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Top Gun Sprints Draw a Crowd at Ocala

. Posted in Racing News

img_2777.jpgZUBER, FL- After a rather warm week the thousands who came to watch racing at Ocala Speedway on Friday night were met by breezy and cool conditions, but with the brand new Top Gun Sprint Car Series on the track for their inaugural race, the action kept everyone excited and warm.  The Top Gun Sprints put on quite a show, complete with drama, hard racing, and a big win for a team that correctly predicted the proper set up for a rapidly changing track.

Gene Lasker and Rich Alexander took heat race wins to help set the field for the Top Gun Sprint car feature race, and as that race unfolded early the fans thought that they knew who was going to win.  Alexander started from the pole but was quickly overtaken by Lasker before the first lap was complete.  By the time the 4th lap was in the books some slower cars were already setting accidental running picks for some of the top five, and causing some frustrations up front.  Matt Kurtz took advantage of that to get position under Rich Alexander and steal second place, then set his sights on Lasker who was extending his lead.

Timg_2587.jpgim Grobaugh had his engine go up in smoke in turns three and four, and the resulting caution enabled Kurtz to close the gap on Lasker.  And by lap 12 Kurtz had found an opening in Lasker's armor and drove through it to take the lead.  Matt Kurtz's car continued to get faster and the race wore on, as his crew anticipated the changing track conditions and put the perfect setup on the 92 machine to make it untouchable in the final laps.  In addition, Lasker's 01 machine began smoking in the final laps, and although he drove the wheels off of it he could not catch or overtake Kurtz.  Matt Kurtz won the first Top Gun Sprint Car feature race, followed by Gene Lasker and Rocky Sullivan.  Bruce Durden came from deep in the field to take home fourth place, while Ryan Partin rounded out the top five.

The ongoing story in the Hobby Stock Division has been the rise of Bubba Christian and how he had beaten his uncle Grady the previous Saturday on the half mile at Volusia Speedway Park.  But early in the feature race it was David Kinsey with the dominant car, until Bubba managed to race his way forward.  Kinsey kept Bubba Christian at bay for over half of the race, but could not prevent a low side pass that sprang Bubba into the lead on lap 10.

img_2711.jpgIn the meantime while Bubba Christian was mixing it up with the leaders, Grady Christian was attempting to fight his way through traffic to order to become a contender.  Late in the race Grady, who had left the earlier heat race on a hook after hitting the frontstretch wall,  managed to rise to the fourth spot while Bubba convincingly drove away from David Kinsey for a win. Kinsey's second place finish was followed by Heath Walker for the third spot, while Grady Christian managed to claw his way to the fourth place finish. Matthew Holbrock finished fifth.

Paul Hahn started the Gladiator feature from the pole, but Derick Sharrone was already challenging that status before the first lap was complete.  Hahn would watch Sharrone pass him before problems struck his machine on lap 3.  As Hahn skillfully demonstrated to the fans, if your front tire passes you in turn 2, then you are probably not going to win the race.

Casey Feaster had started the race deep in the field, but skillfully negotiated his way forward to contend in the end.  Tony LaPorta, who had dominated races at Ocala and Volusia the previous weekend, never got going well enough to climb above fourth place on Friday.  Derick Sharrone proved too much for the other competitors as he logged a win, followed by Casey Feaster in the second spot.  Johnny Alexander came home the third place finisher, while Tony LaPorta grabbed fourth and 12 year old Kody Fisher snagged the fifth place spot.

The Amsoil V8 Thunder Stocks again showed up with a large field of cars ready to do battle, and again paint was traded and sheet metal was dented.  James Erickson began the race from the pole but was quickly overtaken by Chris Fontaine on the first lap.  Fontaine and Erickson waged a fierce, img_2776-2.jpgbut sportsmanlike battle, with Erickson retaking the lead on lap 6.  But contact led to damage on the 66 machine that took it out of contention later in the race, and leaving Chris Fontaine to hold off the rest of the competition.

