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Nobles Holds Off "The Professor" at Ocala

. Posted in Racing News

With Tropical Storm Bonnie moving across Florida to the south the weather forecasters had seemed sure that at least some rainfall would hamper things at the historic Ocala Speedway on Friday night, but most fans and racers ignored all of that and experienced a near perfect summer evening of exciting action.  In fact, not one drop of rain fell at the track, and the storm to the south generated a cooling breeze from the east, as four exciting divisions took on Ocala's tricky 3/8ths mile and kept the fans on the edge of their seats.

The Late Model Division has been absent from America's Dirt Track since early June, and J.O Nobles was more than ready to defend his 2009 Late Model Championship after the long layoff. But in order to do so, he had to contend with some heavy hitters, such as Mark "Magic Man" Whitener and "The Professor" Ivedent Lloyd, who were just as hungry to take on Ocala as Nobles was. Early on it was John Koller with the advantage as some of the big dogs had less than perfect starting positions, but J.O. Nobles quickly climbed to second place and began working on Koller, as Ivedent Lloyd dealt with a traffic jam back in the 6th spot.  Skeeter Kedmon also looked strong before Nobles blew past to challenge Koller.

Some mid race cautions played into the outcome as they kept everyone in touch with each other and opened some doors for more powerful cars to make their way forward.  Ivedent Lloyd found a route through the congestion and made his way to 5th place just as J. O. Nobles snatched the lead from Koller, and Mark Whitener also began picking his way into the top five.  By the last 8 laps Lloyd had caught Nobles and was giving the 2009 champ everything he had, but on lap 20 Lloyd skated high in turn 2 as Nobles scampered away.  Totally unperturbed, Lloyd used the next lap to catch Nobles again, and as they took the white flag he moved outside of the yellow 18 to position himself for the final pass.

The throng of fans who usually cheer Ivedent Lloyd to victory had a change of heart on the final circuit and cheered wildly for J.O Nobles as he managed to hold off the local veteran and take the win.  Lloyd settled for an extremely close second, while Mark Whitener followed in the third spot.  John Koller finished just outside of the top three in the fourth spot, and Skeeter Kedmon raced his way to a fifth place finish.

After returning to the Mini Stock Division in 2010, it seemed like Keith Briggs had nothing but misfortunes.  In fact, the 19T car had not finished a race all season, and had been absent altogether from the last few outings on the track.  Briggs managed to turn things around and got a much appreciated finish on the night, while his misfortune seemed to transfer to the defending 2009 Mini Stock champion, Paul Combast.  Combast never completed only one lap in the feature race as his engine detonated in turn 4, ending his night.

Keith Briggs rocketed past David Whitner on the first lap and took the lead while Ray Ethridge had his new car climbing through the top five early on all the way to second place.  Nick and Dan Kerr hooked up with each other and made their way forward as well, with Nick getting by Ethridge and trying to chase down Briggs in the final laps.  But Nick Kerr was short on chase time and had to settle for second place, as Keith Briggs dominated the entire race on his way to a win.  Ray Ethridge snagged third place, while Dan Kerr placed fourth and David Whitner closed out the top five.

When the Amsoil V8 Thunder Stocks took on Ocala Speedway, fenders and bumpers were expendable on a night where it took three heat races and a B main to whittle down the feature line up to 24 contenders.  And the whittling down continued as the green flag fell on the feature race, as most of the top contenders ended up battling for limited real estate in the top five, sometimes going four wide and banging their way around the track.  Some survived the ordeal while others did not, but the fans absolutely loved the action that it created.

Through it all, Michael Stalnaker managed to muscle his way to the front and take the lead, while Jason Gamble fell in behind Stalnaker as they tried to distance themselves from the mayhem just behind them.  Some of the victims of the brawl were Scott Mooers, Curtis Clark, Jerrid Bennett, and Chris Shea, while Austin Kirkpatrick, Eddie Lake, Gordon Cade, and Jesse Corbitt, all survived it and managed to salvage top ten finishes despite spins, bangs, bumps, and dents.

Micheal Stalnaker took control of the race and outpaced Gamble to the checkers, returning to the winner's ranks after some misfortunes of his own over the past few weeks.  Gamble's second place finish was also impressive as he managed to outpace Eddie Lake, who took third despite an all out effort for more.  Gordon Cade took his lumps during the race, yet fought back from it all to finish fourth, and Ronald Lentz did the same as he rounded out the top five spots.

