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Top Gun Sprints Challenge Ocala

. Posted in Racing News

OCALA, FL-  A cool and dry night greeted the fans and racers who spent their Friday evening at Ocala Speedway, and as usual the toughest 3/8ths mile in the southeast maintained that rugged reputation.  The Top Gun Sprint Car Series was in town to challenge the old race track along with three other regular racing divisions, and before the highlight event was over the crowd was literally on its feet.

Tim George led 17 of the 19 Top Gun Sprints in attendance to the green flag, but a couple of misfires in the form of spins from contact forced restarts, plus sent Ryan Partin to the rear of the field.  The third time was the charm for 16 year old Amanda Ferguson, who blew past Tim George on the opening lap and opened up a huge lead by lap 4.

Things got a bit hairy on lap five as a sideways car on the front stretch collected another, and the 02 of Gene Lasker ended up flipping right in front of the grandstands and causing a red flag to be displayed.  Lasker leapt from his car in dramatic fashion, demonstrating that he was alright, but the remains of his sprint car was dragged to the pit area on a hook.

After the restart Amanda Ferguson again took control of the race and never looked back, although the ending came a bit later than had been expected.  The 22 of Shawn Murray, which had been flirting with the front stretch wall all night long at times, finally smacked that wall hard enough to send him spinning down the front stretch and coming to rest almost directly under the flag stand as Ferguson was coming out of the final turn.  That forced a green-white-checker situation, but Amanda Ferguson was up to the challenge, going 26 laps to get the win.

It was Amanda Ferguson's first win on clay as her only other victory came at Charlotte County Motorsports Park in Punta Gorda, running wingless on asphalt.  Danny Martin chased after Ferguson all night but settled for second place, Danny Martin took third place honors, and Darrin Miller placed fourth. And after being relegated to the rear of the field at the start, Ryan Partin battled back to finish in the fifth position.

It did not pay to be in front while Ocala's Mini Stock Division was racing on Friday night.  Buddy Pope was on the pole and had the lead for a moment, before problems slowed his car and passed the lead to Blake Spencer after a brief caution.  Spencer looked to be in complete control but Keith Briggs was lurking just behind him and was in no mood to follow, wrestling the lead away on lap 8 as Johnny Zackery slipped into the third spot.  Spencer fell to second, then spun on lap 12 moving Zackery up behind Briggs.

Most fans probably thought that would be the end of it, but Keith Briggs slid sideways at the top of turn 4 and limped into the pit area, leaving Zackery as the race leader.  But the race was not over yet, and Zackery fell victim to a flat tire as the caution flew for Blake Spencer's motor expiring on lap 13.  Zackery would make the quick change in the pits and return to the rear of the field with six laps remaining, but Paul Combast was now in front and looked to remain there.  

Paul Combast held on and avoided the lead car curse to win the race, followed by Nick Kerr in the second spot.  Johnny Zackery battled back to third place, followed by Dan Kerr and Michael Oglesby for fourth and fifth.

The Tee Pee Tire Hobby Stocks took the green with Brian Jerrels on the pole, but Dean Jarvis wound up the early leader and looked tough in the opening laps.  But Daniel Miller had the 99 machine hooked up and ready, and began a multi lap tussle for the lead on lap 4 with Jarvis that lasted for four laps.  Miller grabbed the lead for good at that point and left the others to fight over second place.

Heath Walker did just that, slipping under Jarvis in an attempt to grab second from him.  But contact between the two would cause Jarvis to spin and sent Walker to the pits with a flat tire, as Joe Boyd now assumed the second spot.  Daniel Miller scored a convincing victory as Joe Boyd pursued him for second place.  Dean Jarvis settled for third while Heath Walker finished fourth, and Sean Babcock stayed out of the fray and grabbed a fifth place finish.

