Ocala, FL, March 11th, 2000 – Ocala Speedway provided hot action tonight. A full program was offered to the stands loaded of eager fans.
The Junior Cup Cars raced during half-time. Mariah Berry (24) sat on the pole and Connor Baxley (64) sat on the outside. After some confusion about the double-up running start, the green flag was thrown, and they were off. Baxley jumped well and got a good head start. Berry was not to be counted out though, and she was pushing hard. Coming out of turn one she spun, and then it happened again through turn three. Baxley had a lap lead now, but Berry was giving it all she had. Some minor bumping occurred as the racers came through the turns but each handled his/her car very well. Connor Baxley took the checkered flag. Mariah Berry came in second. After the race, it was discovered that Berry’s car had a flat tire on the back left side. New cars are expected to join the ranks next week.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers opened the program. Terry Dunbar (72) sat on the pole, and Bobby Valeo (8) sat on the outside. Valeo took the lead as the green flag flew while the rest of the pack jostled for positions. Jeff Oglesby (88x) came from back in the pack to take second by the end of lap one, and Dunbar settled into third. Racing was clean and fast with little changing of positions. There was still excitement whenever lapped traffic was encountered. Bobby Valeo raced to the finish to take the checkered flag. Jeff Oglesby took home second with Pete Close Sr. coming in third. Terry Dunbar and Chauna Johnston filled out the top five positions.
The WTRS Pure Stocks were up with a full field. John Betts (81) had the pole and Dave Dinehart (79) sat on the outside. Betts jumped hard and got a good lead. Dinehart settled in on Betts’ bumper for the first lap. Ed England (0) had plans for this feature, and he focused on Dinehart. England got by Dinehart on the third lap. England quickly gained on Betts, but he was unable to make a move until the eighth lap. After getting by Betts in turn two, England pulled ahead with strength and took command. Back in the pack, Moose Alderman (7) was putting out some serious effort and it was paying off. Alderman passed Dinehart on lap nine. The only caution of the feature occurred on the last lap when two cars spun in turn four. The restart was green/white and Ed England held his own to take the checkered flag. John Betts came in second with Moose Alderman taking third. Dave Dinehart and Richard McGlashan filled out the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Street Stocks were out in full force tonight. Tim Wright (12) had the pole position, and Eddie Kilbury (71) sat on the outside. The start was not good the first time around as the pack jumped the gun. The drivers were quickly doubled back up. Kilbury jumped very hard and took the lead. Shane Nichols (65) and David Baxley (64) were close behind as Wright dropped back to fourth. The Nichols/Baxley competition is very strong, and they bumped and tapped each other through the first few turns. Each held his car well throughout and neither of them lost control. A yellow flag flew on lap three when T.J Worth (5) spun in turn one. Baxley had just managed to slip by Nichols, but the caution put him back. Kilbury kept his lead but not for long. Baxley made a serious move that got him by Nichols and one lap later, Baxley took the lead from Kilbury. Nichols shot through the hole that Baxley left and also got by Kilbury. Another lap down and Nichols also passed Baxley. Laps continued but another caution was thrown for some debris on the track. Racing restarted within a couple of minutes and Nichols held his lead. The third yellow flag flew when Charles Kopach (53) spun through turn four. The battle between Nichols and Baxley was very hot. Baxley took an opening and slipped by Nichols again to take the lead on lap eleven. Nichols slipped and Mike Wilson (79), who had been moving up through the ranks, moved into second position on lap fourteen. David Baxley took the checkered flag for the well-earned win. Mike Wilson ran in second and Shane Nichols took third. Eddie Kilbury came in fourth and Tim Wright finished fifth.
The Budweiser Modifieds came next on the card. Alan McCafferty (12) sat on the pole. Red Vann (32) sat on the outside. McCafferty got a good start, but Vann was able to take the lead after a couple of laps. A yellow flag flew when two cars spun through turn one. E.J. Wise (7) went to the pits with a flat tire. With Vann still in the lead, racing resumed. A couple more laps ticked off and Wise (7) returned to the track with a new tire. On lap six, Brock Oglesby (88), who was driving in his first Modified feature, and Wise brushed together through turn two. Oglesby scraped the wall down the backstretch. Oglesby’s car “climbed” the wall with the right side tires and, in what appeared to be slow motion, flipped upside down. A red flag was thrown and racing stopped. Wise immediately got out of his car and bent down to check on Oglesby. Oglesby was fine and climbed out to inspect the damage. After towing the car and cleaning the track racing got back underway. Vann continued to hold the lead with McCafferty trailing in second. Rob Akoury (1A) was running a close third, but this feature continued to be plagued by yellow flags. Johnny Newsome (31) and Rob Lefevre (93) each spun through turn one, but the two never touched. Both resumed racing under their own power. Vann’s lead was commanding, and McCafferty was securely in second. Akoury held third while Scott Millar (14) and Gary Sexton (41) battled fiercely for fourth. Yet another caution marred the action when Lefevre and Newsome again spun, landing up near the turn three wall. Each was able to continue from the rear. A final caution flag flew just as the last lap was starting, involving Lefevre and Newsome. The restart flags were green/white and Red Vann took the checkered flag. Alan McCafferty finished in second with Rob Akoury coming in third. Scott Millar and Gary Sexton finished fourth and fifth.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models swept out onto the track. Butch Dees (20) had the pole and Roger Damron (76) sat on the outside. The first start went bad when the second row jumped the flagman, so a complete restart was called. Dees jumped well and on time to take the lead. Kevin Bryant (54) drove hard into second, and Roger Damron (76) settled into third. Bryant was looking for a hole, and on lap four, he found it, taking the lead. Damron was slipping and David Christopher (0) moved up to take third. Laps counted down quickly with Bryant and Dees opening up a solid lead in front of the rest of the pack. On lap eighteen, the first yellow flag appeared when Tom Carter (4) spun in turn one. Racing restarted almost immediately but just as quick, another caution flag was thrown. This time, two of the front runners were involved in a tangle. Dees and Christopher tangled and both ended up in the rear. The shifting of positions was a surprise. Kevin Bryant kept his lead for the next six laps to take the checkered flag. Ivedent Lloyd Jr finished second, and Roger Damron took third. Tom Carter finished fourth with Butch Dees coming in fifth.
The Pro-Figure Eights put in their first appearance here since Ocala Speedweeks 200. Scott Knight (34) had the pole position to start and Ken Thornton (117) sat beside him. These wild and wooly racers put on a great show. The crossroads is always the place to watch and there were thrills aplenty. Shane Nichols (65) got stuck half on and half off the track at the crossroads, and red flag was thrown so he could get out. The tow truck pulled him free, and he went to the pits under his own power. Scott Knight had been leading throughout the race with Thornton some way back in second. Gary Swing (22) finally got by Thornton to take second but Knight was way out front and would have been almost untouchable except for the red flag that bunched up the pack. Swing was able to hold tight to Knight’s tail for the final laps and it served him well. As Knight was coming into the turn four, lapped traffic was encountered and Knight was taken for a spin. Swing made the most of Knight’s bad luck and raced around the incident. Gary Swing took the checkered flag for the win. Because of the comfortable lead the two leaders had, Scott King was able to straighten his car and continue on to take second. Jason Gamble came in third. Charles Kopach and Ken Thornton finished fourth and fifth.
The Ocala Speedway 2000 season continues with weekly racing. March 18th, will feature a full regular program with the Classic Race Cars and Speedo the Speedway Clown 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.