Ocala, FL, August 7, 1999 – As needed as rain may be, Ocala Speedway fans were thankful it held off once more in this corner of the county. The stands were packed as people came to watch the hottest action to be found this Saturday night.
The first event of the evening was a Rollover Derby! Several cars were aimed at a ramp set on the grass on the front stretch. Each was allowed several attempts to roll. Points were assigned for the roll that resulted. The first car to go qualified for five points by rolling completely over and landing back on its wheels. The second car also rolled but it stopped just short of landing on its wheels. On its second attempt, it did another partial roll, tying up the points for the two cars at five each. Two other cars attempted to roll but were not able. To end the event, a second driver was allowed to attempt a roll in one of the cars that hadn’t flipped yet. He was successful and earned a loud cheer from the fans. The winner as the first car that rolled as the tie was given to the driver who did the complete roll.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers came out of the pits rearing to go. Danny Cretty (01) sat on the pole with Brock Oglesby (88) on the outside. Cretty immediately took the lead but Oglesby was running right with him in second. As laps counted down, Cretty opened a small lead. Oglesby’s only challenger was Dave Neiswender (69). The only yellow caution happened after lap ten. Danny Cretty took home his second win in a row and Brock Oglesby took second. Dave Neiswender took home third. Chauna Johnston and Terry Dunbar filled out the top five.
The WTRS Pure Stocks poured from the pits. The field was packed and Larry Bowden (77) was on the pole. The race was only a lap down when a yellow caution flag flew. John Kahl (88) was traveling in the middle of the pack when he got loose coming through turn four. As he spun, the pack split and many managed to get by him. It looked as if he was getting his car back under control. But, he spun again and another car lightly hooked into him, landing him in the infield. The racing restarted quickly with the pack tightened up. John Betts made a very big power move and by turn one, he was in the lead. John Cook (17) slid in behind Betts, as Bowden seemed to be fading. Betts’ car was really hookin’ up tonight. He raced out ahead of the pack by several lengths. Cook was doing well also, and he had a cushion all his own, although he was well behind Betts. Peter Portera (34) was back in third but the rest of the pack was very unsettled. Jason Gamble (21) was moving hard and passed Portera. On lap eight, Portera and Mark Mitchell (71II) got tangled up coming out of turn four. Amazingly, they were able to hold things together even though most of the pack sped by. There was no yellow flag even though there was lots of tire smoke. John Betts was running so hot he lapped the tail end of the field and took the checkered flag. John Cook took home second and Jason Gamble took third. Richard McGlashan and Dave Dinehart filled out the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks came out with a full field tonight. Glen Adams (3) had the pole position and Bob Mascarelli (72) sat on the outside. Mike Wilson made his presence known almost immediately as he took the lead by lap two. Wilson was in top form and held his lead while the pack behind him was constantly changing. Alan McCafferty was in the hunt tonight and he worked his way into second by the eighth lap. Mike Davis (50) was also running hot and he followed McCafferty into third. This feature was fast and clean. Mike Wilson took the win but it wasn’t easy because McCafferty was pushing him all the way, coming in second. Mike Davis rode into third with Shane Nichols driving David Baxley’s car coming in fourth. Bob Mascarelli took home fifth.
The Mini Cup cars were in town tonight. They always provide some great thrills and tonight was no different. Bruce Smith (35) had the pole and Chris Fountaine (47) sat on the outside. B Smith had the lead for the first lap but Doug Smith (17) took it from him on lap two. A yellow flag flew after lap three when cars tangled up in turn one. Fountaine (47) was one of the unlucky, along with Bob Struyk (33). Struyk (33) was towed to the infield and Fountaine (47) got moving again and rejoined the field. D Smith was holding the lead with B Smith still in second. One lap later, Terry Tullis (31) moved up to take second. Shortly after that, Fountaine (47) took a bite out of the front stretch wall, bringing out the second caution. Another caution flag was thrown when turn one claimed more victims. Randall LeMaster (118) and Josh Hermann (98) took heavy damage and the yellow turned to red as the track crew rushed to check on the drivers. All were ok. The racing restarted but the very next lap was again under yellow when Terry Lee Tullis (99) spun in turn four. This delay was enough to require the feature to come under time constraints. The race restarted with the green flag coming out white. Doug Smith took the checkered flag and Terry Tullis came in second. Bruce Smith earned third, leaving Mike Fillmore and Mike LeMaster to fill out the top five.
