Ocala, FL, March 4th, 2000 – Ocala Speedway officially kicked off the new year 2000 season tonight. A full slate of racing action was presented to the packed grandstands. The pits were jammed with the local regulars who were itching to get started, the visiting Mini Cup Cars and Outlaw Winged Sprints. The new feature at Ocala Speedway this year is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Kids aged seven years up to twelve years can race in the new Junior Cup Cars. These cars are available at Ocala Speedway. Call Paul Petrie any time during the business week for more information.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers opened the program. Pete Close Jr (89) sat on the pole and Aaron Clark (27) sat on the inside. Close got a good start and took the early lead. Bobby Valeo (8) was determined to take the point, and on lap four he took it. Right behind Valeo and Close, Jeff Oglesby (88) was in the hunt. Oglesby found the hole he needed and moved past Close to take second. The feature was fast and clean with no yellow flags. Bobby Valeo charged hard and took the checkered flag for the win. Jeff Oglesby took home second place honors and Pete Close Jr. came in third. Aaron Clark and Chauna Johnston filled out fourth and fifth.
The WTRS Pure Stocks were up with a full field. Dave Dinehart (79) earned the pole position and Paul Fletcher (94) sat on the outside. Dinehart took a commanding lead for the early laps, but Edward England (0) was gathering steam to make the push. England busted through a gap to take the lead from Dinehart on the fifth lap. Racing was clean and caution free for this feature. Dinehart held onto third for several more laps. Behind him, John Betts (81) was keeping the pressure up. Moose Alderman (7) was not to be counted out though and he worked his way past Betts and then eventually Dinehart. Edward England took the checkered flag with Moose Alderman coming in a close second. Richard McGlashan used a late move to claim third. Dave Dinehart and John Betts took fourth and fifth.
The Dave’s Towing Street Stocks were out in full force for this opener. David Baxley (64) held the pole and Mike Wilson (79) sat outside. Baxley charged hard to take the lead. Shane Nichols (65), who started on the second row, quickly moved up to challenge Baxley. It was evident that the friendly rivalry between Baxley and Nichols is exists. Each put out his best effort and finally Nichols slipped inside Baxley around turn one and took the lead. Charles Kopach was not going to be left out and he found another hole to move through to take second. Mike Wilson was still a contender, and on lap six, he also moved past Baxley. These drivers raced hard and even though there was rubbing and tapping, the feature was caution free. Shane Nichols raced to the wire by several lengths to take the win. Charles Kopach rolled in second with Mike Wilson on his tail. Dave Baxley came in fourth and Glenn Baum sat in fifth.
Mini Cup Cars returned to Ocala Speedway after being here for the Ocala Speedweeks in February. These little cars are hot, and it is nearly guaranteed there will be thrills. Steve Smith (20x) had the pole and Josh Guy (9) sat on the outside. Guy jumped well and took the lead on the first lap. The second lap was not completed when the first yellow flag of the night appeared. Justin Hoffman (00) took an unscheduled spin through turn four. When racing restarted, Doug Smith (17) quickly moved up into first and held on for dear life. The cars gathered speed as the laps ticked off. Guy held on to second position as Steve Smith, Casey Smith (7), Terry Lee Tullis (97) and Josh Hermann (98) jockeyed for positions behind him. A second yellow flag was thrown during lap twelve when a car spun through turn one. Racing restarted quickly with Doug Smith retaining his lead. Casey Smith moved into second, sending Tullis back to third. Terry Tullis (31) was able to take third from Terry Lee Tullis on the seventeenth lap. The thrills were still coming and another yellow flag flew on lap eighteen. On the restart, things immediately turned sour as cars tangled. Terry Tullis (31), Terry Lee Tullis (97) and Josh Hermann were all involved as the car mass spun down the front stretch into turn one. This event rearranged all the positions behind Doug Smith who was unaffected because of his hold on the lead. The restart flags were green and white again. Doug Smith took the win with Casey Smith charging hard on his tail for second. Tommy Clark rolled in third with Tommy Gray and Steve Smith filling out the top five.
The Budweiser Modifieds came next on the card. Gary Sexton (41) sat on the inside pole as Alan McCafferty (12) sat on the outside. Sexton jumped hard and took the lead but it was all for naught. As the pack came through turn three, tires shook loose and cars went spinning. Johnny Newsome (31) stopped at the edge of the pavement on the infield, but Raymond Vann (99) and Scott Millar (14) ended up in the wall. A complete restart was called. On the restart, McCafferty was the one who jumped hardest. He wasn’t able to hold it for long though; Red Vann (32) was seeking. Only two laps were started when the second yellow flag was thrown. Sexton lost traction in turn one and slipped sideways. No paint was scraped and the restart came quickly. Vann maintained his newly gained position and McCafferty settled into second. E.J. Wise (7) worked his way into third as Newsome held fourth. Lap five was a problem for Newsome though and he spun to a stop in the pit entrance, causing the yellow to appear one more time. Vann was strong in first and McCafferty was holding his own in second. The hardest battles were being fought behind the two front runners. E.J. Wise held second for as long as he could but eventually Sexton got the best of him. Red Vann finished to claim the checkered flag by big margin. Alan McCafferty finished a strong second to Gary Sexton’s third. E.J. Wise and Jim Carpenter finished fourth and fifth.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models appeared in all their glory. Paint jobs were fresh and shiny, and expectations were high. Butch Dees (20) had the pole to start and David Christopher (0) sat on the outside. The green flag dropped and the charge was on. As the pack came into turn three the first time, Dees, Christopher, Roger Damron (76) and Ronald Lentz (96) all found themselves sliding and spinning. Christopher hit the wall really hard with his backend, but the damage was minor and he was able to continue. Everyone was able to take part in the full double-up restart. This time, Dees still had his edge, and he jumped hard. By lap five though it was apparent that Damron was serious as he smoothly slipped by Dees. Dees and Kevin Bryant (54) were in a war for second, but Bryant didn’t prevail until well into the race on lap eighteen. Roger Damron finished with a comfortable lead to take the checkered flag. Kevin Bryant took home his hard earned second. Butch Dees had to settle for third, leaving David Christopher and Tom Carter to fill out fourth and fifth.
The Outlaw Winged Sprint cars roared out onto the track. Sport Allen (98) sat on the pole and Shane Miller (11) sat on the outside. All these skillful drivers, in a race packed with cars, managed this feature without a single yellow flag. Allen got a good start and moved up into the lead. Bobby Rose (56) held second for one lap, but lap by lap, he moved back into the pack. Stan Butler (91) was strong tonight and he began to seriously challenge Allen, even taking the lead by the sixth lap. Allen, Wayne Reutimann (22), and Shawn Farr (68) were engaged in a bitter battle for the positions behind Butler. By lap eleven, Jim Childers had appeared on the scene, and he began to make his move. The laps are counted off very quickly when these cars are hot, so with no cautions to stop the action, the race was soon over. Stan Butler took the checkered flag for the win. Wayne Reutimann roared in second and Jim Childers came in third. Shawn Farr, a winner here during Speedweeks, came in fourth. Bo Hartley finished fifth.
The Ocala Speedway 2000 season continues with weekly racing. March 11th, will feature a full regular program with the Dwarf Cars and the Pro Figure 8 as featured guests. Come out every Saturday night during the regular season for the many exciting features. This is high-action racing fun for the whole family.