Fans have come to recognize the Amsoil V8 Thunder Stocks as the most competitive division at Ocala Speedway, as a host of talented racers are almost always in contention for a win.  The only problem is that at the same time, the Thunder Stocks also are known for muscling their way around the track, so contenders are sometimes fighting for survival as much as for a win.

Jerrid Bennett had the pole and the early lead, but lost it on lap 4 as Mike Stalnaker made the pass on the backstretch.  Bennett slipped out of the top five as James Erickson, Jason Gamble, and Chris Fontaine, all made their way in.  Jason Gamble would later spin on lap 8, but recover to climb back into the front pack yet again by lap 12. 

Mike Stalnaker had the car to beat on the night, and no one else had an answer for it as he cruised to a victory yet again.  James Erickson drove an aggressive race to place second while Chris Fontaine grabbed the third spot.  Jerrid Bennett salvaged a fourth place finish while Jason Gamble overcame his troubles to round out the top five.

Colortyme Rent-To-Own Night comes to Ocala Speedway on Friday, April 16th, featuring the 2010 debut of the Colortyme Open Wheel Modified Division in their $1500 to win Spring Fling.  Ocala's Sportsman Division will also debut, and fans will see action from the Tee Pee Tire Hobby stocks and the Gladiators as well.  Fans can also enter the $5 raffle for a Colortyme big screen TV to be given away.  Grandstand gates will open at 5PM with racing at 8PM, and for pricing and more info please visit www.OcalaSpeedway.com.

Ocala Speedway Results for 4/9/10


Top Gun Sprint Car Series

1- 21A Amanda Ferguson
2- 1 Tim George
3- 24 Danny Martin
4- 21M Darrin Miller
5- 14 Ryan Partin
6- 38 Tony Agin
7- 15 Rocky Sullivan
8- 6 Mike Schroeder
9- 30 John Crowder
10- 22 Shawn Murray
11- 9 Tim Grubaugh
12- 47W Kyle Welchance
13- 6X Brandon Grubaugh
14- 83 Mark Ruel
15- 02 Gene Lasker
16- 16 Shane Kreidler
DNS- 13 Coty Smith
DNS- 21Z Harley Zimmerman
DNS- 0X Robert Bozema

Mini Stock

1- 19C Paul Combast
2- 75 Nick Kerr
3- 11Z Johnny Zackery
4- 73 Dan Kerr
5- 31 Michael Oglesby
6- 82 Blake Spencer
7- 19T Keith Briggs
8- 3D Brian Kinsey
9- 64 Mike Budka
10- 81 Buddy Pope
11- 9 Ryan Babcock
12- 40M David Miller
 Tee Pee Tire Hobby Stock

1- Daniel Miller Jr.
2- 83 Joe Boyd
3- 37J Dean Jarvis
4- 55 Heath Walker
5- 9 Sean Babcock
6- 58 Larry Welter Jr.
7- 37S Tyler Sistrunk
8- 08 William Edwards
9- 69 Jonathan Appleby
10- 7 Paul Passamonte
11- 11 Jody Wells
12- 26 Brian Jerrels

Amsoil V8 Thunder Stock

1- 8 Michael Stalnaker
2- 7E James Erickson
3- 47 Chris Fontaine
4- 12B Jerrid Bennett
5- 17 Jason Gamble
6- 19 Brian Shea
7- 18W Chris Watson
8- 96 Eddie Lentz
9- 23 Charles Smith Jr.
10- 34 Kyle Pendarvis
11- 76 Chris Shea
12- 3D Jessie Corbitt
13- 3W Vaughn Woodall
14- 09 William O'Quinn
15- 13G Timothy Gigon
16- 77 Dan Cobb
17- 72 Terry Dunbar
18- 5W Sean Babcock
19- 13 Danny Tuggle
20- 64 Jonathan Gillette
21- 88 Kurt Prouty
22- 27 James McCloud
23- 40J Danny James
24- 1 Austin Gamble
25- 14 Frank Prouty
26- 58B Augie Burttram
   

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