Ocala, FL, July 22, 2000 The rains held off over Ocala Speedway. The lightning in the distance punctuated the night’s thrills for the large crowd.
The Junior Cup Cars were the first to race. Mariah Berry (24) sat on pole, and Conner Baxley (64) sat on the outside. Baxley jumped well and took the lead early. Berry was not easily discouraged, and she soon found the hole she needed. Once clear, she flew to the finish line with lengths to spare. Conner Baxley came in second, and Cynthia Boetcher finished third.
The Coca Cola Four Cylinder Bombers put on a great show tonight. It looked liked the Bombers were seriously practicing for a demolition derby tonight. A full field of drivers brought their cars to the front stretch for the lineup and Neal Durbin claimed the pole position with Pete Close Jr. returning to race beside him on the outside. Halfway through lap two defending points leader Chauna Johnston and Bobby Valeo tangled on the backstretch. Chauna toke the ride of her life as her number 43 car barrel-rolled and landed right-side up. A red-light caution was thrown as the EMT’s checked her out and the Safety Crew cleared the track. Racing resumed and it wasn’t but a few laps later when Devin Hughes (13) and Chris Noes (99) got to close to each other and crashed in turn two. Unfortunately Ric Fort (2) was sucked into the mess and was out for the feature. Chris Noes’ car landed upside down on the track to bring out the second red light of the feature. His car was pulled into the infield where it was righted. The remainder of the feature was caution free as Pete Close Jr. dominated the track with Neal and Marlon on his bumper. Pete Close Jr. claimed the win followed by Neal Durbin, Marlon Durbin, Carl Thomas and Howard Kruger.
The WTRS Pure Stocks poured out of the pits for the special 25-Lap feature. Qualifying was held instead of heat laps, and John Betts (81) had the quickest time. The pill drawing inverted the whole field Jacob Antis (19) found himself on the pole. Rob McCalip (33) sat on the outside. The start went well even though the field stayed tightly packed through the first lap. McCalip took the early lead, but Tommy Roberts (44) grabbed it by the second lap. The quickest cars from qualifying were quickly finding their way to the front with Kenny Abney (3) moving up to second as David Walls (35) and Doug Webster (72) battled for third. The first yellow was thrown to check the track after Antis’s car began smoking. Racing resumed quickly. John Betts was working his way up through the ranks with amazing agility, but on lap nine, he rubbed the turn three wall and came away with a flat tire. No yellow was thrown but he had to pit to fix the flat. In the meantime, Roberts was running away with the race. The action was hottest back in the third, fourth and fifth positions. Moose Alderman (7) was on a tear as he too was moving up the ranks with determination. Alderman finally overcame the competition to move up to second position. Roberts was half the track ahead, so even though Alderman was gaining ground, he was not going to be able to catch Roberts before the end. A yellow flag changed the race. With the pack bunched back up and lapped traffic cleared away, Alderman was positioned well. Roberts held on through Alderman’s challenges. A final yellow two laps before the finish produced a quick jump to the finish line. Tommy Roberts claimed the checkered flag with Moose Alderman hot on his tail. After tech, Alderman was declared the official winner. Doug Levesque finished second followed by Doug Webster, Kenny Abney and Richard McGlashen.
The Stephen A. Bagen Limited Sportsman raced next on the card. Tom Posavec (01) had the pole, and Charles Kopach (53) sat on the outside. Posavec jumped very well and held the point for five laps. Eddie Kilbury (71) came up from the back of the pack to take the lead. Posavec sat in second and held off multiple challenges from Mike Wilson (79). Wilson didn’t give up though and with two laps to go, Wilson slipped by Posavec. Eddie Kilbury won this clean feature. Mike Wilson finished second, followed by Tom Posavec, Glenn Baum and Charles Kopach.
The Budweiser Modifieds showed up in large numbers. Gary Sexton (41) sat on the pole, and Scott Millar (14) sat on the outside. Only one lap was completed when a yellow flag was thrown two cars spun through turn one. On the restart, Sexton claimed the lead with Millar close behind. On lap eight, another yellow was thrown when Sexton’s car began to smoke. Sexton pitted his car. Millar was the new leader. David Baxley (64) had his eye on the point, so he was giving Millar a run for the money. A yellow flag was thrown when three cars spun through turn one. On the restart Baxley continued to press his challenge to the point that he was side-by-side with Millar when their cars touched in turn two, and they spun in tandem. Both were sent to the rear, so Alan McCafferty (32) was the new leader. Two more yellow flags slowed the action but neither of them affected the leaders. Alan McCafferty took a well-earned checkered flag. Rick Hall finished second followed by Brent Jordan, John Clair and Scott Millar. Congratulations to Red Vann who was away getting married.
The special feature was the Figure 8 race. Frank Buchanan (207) sat on the pole, and Shane Nichols (65) sat on the outside. On the first lap of this wild and wooly race, several cars ran through mud puddles just off the pavement in several turns and slashed mud and water up on the racing surface. Charles Kopach (53) held on through the first lap of slipping and sliding to take the point. Kenny Abney (3) held on for second while Alan McCafferty (32) and Nichols battled for third. There was lots of slipping and minor rubbing and some very close calls through the crossroad. Kopach pulled way ahead of the pack and this served him well once when he slipped and got sideways. He was able to straighten out and continue without losing his position. McCafferty passed Abney to take second, but he was never able to gain much ground on Kopach. All the drivers were using their heads, providing multiple thrills for the fans, while keeping the crossroad free of wrecks. Charles Kopach took a well-deserved checkered flag. Alan McCafferty finished second followed by Kenny Abney, Shane Nichols and Tom Roberts.
The Ocala Speedway 2000 season continues with weekly racing. The racing season continues Saturday 29nd, with All Divisions plus a $1,000 to win Demolition Derby. For the fans, there will be ten cent wings and ten cent beer. Come out every Saturday night during the regular season for the many exciting features. This is high-action racing fun for the whole family.