Ocala, FL, September 4, 1999 – Crystal clear skies, pleasant breezes and hot action packed racing were just a few of the many good reasons to come out to play at Ocala Speedway.
A Radio Celebrity race was the first feature on tap. Our own Wolf Bower, DJ for WTRS Thunder Country and the Ocala Speedway announcer, was one of the four local radio personalities driving. Bower was driving John Betts #81 WTRS Pure Stock car and had the pole. Bower delighted the fans as he drove the car across the finish line, taking the checkered flag. He took a victory lap with the flag flying out the window.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers were hot tonight. Chauna Johnston (43) earned the pole honors by winning her first heat race earlier in the evening. Dave Neiswender (69) sat on the outside. Johnston took the lead on the start and held on as Neil Durbin (33) made several unsuccessful challenges for the top position. The yellow flag flew took when Durbin took an unexpected spin. The race restarted quickly with Johnston still in the lead. Brock Oglesby (88) in his new car started in the middle of the pack, and he was slowly but surely moving up the ranks. The leaders were bunched together and in turn three, Oglesby saw a hole in turn four and took advantage of it by moving bolding to the lead. Once in the lead, Oglesby opened up a huge distance. Johnston ran into some bad luck as her car began to backfire repeated, and she took it to the pits. Eleven-year-old Brock Oglesby took the checkered flag and his first win at Ocala Speedway in the Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder division. Terry Dunbar took home second and Dave Neiswender took third. Matt Connelly and Leo Kasper filled out the top five.
The WTRS Pure Stocks came out in full force tonight. Larry Bowden (77) sat on the pole tonight. Richard McGlashan (113) sat on the outside. Bowden took the lead looking very strong. McGlashan fell in behind him with Paul Fletcher (94) sitting in third. By lap three, Jason Gamble (21), who had started back in the pack and was moving his way up, took over third position. A yellow flag flew after lap six because the 007 car was dropping parts. The track crew did a quick check and racing was back underway. Gamble was second when the green flag dropped but by the next lap, he was solidly in first position. There were no more yellow flags so laps ticked off quickly. Jason Gamble took the checkered flag and Larry Bowden came home second. John Betts earned third after a late charge and Richard McGlashan came in fourth. Mark Mitchell was fifth.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks had a full field tonight. Rick Benschoter (57) sat on the pole with Marlon Durbin (72) on the outside. Benschoter took a good lead on the start as Durbin settled into second. David Baxley (64) was driving a new car and moved up into third. The first yellow flag flew after lap three when the #132 car spun in turn three. Benschoter maintained his lead but Alan McCafferty (30) was driving hard tonight and moving through the pack. McCafferty got by Baxley and by lap seven he had passed Durbin and Benschoter for the lead. Baxley followed in McCafferty’s wake and raced into second position. The number five car spun on the backstretch after lap seven and brought out another yellow flag. The feature was back underway for one lap when the yellow flag flew for the last time during this feature. Two separate incidences had occurred, one at each end of the track. Things were cleared quickly and McCafferty stayed out front. Shane Nichols (65) was coming through the ranks and gaining a position for every lap completed. Mike Wilson (79) was riding Nichols’ coattails, taking advantage of the holes Nichols created. On lap twelve, Nichols and Wilson were in third and fourth positions. McCafferty was solid in the lead followed by Baxley in second, but on the last lap Wilson made a bid for third and took it from Nichols. Alan McCafferty took the win with David Baxley coming in second. Mike Wilson earned third and Shane Nichols took fourth. Rick Benschoter took home fifth.
The Mini-Cup Nationals were held tonight at Ocala Speedway. Drivers and their teams showed up from distant places to race for double points in the Junior and Senior divisions. Both divisions raced together for this 25-lap feature but the “Cars of the Future” started in the rear. Buddy Smith (00) sat on the pole and Jack Martin (1) sat on the outside. Doug Smith (17) used the inside groove to take the lead as the green flag fell for the start. Wayne White (4) followed on his bumper to take the second position. On lap three, Bruce Smith (35), who was riding third, rubbed the wall coming out of turn four, lifting both right tires up off the track. He maintained control, but his position shifted back dramatically. By lap ten Chris Fontaine (47) had passed Buddy (00) and taken third. The yellow flag came out after lap ten when Buddy took a spin. Cars were snuggled back up for the restart, clearing the track of lapped traffic. Doug Smith (17) held his lead as White and Fontaine battled for second. Buddy Smith had worked his way back up through the ranks into fifth by lap eighteen. Bruce Smith was also gaining by leaps and bounds, and by lap 22 he was back up in fourth position after passing Buddy. Fontaine was able to pass White and take the second position for a short lap and then White took it back. A final yellow flag flew after lap 23 when Buddy spun again. The restart was green and white and on the next lap, Doug Smith took the checkered flag. Wayne White finished second with Chris Fontaine coming in third. Bruce Smith and Jack Martin finish in the top five. David Tullis driving in the “Cars of the Future” division was pronounced the South East Regional Champion based on points standings.
The Budweiser Modifieds fielded a full pack. Red Vann (32) sat on the pole and Rick Hall (15) sat on the outside. The first start went wrong immediately when Loren Thornton (N8) and Justin Tilton (10) got tangled in turn one. A double up restart was called and everyone regained their original starting slots. Vann moved out front with Scott Grossenbacher (09) sitting in second. The first lap was just completed when the yellow flag was thrown again because of a huge, smoky pileup in turn one. A large oil leak was discovered and the yellow became red as the cars were stopped on the front stretch and engines were killed. The clean up was extensive. Vann took his car to the pits but he was able to return before the race restarted. Hall was the new leader when the restart was called because Vann was placed in the rear. Thornton sat in second with Tilton in third. Laps two and three were completed when another yellow flag flew when Rob Lefevre (93) took a spin in turn four and Rick Brewer (9) was black-flagged. The feature restarted and it seemed that it was destined that only two laps at a time were going to be under green. After lap five, Tilton got loose and spun bringing out the fourth caution. Hall was still leading and Thornton was comfortable in second. Vann was a serious threat again as he was back in third, but after lap seven a yellow flag was thrown when Grossenbacher was attempting to get by Vann on the backstretch. Vann got loose and both were sent to the rear for the next restart. The last restart came and Rick Hall raced for the finish line, taking the checkered flag after the race was shortened for time. Loren Thornton earned second and Justin Tilton took third. Rob Lefevre took fourth and Scott Grossenbacher was fifth.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models brought out a full field of cars tonight at Ocala Speedway. Herb Neumann Jr. (98) had the pole and Rich Pratt (0) sat on the outside. The feature was well driven by all and went start to finish caution free. Neumann jumped for the lead and Roger Damron (76) drove past Pratt to take second position. He wasn’t able to hold it long though as Pratt regained second position by the third lap. Dave Westrich (38) settled into fourth and held that position until the twelfth lap when Jeremy Fereenbach (9) took it from him. There were a few tense moments whenever lapped traffic was encountered and the leaders were close enough together to keep the feature exciting. But, places seemed to be firmly established early in the feature and Herb Neumann Jr. took the checkered flag. Rich Pratt was close behind in second and Roger Damron took home third. Jeremy Fereenbach and Dave Westrich filled out the top five finishers.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday September 11th, there will be a full schedule of racing plus the always exciting School Bus Figure Eight.