Here it is, the finale of the 2011 season at Bubba Raceway Park! A Friday-Saturday event with $16,000 in first place prizes between our 6 weekly divisions: RaceCar Engineering Late Models, UMP Open-Wheel Modifieds, Barrett's Race Cars And Components of Daytona Beach Hobby Stocks, Amsoil Synthetic Lubricants V-8 Thunderstocks, Mini Stocks, and Gladiators. This 2 day event will be spectacular!
The RaceCar Engineering Late Models will qualify and heat race on Friday night and then they will race a B Main (if necessary) and the $5000 Feature on Saturday. Of course, it's a points race and that means that Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. will have a little work to do. Lloyd is very close to taking a championship but hasn't clinched it yet. Lloyd will battle for another win in this 2011 season and could put on a fantastic show in the 50 lap event. Dillon Wood has been flat-out consistent and has been close to victory a few times. Wood wants to get that win and prove that 2012 could be his year. Mark Whitener (with some help from Donnie Chappell and Chris Fontaine) has the 58 of Augie Burttram in 3rd after his title last year. Whitener has won a few times as well and could end the season with another trip to victory lane. Christian Augspurger and Bo Allen, 4th and 5th respectively, have had quite a few top 5s in 2011 but haven't broken into victory lane in the Bubba Clem Era. In fact, they finshed 1-2 in April in the Mike Peters Era and they'd love to do that again. Allen had some help from Richard Ferry in the middle of the season and that has kept the #71 up front. JO Nobles, Austin Kirkpatrick, and Tyler Ivey have been 6th-8th for much of the season and they each have 1 win. Nobles has gotten faster as the banking has gotten higher and Kirkpatrick has gotten stronger as his rookie season on dirt has progressed. Ivey, however, has had rough luck since his win in the Mike Peters Open in May. Johnny Collins and Jeff Mathews, the 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the 2011 Powell Memorial, are 9th and 10th in the standings and have always liked the longer races. Of course, Darrell Padgett, 14th, has also found victory lane and could become just the 3rd 2-time winner in 2011.
The UMP Open-Wheel Modifieds will qualify and heat race on Friday night and then they will race a B Main (if necessary) and the $4000 Feature On Saturday. David Reutimann will return to Bubba Raceway Park and attempt to join his father on the list of winners for 2011. Now, to our points race: Jeff Mathews has run 2 cars every week-end in 2011 with himself in the 33 and Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. has driven the 333 (with some help from Austin Sanders) and they have taken them to the top. Mathews leads his 333 by quite a few points but the drop night makes it closer than it appears. Mathews will hope to hold on and become a 4-time consecutive champion while Lloyd will try to make it 2-for-2. Jim Passino has driven Chuck Gustafson's 34 to 3rd in a tight battle with Garret Stewart. Both have come close to victory in 2011 but haven't broken through. Could Bubba Is Thankful Week-End be the night? Rich Pratt, Tom Macaloso's driver, and Kyle Bronson, Wayne Hammond's driver, are in a tight battle for 5th and both have multiple wins in 2011. Both will try to start a streak and make a run at the title in 2012. Ronnie Chance has kept his nose clean and made smart decisions on track and has kept Donald Wilson's 7S in 7th. Lucky 7S could go to victory lane and make a crew very happy. Dave Barber has his 56 in 8th but rookie Scott Mooers is breathing down his neck. Both have had good runs but bad luck has plagued them throughout 2011. Jason Davis is 10th. Davis has run well with his new car and could break through with a win! Steve Whitener, Devin Dixon, and Buzzie Reutimann, all winners in 2011, could do it again with no surprise. PJ Wiggins also took a win in 2011.
The Barrett's Race Cars And Components Of Daytona Beach Hobby Stocks will qualify, heat race, run the B Mains, and race their $1000 to win Feature on Friday night. The season has belonged to Tim Powers who has just 1 points finish outside of the top 5 and that was a race where he was plagued with 2 flat tires. Powers will go for win #6 but he has a hard charging Buck Woodhouse behind him. Woodhouse is a long shot for the championship but could still cap a fantastic runner-up finish with a win. Kevin Durden is 3rd with a win and could make it 2 in a heartbeat. Of course, Durden's season highlight may be his spectacular flip earlier in 2011 but he could erase that from our memories with a victory. Joe Boyd and Tommy Ausburn have been class acts both on and off track and have put themselves in prime position for top 5 points finishes. Mark Maresca has done all he could in 2011 except get a win. He's barrel rolled down the backstretch, spun while in the top 5, and was spun while leading once. Maresca can get it done and the 77M could find it's way in a relief-filled victory lane. Brett Barrett, owner of the division sponsor, has come from nowhere in the standings to find himself 7th. Barrett has come close to victory a few times but only has a few podium finishes to show for it. Barrett will be splitting with 1 of his chassis soon and would love nothing more than to prove that his equipment, and driver, can find victory lane. Joe Belkey has moved up to a Modified but his early season was strong enough to keep him 8th in points. "Foot" Donald Woosley has missed a few events due to work behind another wheel (he drives an 18-wheeler) but has his 81 in 9th. Woosley has been consistent throughout 2011 and hopes to finish the season strong. James Erickson completes the top 10. Erickson has come close to wins this season and would love nothing more than to close it with a win. Chad Scranton has 3 wins but has missed the past few races with an injury. Trevor Gamble is undefeated if it weren't for springs that were deemed illegal but he still has 2 wins to his credit. Bubba Christian also has a win in 2011.
