleven, Tregear had also gotten by Hess. These fast little cars drove a clean race from this point on and Bill Burback came under the wire first, taking the checkered flag. Steve Tregear came in second and Don Hess came in third. Paul Hunsberger and Bob Hoffman filled out the top five.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models were on hand tonight at Ocala Speedway. Roger Damron (76) had the pole, and Charles Hornbeak (67) sat on the outside. Damron looked strong but he wasn’t able to hold the lead past the second lap. Tate Pierce (8) moved quickly and took the point while Chuck Burkhalter (30) also got by Damron. The places weren’t set though and battles were bringing about changes. By lap five, Burkhalter had taken the lead and Rich Pratt (0) was showing his strength in second. Pierce was sitting third now and Herb Neumann (98) was pushing his bumper. Luck was running out for Pratt though and lap six saw a red flag when a small engine fire lit the underside of Pratt’s car. He stayed cool and took to the grass off the backstretch and the track crew appeared to help him remove the hood and extinguish the fire. The race was underway quickly and Burkhalter retained his lead. This bit of bad luck for Pratt proved to be a help for Neumann as he was now in second. Pierce was holding third and Kelly Charles (1) had taking fourth from Damron who now rode in fifth. The two leaders fought a hard fight for the rest of the clean feature. A short way back, Pierce and Charles were fighting another battle for third. Lap sixteen raised the excitement levels when Neumann made a bold move and it almost appeared that he would take the lead. Ultimately he was unsuccessful because Burkhalter was on top of his game and found the extra power he required. Burkhalter had his hands full for the rest of the feature because Neumann tried again and again. Chuck Burkhalter took the win but only by inches as Herb Neumann made his final charge and took second. Tate Pierce earned his hard won third place and Kelly Charles settled for fourth. Roger Damron finished fifth. Telling the tale of this feature wouldn’t be complete until the reader gets a sense of the accomplishment that Burkhalter felt. Burkhalter took the checkered flag and proudly took a victory lap to the delight of his fans.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday July 24th, all divisions plus the Classic Race Cars will be racing.