Ocala, FL, July 24, 1999 – Ocala Speedway is definitely the place to be on Saturday nights. They must have a contract with the weatherman, because the rains stay away and the cool breezes are a welcome relief. The track is packed with cars and pits rumble with anticipation.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers streamed from the pits with a full slate of entries. Tom Posavec (01) earned the pole and Neal Durbin (33) sat on the outside. The race started well and Posavec grabbed the lead. Durbin settled into second position. Terry Dunbar was pushing hard and got by Durbin after several laps. The race was fast and clean until after the sixth lap when a yellow flag flew. On the restart, Posavec maintained his lead but behind him, changes were in the making. Cliff White (18) had made his way up through the ranks and took second position from Dunbar. Posavec had a comfortable lead but after lap nine, another caution flag flew. Bobby Valeo (8) took a hard bite out of the front stretch wall and had to be towed. The light went red for a moment as the track crew checked on Valeo to make sure he was ok. The car was towed quickly and the pack snuggled back up for the restart. Posavec was hot tonight and he claimed the checkered flag. Cliff White took home second and Terry Dunbar took third. Neal Durbin and Jamie Portera filled out the top five. After tech, Tom Posavec was disqualified and Cliff White became the winner.
The WTRS Pure Stocks poured out of the pits. Chuck Stewart (8) had the pole honors with Peter Portera (24) sitting on the outside. The start stopped with a yellow flag as the pack was coming into turn one. There were no obvious problems but there was some debris on the track. Portera took his car to the pits and out of the race during the yellow. For the restart, John Cook (17) took the outside pole. Cook leapt hard and took a commanding lead when the green flag flew. Jason Gamble (21) grabbed second. Stewart held onto third but not for very long as John Betts (81) was making his way forward and moved into third by the second lap. Richard McGlashan (113) was also moving and by lap four, he was solidly in fourth position. Betts was really hot tonight though and third position was not good enough for long. Betts moved strong and took second from Jason Gamble and by lap six, he had the lead after passing Cook. The action was slowed when Larry Bowden (77) took a spin in turn four and had to be towed. There were some fluids down so the track crew had work to do. The green flag flew again with two laps to go and John Betts had the touch tonight as he took the checkered flag. Jason Gamble took home second and John Cook earned third. Richard McGlashan and Chuck Stewart closed out the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks filled the track with their entries tonight. Mike Wilson (79) had the pole position and Mike Davis (50) sat beside him on the outside. Wilson charged hard and took the point as Davis faded back and out of contention. David Baxley (64) filled the space in second and Alan McCafferty (32) raced into third. Only one caution marred this feature and it was over quickly. With six laps to go after the yellow, the drivers hit the pedals hard. The top three positions were running very close and the slightest change could have had any of the three winning. Wilson was tough and held off every challenge Baxley offered and McCafferty never found a hole big enough. Mike Wilson took home the win and David Baxley came in second. Alan McCafferty earned third while Glen Adams and Charles Kopach came in nearly side-by-side to fill out the top five.
The Classic Cars were in town again tonight at Ocala Speedway. Bud Spencer (7) had the pole tonight and beside him, George Hall III sat on the front row for the first time. Hall jumped well and took the lead from the start. He put on a good show for the first three laps but after that, Spencer took the point and Rodney Eary (6) took second. Hall held onto third for several laps as Spencer and Eary opened up some room. Behind Hall, Danny Shearer (77), Mo Davenport (27) and David Nunes (54) were battling hard and coming through turn four three wide. The drivers showed the fans their skill as they took these deep-rumbling cars around Ocala Speedway’s track. A yellow caution flag flew after lap seven when George Hall Jr. (32) took a spin in turn four. The restart brought out another yellow before the pack cleared turn four when Davenport and Nunes got tangled up in turn four. After this was cleared, the race went clean. The top five were shuffled somewhat with Davenport and Nunes in the rear. George Hall III faded from the top five and Danny Shearer and Ed Yates moved up with the leaders. Yates and Shearer were fighting hard for third and Yates finally conquered. Bud Spencer took the checkered flag for the first time ever in his career. Rodney Eary took home second with Ed Yates coming in a hard-earned third. Danny Shearer and Jim Rahman filled out the top five.
The Budweiser Modifieds raced tonight at Ocala Speedway. Johnny Newsome (31) sat on the pole and Red Vann (32) sat on the outside. By the completion of the first lap, Scott Grossenbacher (09) had the lead. Newsome held onto second for a couple of laps but Vann was serious tonight and moved past him. A yellow flag flew after lap four when Newsome and Rick Brewer got tangled up in turn two. Both found themselves in the rear. Racing was clean from this point on but the battles were furious. The clean racing can be attributed to the great driving skills these racers have. Grossenbacher was on his game and although Vann was there every inch, he was able to hold off all challenges. Rick Hall wasn’t letting himself be counted out as he held third position, and the three raced in tight formation. Newsome was fading through the pack and on lap fourteen he took his car to the pits. Scott Grossenbacher took the win under the checkered flag as Red Vann pushed in close behind for second. Rick Hall earned third and Frank Polley came in fourth. Loren Thornton closed out the top five finishers.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models raced tonight at Ocala Speedway. Ed Sartori (50) had the pole and Butch Dees (02) sat beside him on the outside. Dees jumped easily to the lead and Charles Hornbeak (67) and Roger Damron (76) moved up behind him. This feature was completely free of cautions but the excitement was intense. On lap four, Dees backfired hard on the front stretch and slowed drastically. He pitted immediately as the pack streamed by. Damron was now on point with Herb Neumann (9) pushing his tail. Rich Pratt (0) moved into third and started hunting for holes. Damron was able to hold his lead while Pratt and Neumann battled for second. On lap eighteen, second belonged to Neumann, then Pratt took it. Neumann took it back the next lap, and then Pratt reclaimed it on lap twenty. Fans were yelling for their favorites as the drama unfolded. Once by Neuman, Pratt focused on Damron and on lap twenty-one, he took the lead. Pratt took the race to the wire and claimed the checkered flag. Damron was very close behind for second and Chris Tedder came in third. Charles Hornbeak moved back up to take fourth and Herb Neumann came in fifth.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday July 31st, all divisions plus a fifty-lap Late Model race will be on tap.