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A Tough Night at Ocala as Late Models Tune for the Powell

. Posted in Racing News

OCALA, FL-  Thunderstorms to the north and west created a cool breeze at Ocala Speedway as fans and racers gathered for another Friday night of action at Florida's oldest racetrack, but the weather stayed well clear of the area surrounding the speedway.  The only thunder at Ocala Speedway was on the track, but that storm did plenty of damage as the night progressed.

The tone for the night was set early on as the Mini Stocks hit the clay for their feature race.  Keith Briggs looked tough in hot laps but failed to return for his heat race as a cracked head ended his night.  And things continued to go bad as the green waved to begin the race, as Paul Combast and Dan Kerr wound up in a wad on the front stretch.  That accident forced Combast to the pits with front end damage and a flat tire, while Kerr's car needed to leave on a hook.  Meanwhile Nick Kerr also had problems as his car quit under caution and was pushed to the pit area, and on the next try at a start Brack Gill suffered a flat and also had to exit to the pits.

That left a mere four cars on the track for the race, which finally went green and stayed that way until the checkers waved.  Paul Combast had returned to the track with a new tire under caution and quickly took the lead as the green flag started the race, and no one managed to present a challenge to him.  Dean Kinsey joined the field as the race continued, as did Brack Gill, but both were laps down to the field.  Paul Combast secured the win followed by Ray Ethridge and David Miller for second and third place.  Ryan Babcock was fourth, while Dean Kinsey was fifth.

And if attrition was an issue with the Mini Stocks, it was the name of the game when the Amsoil Synthetic Lubricants V8 Thunder Stocks were turned loose.  Sean Babcock led from the pole and looked to be in control early on, but Michael Stalnaker made a two car pass in turn 2 and grabbed the lead on lap 3.  But Willard Driggers was steadily working his way forward, and Chris Shea had his EBD Racing machine right on the rear bumper of the leader.  Unfortunately for Shea, contact in turn two resulted in the right rear wheel coming off of the 76 car, ending his night before he could catch Stalnaker, and during that same caution Michael Stalnaker also went to the pit area and stayed, ending his night as well.  That put Willard Driggers in front, and Driggers held off all challengers from there.

The race had two red flags as Jessie Corbitt did a spectacular flip in turn 4, and Sean Babcock was the victim of contact and flipped in the exact same spot later in the race.  Both drivers walked away, but their race cars were trashed. In fact, just over half of the original 20 starters managed to finish the race as breakdowns and contact thinned the field.  Willard Driggers held on and won the race as Austin Kirkpatrick gained seven spots to notch a second place finish.  James Edwards placed third, while Scott Mooers and Jerrid Bennett rounded out the top five.

With the Annual Powell Memorial just a couple of weeks away, quite a few Late Model teams chose to forgo going for more money at other tracks, and instead came to Ocala to get some laps in preparation for the biggest and most prestigious Late Model race of the season.  And what they learned is that they seriously need to come up with a plan to outrun Jack Nosbisch, as the 12 car spanked the field, leading from flag to flag and dominating the race.

But while Nosbisch was safe and sound out in front, there was plenty of rough stuff going on behind him.  Jeff Mathews had a night to forget, but won't be able to as he puts the 33 machine back together again.  Mathews seemed to play the roll of a pinball, bouncing off of everything from race cars, to the wall, and even a tractor tire, before finally driving it to the pits before another incident could likely cause him to need a wrecker. Larry Anderson ended up running with no front end sheet metal on his car thanks to contact, and Richard Ferry and Adam Bedenbaugh both left the race early thanks to heavy contact.

While Jack Nosbisch won the race, there was quite a battle for the next few spots behind him.  Phillip Cobb  wound up finishing in second place, holding off Mark Whitener who finished third.  J.O. Nobles stayed in the top five all night and finished fourth, while Christian Augspurger had an impressive run to grab the fifth spot.

Fans are quickly learning that leaving before the Gladiators race might cheat them out of seeing some of the best competition of the night, and again 4 cylinder racers put on quite a show on Friday night.  Matt Shea took control right from the start, blasting past pole sitter Mike McDonald and grabbing the lead, but Casey Feaster was not about to let him run away from the field.  Feaster and Shea battled for the entire race until Devin Walker put some early problems behind him and came barreling through the field at the halfway point.

Having a hard charging Devin Walker in the mix complicated things for the leaders, while it had the girls screaming and the fans applauding in the grandstands.  Feaster managed to briefly steal the lead from Shea, but the 96 car was just a tad too stout for Feaster's Focus to overcome, and Walker's efforts fell just short of earning him the second spot.  Matt Shea scored his second feature win in as many weeks while Casey Feaster followed in second place, and despite a mad dash for the checkers, Devin Walker settled for third place behind Feaster.  Mike McDonald salvaged a fourth place finish, and Steven Johnson struggled on the night but earned the fifth spot.

Next Friday night, May 28th, Ocala Speedway will feature the return of the Open Wheel Modifieds and the Sportsman Division, plus there will be action from the Tee Pee Tire Hobby Stocks and the Gladiators as well.  Gates will open at 5PM and racing will follow at 8PM.  For more information, or to see the complete schedule of events at Ocala Speedway, please visit www.OcalaSpeedway.com.

Ocala Speedway Results for 5/21/10

Late Model


1- 12 Jack Nosbisch
2- 32 Phillip Cobb
3- 58 Mark Whitener
4- 18 J.O. Nobles
5- 35 Christian Augspurger
6- 24 Dennis Williams
7- J17 Joe Kump
8- Z Tim Zackery
9- 49 Justin Tilton
10- 00 Travis Carter
11- 23VP V.P. Pipken
12- 23 Josh Sanford
13- 55 Kevin Bedenbaugh
14- 61 Eddie Rozier
15- 56B Dave Barber Jr.
16- 33 Jeff Mathews
17- 30 Larry Anderson
18- 07 David Clegg
19- 17 Richard Ferry
20- 72P Len Parrish
21- 26 Adam Bedenbaugh

Amsoil V8 Thunder Stock

1- 21 Willard Driggers
2- 11 Austin Kirkpatrick
3- 13 James Edwards
4- 10 Scott Mooers
5- 12B Jerrid Bennett
6- 326 Gordon Cade
7- 09 William O'Quinn
8- 19 Brian Shea
9- 3W Vaughn Woodall
10- 96 Eddie Lake
11- 5W Sean Babcock
12- 77 Dan Cobb
13- 47 Chris Fontaine
14- 8 Michael Stalnaker
15- 58 Larry Welter Jr.
16- 76 Chris Shea
17- 3D Jessie Corbitt
18- 18W Chris Watson
DNS- 64 Jonathon Gillette

Mini Stock

1- 19C Paul Combast
2- 21 Ray Ethridge
3- 40M David Miller
4- 9 Ryan Babcock
5- 3D Dean Kinsey
6- 35G Brack Gill
7- 75 Nick Kerr
8- 73 Dan Kerr
DNS- 19T Keith Briggs
DNS- 69 Sebastian Peterson

Gladiator

1- 96 Matt Shea
2- 20 Casey Feaster
3- 55JR Devin Walker
4- 10M Mike McDonald
5- 81 Steven Johnson
6- 82 Kyle Morse
7- 11 David Ladrie
8- 3X Rollin Gardner
9- 76 Ken McCloud
10- 31 Jerry Taylor
11- 11H Stephen Jeffers
12- 3 Brandon Haseleu
DNS- 77 Matthew Kramer

BUBBA RACEWAY PARK NEWStHE LATEST NEWS, RESULTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

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by Lisa Mamph
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