1999 Ocala Speedway Enduro
Ocala, Florida, November 28, 1999 – The racing season at Ocala Speedway closed out in a very big way this beautiful Sunday afternoon! A full field of cars (89 entries as of 2:00 PM) provided non-stop excitement for the fans who packed the grandstands. The race started with a jackrabbit style start. Cars were lined up two abreast from turn for back into turn two. Ron Bews (14) and Augie Bertram (58) started at the head of the pack. Having the pole to start this race isn’t always a good thing though. If the leaders don’t jump hard enough, they risk being hit from behind. If they get to much speed to early, they will tangle with the rear of the pack before it even gets moving. Bews made the smart moves and he took the lead for the first several laps. There were no caution flags during this race. But lap seven saw the red flag fall. Cars in turn one spun and when the smoke cleared, a car was sitting with the driver’s side door facing the oncoming traffic. The red flag allowed the stranded driver to get out of his car, although the car was left sitting where it was for the rest of the race. A red flag also appeared after lap twenty-one. A huge pile of cars and the white barrier tire from inside turn four ended up on the front stretch. During the break, fire officials checked out a couple of cars that were smoking heavily. No fires were found. A third red flag flew on lap forty-seven after a smash-em up involving the 33 car of Mike Kinney. Kinney’s gas tank was ruptured, but he didn’t know it and continued racing. Officials got him to the infield safely. The race leaders as of this lap were Herb Neumann Jr. (8), Robert Ray (9), and Kevin Durden (56). About one lap later, another red flag flew when Dennis Williams (24) was flipped onto his roof coming out of turn four onto the front stretch. It quickly became clear the Williams was fine but his car could not be left upside down for fear of a gas leak. The wrecker crew quickly righted the car, leaving it on the track near where it landed. This lap saw a new leader. Durden was up front with Ray in second. The laps ticked off quickly and the one-hundredth lap came and went without a red flag to mar the action. Soon after, a red flag stopped the action once again to allow a stranded driver to clear out of his car. During this stop, it was decided to reverse the racing direction. The cars were lined up single file behind Durden, and they made an orderly procession through the crossroads out of turn four and into turn two. At this point, there were thirty-four cars actively racing. Several laps into the new direction, a couple of things happened at once. James Ellershaw (50) and Jason Gamble (201) tangled on the backstretch, taking themselves out of the race. Another tangle of cars on the front stretch took out a couple more. This brought out the final red flag of the race. Racing wasn’t especially clean, given the nature of an Enduro, but nothing further happened that required a red flag. Durden was still the leader. Ray had some bad luck that carried him to the pits and back out a couple of times, effectively taking him out of contention. When the checkered flag fell, it was a very jubilant Kevin Durden of Archer who was declared the winner. Durden happily spun a few donuts for the cheering crowd. As of this writing, the results are unofficial. Keith Philman came in second and Tuck Trenthawn was third. Jeff Fortner and Jimmy Hagel were fourth and fifth. Again, these results are unofficial pending tech. This was the final event of the 1999 season at Ocala Speedway. Next season will be starting soon. Ocala Speedweek is scheduled for February 2000 and the 2000 yearly schedule will be available shortly.