Casey Feaster came to Ocala Speedway as the 4 Cylinder points leader at the tracks at both ends of the Ocala National Forest, and he immediately made it obvious that he intended for it to remain that way.  Matt Shea has been steadily climbing the Gladiator points ladder at Ocala and had no intention of letting Feaster do anything, and with both starting in front it made for a battle that dominated every lap of the race.  Both drivers took turns at the point, and while their fight was intense, it was fought cleanly with virtually no contact throughout.

Behind Feaster and Shea, Devin Walker had the best seat in the house for their epic battle, choosing to stay out of it for the most part and hope that one of the two leaders would either make a mistake, or eliminate each other.  And Steven Johnson was in the hunt as well, but in a borrowed car since his having mechanical difficulties, and unfortunately for Johnson, he didn't exactly return the car in the same condition in which he borrowed it.

The Feaster and Shea dispute was never settled until the final turn of the race, as Casey Feaster managed to use the low line in turn four to get to the flagstand first.  Matt Shea happened to be the second place car when the checkers flew, and Devin Walker scored a solid third place finish on the night.  Kyle Morse has improved his game in recent weeks, managing to hold off Nathan Rhoades as they finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ocala Speedway will be back in action on July 30th as the Colortyme Rentals Modifieds will headline four divisions of exciting action.  Also on top will be the Tee Pee Tire Hobby Stocks, plus more fender banging action from the Amsoil V8 Thunder Stocks, and the continuation of the intense points battle in the Gladiator Division.  For details, plus the complete summer schedule of racing action at America's Dirt Track, please visit www.OcalaSpeedway.com.

Ocala Speedway Results for 7/23/10
Late Model

1- 18 J.O. Nobles
2- 21 Ivedent Lloyd Jr.
3- 58 Mark Whitener
4- 1* John Koller
5- 99W Skeeter Kedmon
6- Z Tim Zackery
7- 35 Christian Augspurger
8- 32 Phillip Cobb
9- 41 Travis Varnadore
10- 56P Dave Barber
11- 49 Justin Tilton
12- 51 Doodle Pipken
13- 23 V.P. Pipken
14- 141 Maverick Varnadore

Amsoil Synthetic Lubricants
V8 Thunder Stock


1- 9 Michael Stalnaker
2- 5W Jason Gamble
3- 96 Eddie Lake
4- 326 Gordon Cade
5- 96L Ronald Lentz
6- 3D Jesse Corbitt
7- 12D Justin Durbin
8- 3W Vaughn Woodall
9- 11 Austin Kirkpatrick
10- 88 Kurt Prouty
11- 14 Tim Mathieu
12- 19 Brian Shea
13- X Michael Valdez
14- 4W Mark Trexler
15- 28 Glenn Vincent
16- 114 John Thorpe
17- 77 Dan Cobb
18- 09 William O'Quinn
19- 69C Michael Carr
20- 12B Jerrid Bennett
21- 10 Scott Mooers
22- 69A Jonathan Appleby
23- 76 Chris Shea
24- 0 Curtis Clark

Mini Stock

1- 19T Keith Briggs
2- 75 Nick Kerr
3- 21 Ray Ethridge
4- 73 Dan Kerr
5- 36 David Whitner
6- 81 Buddy Pope
7- 40M David Miller
8- 12D Justin Durbin
9- 12B Jimbo Bird
10- 9 Ryan Babcock
11- 11Z Johnny Zackery
12- 69 Sean Babcock
13- 19C Paul Combast
DNS- 74 Rob Underwood

Gladiator

1- 20 Casey Feaster
2- 96 Matt Shea
3- 55JR Devin Walker
4- 82 Kyle Morse
5- 51 Nathan Rhoades
6- 88 Steven Johnson
7- 11 David Ladrie
8- 31 Jerry Taylor
9- 83M Kathie Fisher
10- 83 Kody Fisher
11- 3 Brandon Haseleu
12- 77 Matthew Kramer
13- 4 Hunter Gustafson
14- 18 Mike Stein
DNS- 57 Jeremy Backus

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