Ocala, FL, October 2, 1999 – Tonight was a special night at Ocala Speedway. All divisions ran forty-five lap features in celebration of Ocala Speedway’s Anniversary Night. This night had been scrubbed twice this year due to weather but tonight the weather was beautiful and the fans were treated to a fantastic fireworks show.
A full field of Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers filled the track tonight. Aaron Clark had the pole position with Chauna Johnston on the outside. Bruce Teague quickly grabbed first place on the second lap and held onto it until lap eleven when Brock Oglesby (88) slipped underneath in turn 4 and overtook the lead. Leo Kasper (74) spun in turn 4 to bring out the first caution flag. On the restart it was Brock Oglesby with Pete Close in second. Pete Close and Chasin’ Dreams team-mate Tom Roberts traded second and third position several times through lap 28 when Pete apparently broke something in his car and slipped back in the field. Dave Neiswender (69) was there to claim the third position behind Tom Roberts and Brock Oglesby. On lap 34 Bruce Teague (63) seemed to lose power and fell back into the pack. The remainder of the feature was Brock in the number 88 car followed by Tom Roberts, Dave Neiswender, Aaron Clark and Neil Durbin. Brock Oglesby claimed his second feature win of the season with this victory.
The WTRS Pure Stocks came out in full force and ready to rumble tonight. Bobby Carter (99) sat on the pole and John Cook (17) was beside him. Cook quickly took the lead and Jason Gamble (21) slipped in behind for second position. Pete Close in the number 8 car got by Carter to take third. On lap three, Gamble ran past Cook to take the lead. A yellow flag was thrown after lap three when a tire came apart in turn three. It was cleared quickly and racing resumed. Cook retook his lead on the fourth lap and held it for fifteen laps. The action was still up front as the top four positions behind the leader were changing almost every lap. A caution flag was thrown when a small oil leak smeared the track in turn four. On lap sixteen, Richard McGlashan (113) worked his way up through the ranks and took the lead from Cook. There was a big shake up happening behind him also as Dave Dinehart (79) moved up, passing Close and Cook. Lap twenty saw the third caution when car number 14 spun in turn four. Again racing resumed quickly, everyone concerned by the time limit set for the feature. McGlashan maintained his lead with Dinehart riding his tail. Cook found some of his lost power and moved up to pass Close and take third. While the leaders held the fort this way for several laps, Larry Bowden was making a scene as he steadily worked his way through the ranks. Action was stopped one last time though after lap twenty-three. Cook got loose and headed into the front stretch wall and Paul Gladin (9) meet him there. Gladin’s radiator let loose and the yellow became red as clean-up crews towed the cars and swept the track. This pack was never loose up front but Bowden was sitting in third on the restart and he used the next lap to move into second and the one following that he took first position. McGlashan held second for a few more laps but Dinehart was still in serious contention and he was hungry. Dinehart took second position leaving McGlashan in third. Close was still up front in fourth and Mark Mitchell (71II) sat in fifth. The race ran hot all the way to the end. Larry Bowden took the checkered flag. Dave Dinehart took second. Richard McGlashan, Pete Close and Mark Mitchell filled out the top five in close formation.
The Dave’s Towing Hobby Stocks had a full field tonight. Twenty-nine cars started the race with Joel Watkins (08) on the pole and Eddie Kilbury (71) on the outside. Watkins jumped out to take the lead and Kilbury settled into second. A yellow flag was thrown after lap two though when number twelve car spun in turn four and left the track. The restart didn’t get through turn four before another yellow came out. Two cars tangled in turn four with one going to the pits and one going to the rear. Watkins was still leading but after completing three more laps, another caution flag flew. This time, the number thirty-one car lost traction in turn two and went for a spin. One more lap under green and the fourth caution of the feature stopped the action as numbers fifty-three and five got tangled in turn four and Alan McCafferty (32) was sent to the rear with the five car. Racing restarted with determination this time and Watkins was still leading. Kilbury was waiting for an opportunity and found it to finish lap eight in the lead. Mike Wilson (79) was also in the hunt and he moved up into second position. The top five drivers were very close and nothing was settled. A spin in turn four brought out another yellow flag after lap thirteen, but the car was back underway using its own power and racing restarted quickly. Kilbury was leading, but the pressure he was under was very intense. Wilson, Shane Nichols (65) and David Baxley (64) were trading places almost every lap and sometimes they were on Kilbury’s flanks as they made their moves. Kilbury held fast and let them battle it out. A caution flag flew after lap twenty-four when Rusty Staines (00) lost traction on the front stretch, but he moved on quickly. The restart was bad again though because the fifty-three car spun in turn four. A second try was also bad because number five spun on the front stretch, dropping a large spring. Finally, racing resumed and several laps were ticked off the counter. Kilbury drove in the lead for many more laps and through two more cautions. The excitement was very high as the top five battled hard for something better. Lap thirty-eight was extra tense as Baxley tapped Kilbury causing him to lose traction. Kilbury held his car well but Nichols was able to slip by on the inside. Almost immediately a yellow flag flew because a tire came off of another car in turn one. This reset the order to what it was on the last completed lap and Kilbury regained his lead. All the while, McCafferty was working his way back to the front and he took over second position on lap forty. A final caution came out when a car spun in turn three. Kilbury charged hard on the restart but a major shake up was in the making. On the last two laps Nichols took the lead and McCafferty moved up into second. Shane Nichols took a hard-won checkered flag. Alan McCafferty earned second. Eddie Kilbury took third after a long hard-fought race and Mike Wilson brought home fourth. Dennis Maples filled out the top five.
