Ocala, FL, April 29, 2000 – A cool evening for racing at Ocala Speedway, and the stands were filled to capacity. The Eve of Destruction was at hand.
The Junior Cup Cars raced tonight. Mariah Berry (24) sat on the pole, and Connor Baxley (64) sat on the outside. The start went well and Berry grabbed the lead. Baxley was keeping very close and hunting a hole. He looked for one on the outside – not there. He searched again on the inside – still not there. Mariah Berry held off every challenge that Baxley was able to throw to take the checkered flag. Connor Baxley took second. Great driving kids!
The Coca Cola Four Cylinder Bombers filled the track. Bobby Valeo (8) sat in the inside pole, and Michael Jordan (81) sat on the outside. Valeo jumped well and took the lead all the way to the finish. The real racing was going on behind the point. For most of the feature, Michael Jordan held second position while Chauna Johnston (43) rode hard behind him in third. Two yellows slowed action slightly. On the ninth lap, Johnston made good her bid for second position. Bobby Valeo finished way out front to take the checkered flag. Chauna Johnston finished second, and Michael Jordan came in third. Neal Durbin and Marlon Durbin filled out the top five.
The WTRS Pure Stocks packed a full field. Jamie Dunn (24) sat on the pole, and Frank Buchanan (207) sat on the outside. Moose Alderman (7) started from the second row, but he jumped well and took the lead even before the first lap was completed. Just as the second lap was starting, Buchanan spun through turn four, and a yellow flag was thrown. Alderman retained the lead on the restart. Dave Dinehart (79) rode in second, and John McNeal (45) held third. Mark Mitchell (71) battled with McNeal and took over third on the fourth lap. Moose Alderman ran away from the field to take the checkered flag. Dave Dinehart held on for second and Mark Mitchell came in third. John McNeal and Richard McGlashan filled out the top five.
The Dave’s Towing Street Stocks fielded a full pack of drivers. Mike Wilson (79) sat on the pole and Ken Asbell (89) sat on the outside. Wilson jumped easy and took a commanding lead. Charles Kopach (53) rode in second and David Baxley (64) ducked into third. Kopach gradually slipped back as first Baxley and then Eddie Kilbury (71) got by. Wilson had little to worry about in this caution free feature. The battle for second was hot but clean between Baxley and Kilbury. Mike Wilson took the checkered flag. David Baxley earned second, but Eddie Kilbury was very close for third. Charles Kopach and Shane Nichols brought in the top five.
The Budweiser Modifieds came out in force. Red Vann (32) sat on the pole, and Scott Millar (14) sat on the outside. The field was full of bounty hunters tonight, all trying to beat Red Vann. Before the first lap was completed, a yellow flag flew and a complete restart was called. Vann jumped hard and took the lead. Millar jumped well also and pulled in to second position. Chuck Burkhalter (30) was in town to try his hand and early on, he rode in third. Raymond Vann (99) was able to get by Burkhalter on the fourth lap. A second yellow flag was thrown after lap ten when a car spun in turn four. The top five positions were retained. For the last ten laps, Red Vann ran way out front and took the checkered flag. Millar took second a couple of lengths back. Raymond Vann held off some tough challenges from Burkhalter to earn third. Chuck Burkhalter settled for fourth. Gary Sexton came in fifth.
The Outlaw Pro-4 Modifieds raced here tonight. Lance Hoverson (55) sat on the pole. Phillip Brigham (7) sat on the outside. Hoverson jumped well and took the lead. Ted Hoverson (5) grabbed second position, but he was only able to hold it for three laps. Randy Sands (8) was charging hard from back in the pack, and he raced by T. Hoverson. It took Sands four more laps to get by L. Hoverson to take the point. Places were changing behind L. Hoverson with T Hoverson, Steve Quick (1) and S. C. Klinger (87) all putting on a good show. One yellow flag was all the slowed them down. With five laps to go, Sands raced ahead on the restart. Randy Sands took the checkered flag for the win. Lance Hoverson finished second and S.C. Klinger finished third. Mike Venezia earned fourth and Steve Quick came in fifth.
The Steven A. Bagen Late Models came to race tonight. David Christopher (0) sat on the pole, and Wolf Bowers (86) sat on the outside. Bounty hunters were after Roger Damron (76) tonight. Christopher took the lead as the green flag flew. Ronald Lentz (96) pulled into second from the second row. By the second lap, Damron had passed Lentz and it looked like the race was going to be a repeat of the last six. Racing was tough for sixteen laps as Damron tried and tried again to get by Christopher. With Christopher on top of his game tonight, Damron was fighting hard and the battle took a physical turn. Damron rubbed Christopher causing him to spin on the backstretch. Christopher was under protection so only Damron was sent to the rear. The restart was marred by a second yellow flag when Patrick Williams (58) spun in turn four. With two of the toughest competitors now in the rear, David Christopher made the run to take the checkered flag. Patrick Williams charged hard to take second. Ronald Lentz held to take third and Roger Damron came in fourth. Wolf Bowers finished in the top five.
The ever-popular Figure Eight School Bus race was held tonight. A track full of buses raced around the oval with Jack Pate leading the way. Four laps down, a red flag was thrown because one bus started leaking fuel. As the laps counted down, buses began dropping out as engines overheated and blew. The driving lanes were becoming blocked and the race became increasingly strategic. This made it exciting to watch any point on the track, not just the crossroad. There was something everywhere that could be a potential problem for a racer. Finally with only three buses under full power, the white and then checkered flags were thrown. Andy Horne drove an excellent race to take the checkered flag. Rick Hart took second and David Baxley finished third.
The final event was the Demolition Derby. Twelve cars showed up to take part and they were given plenty of room on the front stretch to maneuver. From the very beginning, the drivers struck hard. A surprising number of cars were still running after many of the hardest hits, so the carnage was extreme. Flat tires, spouting radiators, broken axles and engines with protruding parts were still moving cars as each refused to quit. The 809 car of Mike DeWaine was a crowd favorite with his gutsy charges and devil-may-care style. In the end, Jim Bertotto in his 54 police car was declared the winner as the last one able to move under control. Mike DeWaine finished second and John Schutt finished third.
The Ocala Speedway 2000 season continues with weekly racing. May 5th, will feature a full regular program with the Outlaw Winged Sprints and Mini Cup Cars as 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.