The Amsoil Synthetic Lubricants V-8 Thunderstocks will qualify and heat race on Friday night and then they will race a B Main (if necessary) and the $3000 Feature on Saturday night. It's down to 2 men: 4-time winner Jason Gamble (the 2009 champion) and winless Brian Shea. Where Gamble has been what seems to be checkers or wreckers (4 wins; 6 finishes worse than 15th) Shea has been consistent (7 top 5s and 10 top 10s in 17 starts) and that has them separated by just 4 points. However, Shea has been so consistent that he actually missed a night of racing meaning he will drop 0 points. Gamble still has to drop a few points making the battle seem closer than it is. Gamble may have to gamble to win this title. Gordon Cade, team-mate of Shea, will hope to make it a 1st and 3rd for Bullseye Racing and could secure his end of the deal with a win. Vaughn Woodall has gone more than a year without a win. Woodall works throughout the week to put 2, and sometimes 3, cars on the clay and nothing would satisfy more than a win. John Thorpe has had some good luck (5 top 5s) and some bad luck (4 finishes outside the top 15) to go with it. Thorpe shook the monkey off last time out and hopes to go 3 better with a win and secure his top 5 points position. Jonathan Gillette is 1 of just 2 drivers (along with Gamble) to qualify for every feature. Commitment, guts, and a little bit of luck have kept "Clutch" on track and in 6th in points. He is also 1 of 3 drivers to lead the 2011 standings. Gillette will do his best, as always, to qualify and win the race. Jonathan Appleby comes off of a 2nd place finish in which he actually led as the checkers were almost thrown. Appleby will strive to go 1 better and prove that the bad luck was the exception and not the rule. Chris Watson has 13 top 15s in 14 starts this season. Talk about a careful driver! Watson has taken pride in this stat and hopes to keep the trend alive. Jeff Baer gets closer and closer to victory lane every week and he hopes to break through before too long. Chad Scranton, it seemed, would take the title with no problem. Then, an injury took him out of the Cheater Racing #27 for the rest of 2011. He still holds on to 10th in the standings, a testimate to the power the driver showed early on. Mike Stalnaker is a 4-time winner, Chris Shea and Donnie Strosahl, Jr. each have 2 wins, and Jason Blackmer, Mike Tovet, and Eddie Lake have also visited victory lane.
The Mini Stocks will qualify, heat race, run their B Mains, and race their $1000 to win Feature on Friday night. Yates Racing has dominated 2011 with Brittany Yates quite a few points ahead of the field. Yates has the least amount of wins within her team but has been the most consistent. Ryan Babcock has the 9 in 2nd place. Babcock has done fantastic and will do his best to hold onto 2nd in the standings. Ray Folwell, a Yates Racing driver, has 3 wins on 2011 but when he missed a race it dropped him to 3rd in points. Folwell will try to end the season on a good note and take a win. Buddy Pope has done a fantastic job in 2011 and will go for 2-in-a-row after his incredible win last week-end. Ray Ethridge has been consistent and holds onto 5th in the standings. Kody Kinsey has the 11K in 6th. Kinsey has been a top rookie in 2011 and will do his best to join the winners list of 2011. Roberto Morfin, Jr. and Shirlene Hammond, both winners in 2011, will go for more this week-end and could put on a show that no one will forget. Stephen Hahlbaugh and Chris Zimmermann complete the top 10. Both have competed but haven't broken into victory lane. They'll hope to do it this week-end. Of course, Jamie Burrows, Charlie Staats, Keith Briggs, and Timmy Bronson have each taken a win as well.
The Gladiators will qualify and heat race on Friday night and then they will run a B Main (if necessary) and the $2000 Feature on Saturday night. As you can drop a '0' as your drop night and no one has run every event it means that Steve Cox has a clear path to his first ever title. Cox has 7 wins but hasn't won in over 3 months. Cox hopes to break out of his slump and take the prize. Reid Christensen is 2nd in points and wins. He will attempt to take that 7th win of the season and end up tied with Cox in that column. Steve Johnson is 3rd in the standings even after missing the first 5 events of 2011. Johnson hopes to get that win in the column and complete his season. Brandon Haseleu has impressed in 2011 and hopes to prove that driver #3 can crack victory lane before the season is over. Matt Kramer continues to get his Mustang faster and has taken a liking to the high side. Kramer will do his best to win and hold onto 5th in the standings. Jerry Taylor is 6th just 3 marks behind Kramer. Taylor hopes to crack victory lane by season's end. Richard Todd and Robert Graham are 7th and 8th. Both have runner-up finishes but neither has cracked victory lane. Could this week-end be their time? Stephen Frankland is 9th after a fantastic season. Frankland has impressed even with the smallest car on track and hopes to get the 7UK to the front. Casey Feaster completes the top 10. Feaster wants to break out of the slump and get his first win in over half a year. Ray Hunter, Harold Lewis, Denica Hetznecker, Jordan McMillan, Jonathan Green, Scott Sullivan, Tony LaPorta, and Sammy Dale have also gone to victory lane.
Gates open at 4:30 both nights with a 7 start on Friday and 6 on Saturday. Friday night will be regular admission prices, but Saturday has a special pricing which can be seen on www.bubbaracewaypark.com . Bubba Is Thankful Week-End will be talked about for years and you won't want to miss it. Along with our website you can also get information through the Speedway hotline at 352-622-9400. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and see you at Bubba Raceway Park!