Ocala, FL, September 23, 2000 – Ocala Speedway celebrated its 45th Anniversary tonight. Fantastic fireworks lit the sky and delighted all. The weather grew balmy as the evening settled in. Each division raced 20 laps, except the Budweiser Modifieds, which went 25 laps.
The Junior Cup Cars were first up tonight. Conner Baxley (64) sat on the pole with Cynthia Boettcher (88) on the outside. They stayed close together for a lap or two, but then Conner Baxley pulled away to take the win. Cynthia Boettcher came in second.
The Coca Cola Four Cylinder Bombers came out in force tonight. Robert Oxendine (24) sat on the pole, and Bobby Valeo (8) sat on the outside. Valeo quickly jumped to the lead, but close behind him, Pete Close (89) was gaining fast. By lap four, Close had taken the lead. Kris Richardson (11) was coming up strong to challenge Valeo for second position. A yellow flag slowed the action momentarily after lap eight, but racing resumed quickly. When the next lap was completed, Richardson had overtaken Valeo and was pushing Close. Richardson actually took the lead on lap fourteen, but Close immediate turned up the power and reclaimed the point. Pete Close took the checkered flag for the win, and Kris Richardson came in second. Bobby Valeo finished third followed by Neal Durbin and Chauna Johnston.
The WTRS Pure Stocks roared out of the pits. Dave Dinehart (79) sat on the pole, and Doug Levesque (68) sat on the outside. Dinehart jumped out of the gate with amazing speed and grabbed a strong lead. Levesque jumped well also and closed on Dinehart’s bumper. A yellow flag was thrown after the second lap when two cars tangled and left debris on the track. Just as the pack got underway once again, the yellow reappeared for a car spinning through turn two. Dinehart maintained his lead, but Levesque began a serious challenge to take the lead and by lap six, he took the point. Moose Alderman (7) was also running well and by lap seventeen, he was sitting in second position. There were several yellows throughout the feature, but none affected the leaders. Doug Levesque took the checkered flag for a well-earned win and Moose Alderman rolled in for second. Dave Dinehart finished third followed by Richard McGlashen and Paul Gladdin.
The Dave’s Towing Street Stocks filled the track. Tom Posavec (01) sat on the pole, and Mike Wilson (79) sat outside. Wilson quickly jumped to the front. Posavec stayed with Wilson for two laps, but Eddie Kilbury (71) was moving fast and by the third lap, Kilbury moved into second. Wilson made a valiant effort to stay ahead of Kilbury, but within two more laps, Kilbury slipped by to take the point. Two yellow flags were all that even slowed this feature and each was only a moment. Eddie Kilbury drove hard to take the checkered flag. Mike Wilson finished second, followed by Tom Posavec, Bob Masciarelli and Chris Fadling.
The Budweiser Modifieds filled the track tonight. Jack Icard (39) sat on the pole, and Brent Jordan (04) sat beside him. The first start had to be redone when cars tangled on the backstretch before the first lap could be completed. The full double-up restart was yellow flagged again when more cars tangled on the backstretch. The third start was single file but it was charmed as all went well. Icard jumped to the fore, followed closely by Johnny Newsome (31). The charm wore off after the third lap when four cars piled up in turn four. Newsome was now leading the pack and the race continued for one more lap before the yellow reappeared. On the restart, Red Vann (32) made strong moves that gained him second position. Newsome drove some great laps, managing to keep Vann at bay. Another yellow flew after lap nine when five cars tangled and spun. This also seemed to set a pattern that was to continue. One lap, a yellow flag, one lap and another yellow flag and so on. Vann used his power to take the point after lap twelve and this turned out to be his lucky move. Another yellow was thrown for spinning cars and time ran out. Red Vann drove under a yellow/checkered flag to take the win. Johnny Newsome finished second followed by Scott Millar, Alan McCafferty and Rob Lefevre.
The Pro Figure 8 Cars raced tonight. Paul Gladdin (9) sat on the pole. Phillip Book (17) sat on the outside. As the cars rounded the track to take the green, Gladdin slipped out and Shane Nichols (65) moved up to take the pole position for the green flag. Early in the feature, the number three car spun and stalled in the turn three side of the crossroads. A red flag was thrown so that the driver could be removed since his left side was facing traffic. The car remained where it stopped. The race immediate took on a new excitement as everyone watched the obstacle and the crossroad. Halfway through the feature, more cars two more cars were also stuck in the crossroads, leaving just enough room for one car at a time to get by. Now the crossroads was not only a squeezed spot, it was also nearly a blind spot for both directions. Throughout this race, Nichols held a strong lead. The major battles for the next five positions were between Charles Kopach (53), Rick Hart (13), Tom Roberts (44) and Book. The close calls had the fans gasping again and again as Shane Nichols raced for the wire to take the checkered flag. After the dust settled, the next finishers were Charles Kopach in second, Rick Hart in third, Phillip Book in fourth and Paul Fletcher finishing fifth.
The Ocala Speedway 2000 season continues with weekly racing. Next week will feature all the regular divisions plus the Outlaw Modifieds as guests. All drivers will get free t-shirts. Come out every Saturday night during the regular season for the many exciting features. This is high-action racing fun for the whole family.