Ocala, FL, February 19, 2000 – Ocala Speedweek 2000 came to a close with a big blast. The stands were full, and the pits were packed with cars. The slate was filled with Mini Cup Cars, Dwarf Cars, the Outlaw Pro-4 Modifieds, the Classic Auto Racing Series and the ever popular Outlaw Winged Sprints.
Mini Cup Cars kicked off the evening with a large field of contenders. Jack Martin (1) sat on the pole and Dan Cotton (12) sat on the outside. Bob Stryke (33) jumped hard to take the lead on the first lap. Before the second lap could be completed, a yellow flag flew when several cars tangled on the backstretch. David Tullis (56) and Josh Guy (9) hit the back wall and had to be towed. Two drivers who had been sitting third and fourth were sent to the rear. The restart went well, but by the end of the second lap, there was a new leader. Terry Tullis (31) took the point as Stryke faded back to fifth. Tullis was not on easy street though, and Steve Smith (20x) and Tommy Clark (20) were hot on his tail. On lap eight the leaders encountered lapped traffic and lead positions changed rapidly. Tommy Clark (20) took the point and Doug Smith (17) slipped in behind him. A yellow flag appeared on lap eleven when Tommy Grey’s (5) car failed him and he coasted to a stop on the backstretch. Smith lost his luck on the restart when he slipped and spun coming out of turn four. This left the number two spot open for Casey Smith (7). The pack was fast and caught lap traffic within two laps and another shake-up occurred among the leaders. John Lowers (20x) moved up to second position. Lap eighteen proved to be exciting for Dennis Tullis. Coming through turn one, he slapped the wall and flipped the car. A red flag stopped the race as track crew ran to his aid. He signaled he was fine and the car was turned right side up. Tullis and his car were fine and he rejoined the race. Tommy Clark held on to his lead to take the checkered flag. John Lowers won the battle for second, leaving Terry W. Tullis to claim third. Josh Hermann and Casey Smith filled out the top five.
The Dwarf Cars raced next. Bob Quick (06) took the pole and Don Hess Jr (64) lead the outside line. Quick jumped hard to take the lead but the pack had trouble getting through turn four. Cars tangled but not enough to bring out a caution until it became clear the two of the cars weren’t really under full power. The yellow flag finally appeared during lap two so that the two cars could get safely off the track. Quick maintained his lead until lap six. At that point he seemed to lose power and Hess was able to get by. Dennis Archinal (12) found himself in second position while Shannon Buckingham (44tn) and Allan Davis (73) exchanged third and fourth positions several times. Quick continued to slip back and on lap ten, Quick and Gerald Smith (12T) tangled up on the backstretch. They both hit the back wall and had to be towed. One more lap was counted off before the third caution of the feature. Jeff Slayton (5) and Dan Berry (44) got hooked together in turn four and slid to a stop. The assistant flag man ran to them and handily picked up Slayton’s car, moving it away from Berry. He then separated them further by picking up Berry’s car and moving it sideways. With flag men like this, who needs tow trucks? Each car was able to restart the engine at least enough to clear the track. Slayton’s car was leaking fluid though, so he was out. The restart found Hess holding onto his lead by the skin of his teeth. Kelly Glass (02) made some slick moves that earned him a quick jump from fifth to second and then he was intent on taking the lead. Lap seventeen proved to be a pivotal factor in the outcome of this feature. Hess and Glass got physical in turn one and by turn two, Hess was hard into the wall. The caution period was short, just allowing time for the trucks to tow Hess. With Hess out and Glass in the rear, Shannon Buckingham found himself looking down a clear track. Tom Buckingham (22) took over second and Davis regained third. The last laps were battled hard, but Shannon Buckingham held off the challenges to take the win. Tom Buckingham took home second and Allan Davis took third. Dennis Archinal earned fourth, leaving Troy Van Allen to come in fifth.
The Pro-4 Modifieds put in another good show tonight. Mike Franklin (77) had pole honors and Steve Quick (1) sat beside him. Tonight’s race was definitely a Franklin race. Franklin’s lead was sizable and secure. One caution flag flew very early in the feature, but it was only to clear the track of some debris. With Franklin so far out front, the real battles were a little further back. Tim Proctor (98), Randy Sands (8) and Timmie Hunley (25x) were all trying hard to be second. Proctor had second position for seven laps, Sands took it for ten laps, and then Hunley finally claimed it for the last two. Mike Franklin took his third win for the week and Timmie Hunley earned second. Randy Sands came in third. Tim Proctor and Steve Quick took fourth and fifth.
The Classic Auto Racing Series drivers have put on a good show all week and tonight was no exception. Rodney Eary (64) got to start on the pole and Dan Kirk (112) sat on the outside. Eary won this feature on Friday night, and Larry Gibson (83) claimed his engine. After searching far and wide, Eary was able to borrow an engine for tonight’s feature. Eary got a good jump at the green flag and took a commanding lead. Bill Brown Jr. (88) got in behind him for second and Ed Yates (74) slipped into third. Kirk was trying to keep his place but he found the hard spot on the wall coming out of turn four. Kirk only scraped and no caution flag was needed, but he went to the pits to check things out. Positions were captured early and held tight. The feature was caution free so from the sixth lap on, lapped traffic was a factor the leaders had to deal with. Around lap eleven, Kirk was able to return to the track. Rodney Eary had no troubles on his way to take the checkered flag with his borrowed engine. Bill Brown Jr. drove in to take second and Ed Yates took third. Dan Hammerbeck claimed fourth. Larry Gibson came in fifth.
The Grand Finale was the Outlaw Winged Sprint Cars. A full field turned out to race here at Ocala Speedweeks 2000 and Bobby Rose (56) sat on the pole. Shaun Farr (68) sat on the outside. Farr jumped well and took the lead, but before the first lap was completed, Stan Butler (91) took a bite out of the backstretch wall to bring out a caution. He was quickly towed and the pack was doubled back up for a complete restart. Farr again moved well on the green flag and the second start looked just like the first. Ernie Teed (87) quickly moved up to take second. The leaders started lapping slower cars by the sixth lap. Drivers displayed great skill in maintaining their positions until lap nine when Joey Aguilar (48) and Keith Butler (19) got a bit to close in turn one. A yellow flag was thrown to clear the track. Aguilar went pitside, but Butler was able to stay in the race. Farr was holding a strong lead, but Dude Teate (0) was moving his way steadily up through the ranks. Teate was running fifth on lap nine, fourth by lap twelve, and third by lap thirteen. Teate actually put the pressure on Farr for first, but Farr was tough and held tight. Shaun Farr took the checkered flag with Dude Teate close behind for second. Ernie Teed came in third and Jim Childers finished fourth. Tracy Hines came in fifth.
The Ocala Speedway 2000 season will start March 4th. Come out every Saturday night during the regular season for the many exciting features. This is high-action racing fun for the whole family.