The Budweiser Modifieds streamed from the pits. Justin Tilton (10) sat on the pole and David Baxley, driving Rob Akoury’s (1A) car, sat on the outside. The first lap was just completed when the yellow flag flew and Mike Gillispie (25) went pitside under a black flag. The feature was quickly resumed. Tilton was still leading and Loren Thornton (N8) was running second. Red Vann (32) sat in third, running hard. By lap eight, Vann had moved up to take second from Thornton. Rick Hall (15) also moved up and Thornton faded from the top five. Wayne Reutimann (00) sat in fourth. Lap sixteen was tough for Reutimann though. He got loose coming into turn three and went sideways. Scott Grossenbacher (09) was gaining ground from behind Staines and he tried to duck low to avoid a collision. He did avoid Reutimann, but his track took him to the grass, and he slid sideways into the turn four tire. Grossenbacher was unscathed and he returned to the pack in fifth position. The last five laps were exciting to watch as Vann got serious about passing Tilton. Justin Tilton held him off at every turn and took the checkered flag. Red Vann settled for second. Ed Brown took home third. Rick Hall and Scott Grossenbacher filled out the top five.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models stormed from the pits. Chuck Burkhalter (30) had the pole and Tate Pierce (8) sat beside him. Burkhalter fired hard and Pierce came out right on his bumper. Herb Neumann (98) was a very close third. For the first half of the race, the whole pack was tight and fighting for positions through every turn. Neumann took second position on lap six. The feature was free and clear of yellow flags so laps ticked off rapidly. Rich Pratt (0), Pierce and Roger Damron (76) were battling hard for their places. Burkhalter held his lead for the whole feature except for one lap when Neumann went outside and powered around him. Burkhalter quickly regained it by coming under Neumann in a turn. Pratt finally claimed third, leaving Pierce and Damron to fight for fourth. Chuck Burkhalter took a hard-earned win with Herb Neumann running in for second. Rich Pratt was waved in third with Tate Pierce and Roger Damron filling out the top five.
The Outlaw Winged Sprint cars roared into Ocala Speedway tonight. Nineteen of these alcohol-burning monsters started the feature. Watching this many cars running four wide around Ocala Speedway is definitely a site to behold. Ray Braggs (88) sat on the pole and Gary Gimmlen (29) sat on the outside. The first lap was uncompleted when a yellow flag was thrown. It quickly turned red and all engines were shut down. Three cars had tangled coming out of turn two and wound up in a heap on the backstretch. Dude Teete was out of the race. Larry Tyler (99) and Joey Aquilan (48) were able to get started again and a double up restart was called. Almost immediately, Brad Davis (4D) moved up to second position and by lap two, he was solidly out front. Gimmlen found his way up to second and Braggs settled into third. Lap six went awry when Tyler slid out of turn four and way into the infield. Racing continued quickly but after lap eight, another yellow flag was thrown. This one also turned red and again, engines were shut down. Shawn Farr (68) and Stan Butler (16) tangled in turn four and Butler ended up on his roof. Everyone was ok and the track crew quickly righted Butler. Both cars returned to race. Davis was holding a comfortable lead with Gimmlen cruising in second. Braggs was still in third but he soon gave way to Ernie Teete (87). After lap thirteen a caution flew again when Gimmlen lost his luck and spun on the backstretch. He was ok and continued to race but he was out of position. The restart went bad when another caution had to be thrown because Braggs spun in turn four. Three more laps ticked off and the final caution of the feature was thrown for Kevin Cahill who spun in turn four. The rest of the feature was clean as Brad Davis raced for and took the checkered flag. Ernie Teete was second with Wayne Reutimann coming in third. Jim Childres and Joey Aquilan brought in the top five.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday August 14th, all divisions including the Late Models will be racing. As a special treat, the Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers will be running in a 25-lap feature.