Ocala, FL, March 18th, 2000 – Ocala Speedway was buffeted by winds, but with the skies mostly clear, and the full moon making everything bright, the fans were happy and the racing was hot. Speedo the Clown was on hand to bring out the laughs and start the show. During the national anthem, he stood at full attention with fireworks blasting from his hat while “Rosy”, his car, shot off her share of sparks.
The Junior Cup Cars raced during halftime. Mariah Berry (24) had the inside and Connor Baxley (64) sat on the outside. Baxley got a good start and took the lead. Connor Baxley held his lead throughout the race to take the checkered flag. Mariah Berry had a much smoother ride than the one she had last week and put in some good laps to take second.
The Coca-Cola 4-Cylinder Bombers came out in force tonight. Chauna Johnston (43) sat on the pole. Johnston jumped well, but Jeff Oglesby (88x) was searching for a hole in her armor. Oglesby slipped by Johnston after the first lap and opened up a strong lead. Johnston held on to the second position, fighting off Pete Close Sr. (89), who was running hard. The feature was caution free, and the top positions were maintained throughout. Jeff Oglesby took home his first checkered flag of the season. Chauna Johnston came in a well-earned second and Pete Close Sr finished third. Neal Durbin rolled in fourth and Terry Dunbar finished fifth. After tech, Pete Close was disqualified and Durbin was given third. Dunbar moved up to fourth and Carl Thomas took fifth.
The WTRS Pure Stocks were up with a full field. John Kahl (88) sat on the pole and Jack Pate (69) sat on the outside. The start was not good because the pack jumped the gun. Racers regrouped and one lap later, the green flag was thrown. Kahl jumped hard and took the lead. Richard McGlashan (113) slipped into second. A yellow flag flew on the second lap. Kahl got loose on the back stretch and started spinning. Pate was unable to avoid a collision, and he smacked into Kahl’s right side. Both cars survived and Kahl was sent to the rear. Pate regained his third place position on the restart. The new leader was McGlashan. John Betts was able to make good use of the restart and moved up to claim second within one lap. Jason Gamble (201) was on the move too, and he took over third by the end of the third lap. Lap five saw another yellow flag fly when Edward England was tapped from behind and took a nose dive into the turn three wall. McGlashan was still strong in the lead, but this was not to hold up much longer. Gamble was on the move. By lap six, Gamble had a strong lead with McGlashan sitting second. Rick Hart (13) had worked his way up into third. After one more caution during lap ten, the race finished up with Jason Gamble taking the checkered flag. Richard McGlashan finished a hard charging second and Rick Hart took third. Bobby Carter and Dave Dinehart filled out the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Street Stocks were out in full force tonight. Glenn Baum (23) sat on the pole and Mike Wilson (79) sat on the outside. Wilson easily jumped into the lead and Baum kept a tight hold on second. Shane Nichols (65) was hoping for a hole, but he was packed in tight for the first few laps. Just as lap six was finishing up, Nichols found his hole and slipped by Baum. Almost immediately a yellow flag appeared to allow a car to leave the track. This meant that Nichols had to give up his gain on the restart. Try as he might, Nichols never found another hole. There were three more caution flags, but the race finished quickly. Mike Wilson, the leader from the pole to the wire, took home his first win of the season. Glenn Baum finished second and Shane Nichols came in third. John Brennan and Charles Kopach filled out the top five finishers.
The Budweiser Modifieds came next on the card. Tom Bailey (24) had the pole position to start, and Rob Akoury (1A) sat on the outside. Akoury took the lead early and Bailey held on to second for a couple of laps. Scott Grossenbacher (09) moved up to take second but the real change was coming. Red Vann (32) was moving up through the pack quickly and soon he had challenged all the front runners and claimed the lead. In the shake up, Akoury came out in second and Grossenbacher held third. This feature was caution free and very fast. The driving skills that were on display were impressive as the leaders wove through lapped traffic. Red Vann kept his commanding lead to take the checkered flag. Rob Akoury came in second and Scott Grossenbacher earned third. Raymond Vann finished fourth and Brent Jordan finished fifth.
The Classic Race Cars came to Ocala Speedway this week. Rodney Eary (6) had the pole, and Jim Rahman (5) sat on the outside. Eary was strong and took the lead as soon as the green flag flew. Rahman settled into second and Ed Yates (74) had third. This was the order for several laps before the first caution was thrown after lap six. Frank Conrad (11) took a taste of the turn four wall and limped to a stop just inside the pit gate. There were only two more laps before the next yellow flag appeared. This time, John Prekup (03), who also hit the turn four wall, limped his way to the pits. On the restart, Bud Spencer (7) slipped by Yates. David Nunes (54) also got by Yates but his time up front was short lived. While Eary and Rahman were running away with the race, Spencer was securely in third, leaving Yates, Dan Hammerbeck (2) and Nunes to fight it out for the top five positions. When all was said and done, Rodney Eary had claimed the checkered flag. Jim Rahman took home second, and Bud Spencer finished third. Ed Yates and Dan Hammerbeck filled out the top five.
The Steven A Bagen Late Models filled the card this week at Ocala Speedway. Roger Damron (76) sat on the pole and Augie Burtram (58) was on the outside. Damron fired first but his tires seemed to lose traction in turn four, and Burtram pulled out in first. Damron tried to find holes, but Burtram was sitting tight. Burtram’s luck ran out on lap six when his tires let loose in turn four and he spun to a stop. Burtram must have kept some luck because he didn’t hit the wall. Damron was the new leader and David Christopher (0) ran in third. The rest of the feature was clean and except for dealing with lapped traffic, there was very little special maneuvering going on. The track was cool and the tires of the cars never really seemed to be biting hard, but the drivers were great and held tight. Roger Damron took home his second win of the season and David Christopher came in second. Butch Dees was third and Jason Garver finished fourth. Augie Burtram worked his way back up through the pack to take fifth.
The Ocala Speedway 2000 season continues with weekly racing. March 25th, will feature a full regular program with the Pro Figure 8, the Dwarf Cars and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Monster Truck. Come out every Saturday night during the regular season for the many exciting features. This is high-action racing fun for the whole family.