Ocala, FL, November 6, 1999 – The air was brisk and the grandstands were packed at Ocala Speedway for the First Annual running of the Budweiser 200 for Late Models.
Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers filled the track tonight for their last feature race of the season. Dave Neiswender (69) held the pole position with Brock Oglesby (88) on the outside. Dave must have had his sights set on this race from the beginning because he grabbed the lead and held on it for the duration of the race. Jeff and Neil Durbin and Pete Close Jr. didn’t make it easy for him though. The only caution of the race came out when Leo Kasper (74) spun in turn four. After the restart Dave Neiswender held onto the lead and took the checkered flag. Jeff Stalnaker came in second, Pete Close Jr. and Terry Dunbar came in third and fourth. Chauna Johnston drove a good race to take fifth.
WTRS Pure Stocks
The WTRS Pure Stocks came out for their season-ending feature. Robert Carter (99) sat on the pole and Dave Dinehart (79) sat on the outside. The start was exciting as Carter got loose in turn four and Dinehart took the lead. Larry Bowden (77) slipped into second position and Jason Gamble (21) moved up into fourth. A caution flag fell after lap five when Ron Bews (14) spun in turn four. The restart came quickly and Dinehart held his lead. Only one more lap was completed before another caution flag appeared, this time it was Rick Hart (13) spinning through turn four. Two more laps were completed when Carter and Hart tangled in turn two, dropping parts and spinning. Both had to be towed, and the track had to be cleared of debris. Dinehart was still leading, but Moose Alderman was quietly moving his way up the ranks, and he was now sitting in fourth position. One more caution slowed the action momentarily when John Cook (17) spun in turn four. On the restart, Bowden had his second position, but Gamble was starting to get serious and one lap later, Gamble made his move. During the confusion, Alderman also moved hard and overtook Bowden for third. Bowden’s car seemed to lose power, and he slipped back into the pack. Dave Dinehart took the checkered flag and Jason Gamble came across for second by a fender length. Moose Alderman came in third and Mark Mitchell rode in fourth. John Betts took fifth place.
Budweiser 200 Late Models
The Budweiser 200 was held tonight at Ocala Speedway. Twenty five of the country’s top drivers qualified, and twenty-two cars took the green flag. Darryl Shellnut qualified number one after time trials, but the pill drawing inverted the first three rows. This placed Billy Bigley (12) on the pole and Mike Franklin (72) sitting on the outside. The race started hard with Franklin taking a strong lead. Just after the second lap was completed, a yellow flag flew when Scott Grossenbacher (09) spun through turn four. Fluid was found around a good portion of the track, so an extensive cleanup ensued. James Powell had been third before the caution, but on the restart he was placed in the rear with Grossenbacher. Laps were counted under the caution but even with all the work to be done, the racing restarted quickly. On the restart, Franklin jumped hard again, and Dick Anderson (92x) moved in to occupy the second position. Bigley held onto third. David Reutimann (237) quickly passed Bigley. Anderson was putting the pressure on Franklin, but the two were very well matched.The leaders began to encounter lapped traffic after about fifteen green-flag laps, but they were just beginning to reach the body of the pack around the thirty-fourth green lap. Franklin and Anderson were way out ahead of Reutimann, Jimmy Britts (92) and Bigley. A yellow caution was thrown when Rob Elting (27) and Grossenbacher got tangled up in turn three. On the restart, Franklin jumped well, but then he left a hole and Anderson quickly took advantage. Anderson was now on point and set to run away with this race. Powell was a lap down to the leaders, but holding a position between Franklin and Reutimann. After fourteen more green laps, a yellow flag flew once again for a big pile up on the backstretch. Reutimann, Kevin Bryant (54) and Bigley were all involved. Reutimann was able to continue with just body damage, but Bryant and Bigley had to be towed to the pits.The racing restarted and eighty-five laps had been run. Anderson was still strong on the point, but Franklin was not about to give up. Only two laps went by and another caution flag flew. This time five cars were involved but most suffered only superficial body damage. Darryl Shellnut (77) was the unlucky one who had to be towed. Several laps after the restart, Powell was able to move by Franklin and Anderson. Amazingly, Powell was able to make up ground through the pack as he steadily worked his way back up to the lead lap. Randy Fox (2) was running third and Ricky Carlton (34) had worked his way up to fourth. Fifty plus laps were run with no change in the top five positions. Herb Neumann (98) had fifth for these laps. Anderson and Franklin were running very fast, and they were a half-track ahead of Carlton, Fox and Neumann. A yellow flag flew when a front fender panel came off a car on the front stretch, and this closed the gap between the top five drivers. Lee Faulk (3) was able to pass Neumann to take fifth and five more green laps were counted and then another yellow flag flew.A lapped car got tangled with Carlton in turn one and debris littered the track. Carlton retained his position with minor damage. Anderson and Franklin again ran off and left the pack, but this time, Carlton was also there with them. The race began to get very exciting when Franklin challenged Anderson and took the point position. On the next lap, Anderson got it back but then Carlton took second from Franklin. The cars were so close together, the point was still within reach of all three. Franklin made a very slick move and took the point again, leaving Carlton in second and Anderson in third. During all this excitement up front, Powell had been steadily closing ranks and was solidly in sixth, having just passed Neumann.Something happened though and with only nine laps to go, Powell slowed hard and went to the pits. Franklin was driving with every skill he had, and Carlton was making sure he used the track wisely. Anderson held on to third but his back right tire was running out of time. Mike Franklin took the checkered flag and treated fans to a jubilant show by cutting donuts on the front stretch. Rick Carlton finished second and Dick Anderson came in third. Lee Faulk ran a great race to take fourth and Randy Fox held his own for fifth. This was definitely one of the most exciting Late Model features to be seen at Ocala Speedway .The Ocala Speedway 1999 season is nearing its close. Be sure to come out for the Enduro scheduled for November 28th. This is high-action racing fun for the whole family.