Jason Gamble was strong again as the 17 car worked its way to the front of the pack.  When Erickson dropped out it was Gamble who provided the drama in battle with Fontaine's 47 machine, but to no avail.  Fontaine got the win as Gamble held onto second place and David Walls wound up third.  Robert Ray did a fine job of remaining in the top 5 by taking fourth, while Justin Durbin drove the 55 car to the fifth place finish.
 
Friday, March 27th will find the employees of Ocala's SCI the guests of Ocala Speedway, and the Open Wheel Modified Division again challenging the clay in beautiful downtown Zuber. In addition to the mods, the Hobby Stocks, Amsoil V8 Thunder Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Gladiators, will all be in action.

 


 

BUBBA RACEWAY PARK NEWStHE LATEST NEWS, RESULTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

January 30, 2015

BLAIR OUTLASTS LEAKING TIRE FOR NeSMITH LATE MODEL WIN

by BRP Media
Max Blair of Centerville, PA celebrates his NeSmith Late Model win on Thursday night in the Rock Auto.com Winternationals at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL driving the R&J Poultry Rocket. With a win and third-place showing in the first two nights of racing, Blair leads the NeSmith Late Model point standings. (PhotosByTrace.com)OCALA, FL – Max Blair of Centerville, PA had to outrun the competition and a leaking right-rear tire to win the 50-lap main event on Thursday night for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series in the Rock Auto.com Winternationals at Bubba Raceway Park. Blair drove the R&J Poultry Rocket to the $2,500 win and the NeSmith Late Model point lead. “During a caution period on lap 20, my dad gave me a signal that my right-rear tire was going down,” Blair said. “I worked the car back and forth, and it felt fine, so I just kept going. I was really sweating it out in the last laps of the race because I could really feel it going away, but it stayed up until right after I took the checkered flag.” Blair started out the evening by taking fast time honors with a lap around Bubba Raceway Park in 15.947 seconds to earn the pole position for the main event. Blair took the lead at the start of the race, but he had plenty of company throughout the race. The first nine laps were led by Blair, and then he decided to go to the outside to negotiate around the cars on the tail of the lead lap. That opened up the inside groove for Walker Arthur of Forest, VA, who got… read more
January 29, 2015

WHITENER CATCHES AIR TO VICTORY IN NeSMITH LATE MODEL SEASON OPENER

by BRP Media
Mark Whitener of Middleburg, FL drives the #58 Dave’s Towing Special to victory on Wednesday night in the season opener for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series in the Rock Auto.com Winternationals at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL. (Photos… read more
January 02, 2015

Rescheduled Start Time 01/02/2015

by Scott McAllister
Due to reports of extremely heavy traffic north bound on I-75, Bubba Raceway Park officials have decided to move the start time back 1 hour. Hot laps will now begin at 7:00 and racing will begin at 8pm. If you have any questions, call the office at… read more
December 30, 2014

Updated Rules for V8 Thunderstock Division at Bubba Raceway Park

by Scott McAllister
In a continued effort to conform with other tracks in the area, Bubba Raceway Park officials have updated our V8 Thunderstock Division rules to allow additional drivers and teams to participate with minor to no alterations to their cars. The new… read more
December 06, 2014

Bubba Raceway Park Results for 12/06/2014

by BRP Media
Modified - Feature Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points 1 5 64JR Billy Workman Jr - 50.00 2 7 9 Roger Crouse Plant City, Fl 48.00 3 13 61 Ronald Soltis Ocala , Fl 46.00 4 11 64B Bryan Bernhardt Versailes, In, Fl 44.00 5 6 00B Emil "buzzy"… read more
December 02, 2014

Bubba Raceway Park Results for 11-30-2014

by BRP Media
Florida Mini Sprints - Feature Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points 1 8 77 Robbie Smith - 0.00 2 2 12 Robby Hoffman - 0.00 3 9 29T Gavin Thomas - 0.00 4 10 23 Eddie Moss - 0.00 5 12 17 Austin Craddock - 0.00 6 4 67 David Hall - 0.00 7 11 24X… read more

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Ocala, Florida 34482
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