The Mini-Cup cars were guests tonight at Ocala Speedway. This was the only feature that ran less than forty-five laps. This fifteen-lap feature gave the crowd plenty of action. Bob Struyk (33) sat on the pole and Dennis Tullis sat on the outside. Chris Fontaine (47) quickly took the lead and held it for six laps. Doug Smith (17) and Josh Herman (98) were in a hot contest for second and third. Smith was able to take the lead on lap seven and Herman quickly followed to take second. One caution period marred the otherwise perfect race when Jack Martin (1) took a hard spin and landed upside down in turn three. He was ok and after the track crew righted the car, he left under his own steam, holding the hood on top of the car. The last three laps were clean and hard-fought. Doug Smith took the checkered flag with Josh Herman coming in second. Chris Fontaine finished third and Terry Tullis came in fourth. Tommy Greg filled out the top five. Also racing in this feature were the Future Stars. The winner of this division was Dakota Smith with Colt Smith coming in second. Paul Parks finished third and Casey Smith was fourth.
The Budweiser Modifieds fielded a full pack. Rex Williams (88) sat on the pole and Scott Millar (07) sat on the outside. Chuck Burkhalter (30) jumped hard from the second row and took the lead immediately. Williams settled in behind him for four laps but Red Vann (32) and Wayne Reutimann (00) were pushing hard and got by. A yellow flag flew after lap six when four cars got tangled in turn two as Williams slowed and the others couldn’t get around him. Racing resumed with Burkhalter leading. Vann and Gary Southard (39) were in a tight battle for second position. Reutimann and Scott Grossenbacher (09) were in the same battle but for fourth. On lap eighteen another caution flag flew. Conrad Marcum (50) seemed to slow suddenly and Grossenbacher who was lapping him slowed to avoid hitting him. Close quarters caused Justin Tilton (10) to tap Grossenbacher’s bumper. Grossenbacher kept control and took an outside line around Marcum. Tilton’s momentum carried him into Marcum’s bumper and up the left side. Marcum had to be towed. Tilton went pitside, but he returned to the track. The battle continued, but a yellow flag appeared again after lap twenty-one when Southard took a hard bite out of a turn-one barrier tire. He also had to be towed and Vann went to the rear. On the restart, Grossenbacher had a shot at Burkhalter who was still leading. The next yellow flag appeared almost immediately though as Vann rolled to a complete stop in turn three. Burkhalter was strong tonight and Grossenbacher was unable to give him a serious challenge, but back in the pack, things were exciting Reutimann and Tate Pierce (8) fought for dominance. Pierce moved ahead and then EJ Wise (7) engaged Reutimann. Another caution paused the action when Tilton spun in turn one. On the restart, the top five drivers were Burkhalter, Grossenbacher, Pierce, Wise and Reutimann. Each still looked like a contender as they raced tire to tire. Pierce was finally able to overcome Grossenbacher but then coming off of lap thirty-eight, Loren Thornton (N8) spun through turn one, bringing out the final caution. Chuck Burkhalter held on to take the checkered flag. Tate Pierce finished in second with Scott Grossenbacher taking third. EJ Wise and Red Vann got tangled coming to the finish line and Wise spun before crossing the line. After tech, Chuck Burkhalter was disqualified and Tate Pierce was given the win. On the track, Wise was disqualified so the final order behind Pierce was Scott Grossenbacher in second, Red Vann in third, Wayne Reutimann and Scott Millar filling out the top five.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models brought out a full field of cars tonight to celebrate Ocala Speedway’s 45th Anniversary. Herb Neumann (98) sat on the pole and Keith Zavrel (47) sat on the outside. Things moved fast for this feature as drivers maneuvered for places. Neumann was never challenged as he opened a huge lead. Roger Damron gained the second position and he also pulled ahead of the next competitor. Ed Sartori (50) rode along in third as Zavrel settled into fourth. The leaders quickly encountered lapped traffic, keeping the excitement levels high. After lap thirty-five, the only caution flag of the feature was thrown when Rich Pratt (0) and Jeremy Jehrenbach (9) got tangled in the turn three tire. The restart bunched everyone back up, and the order of drivers became clear again as lapped traffic was now in the rear. There were no more cautions and Herb Neumann opened up another huge lead to take the checkered flag. Roger Damron finished second and Ed Sartori came in a distant third. Keith Zavrel finished close to Sartori for fourth and David White took home fifth.
The final feature of the night was the Pro Figure Eight. These guys are fearless, but tonight they fought fair and the feature was clean and fast. That isn’t to say there weren’t any mishaps, there were plenty. Cars slid off the track several times, some doing damage to their front ends. Alan McCafferty (32) and Red Vann (113) quickly made this a personal battle for first, each taking the point for some time. Alan McCafferty was able to outlast Vann to take the checkered flag. Red Vann finished second and John Cook took third. Ken Asbell and Skynard Shettleroe filled out the top five.
Don’t miss any of the Ocala Speedway racing season. Next week, Saturday October 9, there will be a full schedule of racing plus a 50-lap Modified Feature.