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Mathews Dominates Modifieds At Ocala

. Posted in Racing News

ZUBER, FL-  For the first time in three weeks, Mother Nature showed mercy to Ocala Speedway and allowed the racers to finally feel the rush of hitting the clay, and a solid group of determined drivers thrilled the crowd with exciting action.  Joining the three regular divisions that were scheduled were the Florida Mini Sprints, which brought a competitive field of cars to challenge Ocala's tough mystique. 

Jeff Mathews and his crew somehow missed the mark on their initial set up for the races, and struggled a bit in their heat race, but by the time that the 25 lap feature rolled around Mathews had the car to beat.  But a first lap blunder in turn 4 almost ended it for the 33 when he tried to pass pole sitter Jason Davis on the outside and spun, collecting Wayne Hammond who slammed into the driver's side of Mathews' car.  Both drove away from that incident and Mathews returned to his original starting spot for a complete restart. 

The second start went far better for Mathews,and by lap 2 he had stolen the lead and was off and running with it.  With first place basically gone, everyone else had to fight for what was left and several drivers battled over second and third place.  Jason Davis managed to hold onto second until a late race slip allowed Dave Barber and Wayne Hammond to leave him behind.  In the end it was Jeff Mathews with a decisive victory as he pulled away from the field, followed by Dave Barber for second place.  Wayne Hammond collected third place finish with Jason Davis and John Bradley finishing out the top five.

The Florida Mini Sprints have a reputation for putting on an excellent show with each visit to Ocala Speedway, and they did not disappoint this time around.  There were some early lead changes before Tim O' Donnell managed to get his gree number 28 out front, and from there he drove to a solid victory.  Harold Matthews had managed to get through traffic and close the gap on O'Donnell towards the end, but ran out of laps and had to settle for second place.  Leroy Moore got a third place finish while Eddie Moss Jr. claimed fourth.  Rounding out the top five was Russ Heider.

At the beginning of the 2009 racing season, Bubba Christian was the second fiddle to his Uncle Grady, but almost halfway through the racing this year it looks like Bubba has emerged as quite the competitor, as he once more tamed Ocala Speedway and a tough field of Hobby Stocks.  The early laps saw more than one racer vying for the top spots, but by lap 5 Bubba was all over Kevin Durden and managed to squeeze by on lap 7 to take the lead.  Durden would have to hold off a hard charging Dave Kinsey plus chase Bubba Christian, but the race would end with Bubba as the winner and Durden settling for second place.  Kinsey claimed third while Patrick Williams overcame an earlier spin and fought back to the fourth spot.  Mike Eubanks would fight hard and earn the fifth place finish.


A deep invert had the Gladiators scrambling early in their feature race, and that scramble went well for some and not so well for others.  Dalton Strehle would fight his way to the front and take control, but would spend the remainder of the race attempting to hold off Steve Cox, who also had a not so promising starting position but had managed to pass his way to second.  Larry Langston had started in the back row and had to fight his way forward, eventually making his way to third place. 

But the real race was between Dalton Strehle and Steve Cox, as Cox stuck to Stehle like glue and was poised to pounce on any mistakes.  And on the final lap[s as Strehle attempted to negotiate his way through lapped traffic, Cox almost managed to steal the win in the final sprint down the front stretch.  As Cox positioned himself on the inside, Strehle was forced to drive down to block as they neared the checkers.  Dalton Strehle would take the victory by just a fender with Steve Cox almost side by side as they crossed the line.  Larry Langston raced to the third spot while Austin Gamble placed fourth and Chris Neville was fifth.

Friday, June 19th, is the scheduled make up for the 14th Annual Powell Memorial, featuring the United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series.  The prestigious, $5000 to win late model event had originally been scheduled for June 5th, but was washed out by a deluge from the heavens.  And according to Ocala Speedway owner Mike Peters, that worked in everyone's favor as up to six more late models should be able appear on the new date that could not be there on the original date.  Also on the card with the Powell Memorial will be the Amsoil V8 Thunder Stocks and the Gladiators.

Ocala Speedway Results for 6/12/09

Open Wheel Modified

1- 33 Jeff Mathews
2- 56 Dave Barber
3- 40 Wayne Hammond
4- 145 Jason Davis
5- 27 John Bradley
6- 12 Ronnie Soltis
7- Z Tim Zackery
8- 0 Richard Dickinson
9- 75C Len O'Neill
10- 90 Mark Buie
11- 75 Mark Ryder

Florida Mini Sprints

1- 28 Tim O' Donnell
2- 25 Harold Matthews
3- 8 Eddie Moss Jr.
4- 99 Leroy Moore
5- 5 Steve Crabtree
6- 86 Russ Heider
7- 7 Jessie Teed
8- 711 David Pleaugh
9- 1M Eddie Moss
10- 26 Eric Garey
11- 88 Lennie Dallman
12- 16 Chris Pacetti
13- 11 Brett O' Donnell
14- 14D Brian Penrose
15- 9 Billy Chivers
16- 32 Tommy Nelson
17- 19 Scott Greene
18- 81 Randy Carrier
19- 24 Ken Penta
20- 6 Walter Arnold
21- 116 Matthew Harrell
DNS- 15 Paul Lanza

Hobby Stock

1- 04 Bubba Christian
2- 35 Kevin Durden
3- XX David Kinsey
4- 56 Patrick Williams
5- 18 Mike Eubanks
6- 83 Joe Boyd
7- 35W David Walls
8- 08 William Edwards
9- 81 Donald Woosley
10- 83X Joey Brown
11- 98 Jamie Tinkham
12- 3W Vaughn Woodall
13- 89 Trey Cameron
14- 59 William Stalnaker

Gladiator

1- 73 Dalton Strehle
2- 88 Steve Cox
3- 49 Larry Langston
4- 23 Austin Gamble
5- 69 Chris Neville
6- 96 Eddie Lentz
7- 8 Harold Lewis
8- 12 Josh Hale
9- 83 Kody Fisher
10- 10 Ann Moon
11- 78 Paul Hahn

Next Week:  The 14th Annual Powell Memorial, featuring the United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series. plus the Amsoil V8 Thunder Stocks and Gladiators

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