6-3-13. Ocala, FL- The Bubba Army Late Models will return for the first time since April 6th, and they will be joined by the Scorpion Racing Products UMP DirtCar Open-Wheel Modifieds, Bubba Army Hobby Stocks, Bubba Raceway Park E-Mods, 1-800-ASK GARY Thunder Stocks, and Rent-N-Roll Gladiators. The Hobby Stocks will battle for $600 and the E-Mods will fight for a $750 payday.
After a long rest, the Bubba Army Late Models return to Bubba Raceway Park with Anthony's Rich Pratt on top of the standings. While that may be familar and deserving for Pratt, he has yet to fulfill the final part of his mission- visit Coors Light Winner's Circle. He's already done that in the Modified ranks, but has yet to do so in his AirGas-sponsored Late Model that is now in his former colors. Just fifteen points behind him is Versailes, Indiana's Bryan Bernhardt, the Bubba Army Performance Engines #B69 driver who took his Crate Late Model to the top earlier this year. Bernhardt, now trying to master three disciplines, hopes to steal the spotlight- and with it, the points lead- from Pratt. Placed third is the Wells Farms driver out of Jacksonville, "The DeRailer" Darrell Padgett. Padgett won the last race, but any advantage from then may be gone. In a tie for fourth is John Koller. The Grand Island driver is only thrity-eight points back, but he must fight to hold off the driver tied with him- Tyler Clem. Clem, the St. Petersburg driver, is exceeding everyone's expectations and a victory does not seem out of range at this point for the Tony Stewart Racing Developmental Driver.
The Scorpion Racing Products UMP DirtCar Open-Wheel Modifieds will run their sixth event of the season, and it's Modified-rookie Bryan Bernhardt a top the standings. Bernhardt has been bridesmaid too many times already in his Mathews Motorsports #33L, but a win is very close for the Versailes, Indiana driver. Just seven points behind him is Zephyrhills' Buzzie Reutimann. Reutimann, seventy-two, has a victory this season, but he lost the lead after taking the last race off to be with David Reutimann in Charlotte. Belleview's Charlie O'Neill is the only driver to start all five features so far and that has him placed third in the standings in his Aerotech Aluminum #75. Behind him is the B&S Auto Salvage-sponsored driver Scott Kurtzner. Rough luck has hit Kurtzner, but he continues to fight off fifth-placed Jeff Mathews. Mathews has only started three features, but he's won all three. "The Repo Man" out of Dover, Florida will most likely pull Double Duty and go for a second-consecutive sweep.
With $600 on the line, anything can- and will- happen in the tenth Bubba Army Hobby Stock event. The parity has been incredible, with six drivers taking their first win on the 3/8 mile (and three of those being first-time-ever winners!) in 2013. Even better, the only two repeat winners are the teenagers in Hunter Gustafson and "The Mayo Missile" Devin Walker. Walker stole the points lead back after a podium finish last week-end, but it's win-or-nothing for the Lasoski Racing Developmental Driver. Sitting behind him is Ocala's Brian Shea, driver of the BP Electric #19. Shea is only six points back and a win would help him with more than just a $600 payday. Gustafson, the Howey-In-The-Hills driver, is placed third in his Precision Race Cars #15, but must continue to fight off Ocala's Sean Monoghan. Monoghan looked mighty strong in the last race, but he must continue to reel points off to get back into championship contention. Rounding out the top five is Dunnellon's Matt Kramer. "The Big Lake Boys" will also return, and they're batting .500 in money races.
The E-Mods have had a wild season, but Shane Nichols has been doing his best to keep everyone else off the winner's list. In the three events that have official results, Nichols has won all three. The other one- also won by Nichols- has yet to be deemed official by UMP and Bubba himself. With the un-confirmed results, Ocala's "Sweetfeet" Shane Nichols is still credited with the points lead. Behind him is Shane Taylor. Shane, and brother Shawn- both out of Trenton-, have their cars placed second and third. Lake City's Swede Melgaard is fourth and a $750 payday would be "Swede" for Melgaard. Charlie Howard, Jr. of Gainesville sits just four points behind Melgaard, but he's looking at the cash on the line.
With the 1-800-ASK GARY Thunder Stocks strolling out to Bubba Raceway Park for the tenth time, the points battle still remains close. The leader is Summerfield's William Gillam. Gillam, one of the two drivers to win his first career race this season, sits twenty-seven points ahead of two-time winner Brandon Elwood out of Anthony. Elwood, the other first-time winner this year, has his #28 up to second, but must fight to hold off Mt. Dora's Tony Campbell. "TC" has been close to victory a few times, but has yet to break through and celebrate in Coors Light Winner's Circle. Belleview's Melvin Fockler comes off of three consecutive podium finishes, but he's tired of the consolation prizes- he's ready to win his first career race. The final driver in the top five is Brandon Tillander. Tillander sits only seventy-seven points out of the lead, but he's also very close to Coors Light Winner's Circle and becoming the third first-timer of 2013.
Stephen Frankland, "The Barnseley Bullet," is the Rent-N-Roll Gladiators points leader. With five of the nine feature victories this season, he has certainly stamped his name on the record books, but he wants more- he wants a championship. Sitting thirty-four points behind him is Ocala's Bill Southard. Southard has been fighting hard and he continues to learn. Tom Sheehan has climbed into third, but sits over one-hundred points out. Josh Fincher is in fourth and Jerry Taylor, the only other feature winner in the top five, rounds out the top five.
The pits open at 4, grandstands open at 5, and racing is scheduled for 7. You won't want to miss any of the action! Don't forget Excellence In Education Night on June 15th. On this night we'll give all elementary-school aged kids with an A-B Honor Roll Report Card (as long as you bring it in!!!) a free kid's Coke, free kid's popcorn, and an autographed picture of Tyler Clem. We'll also donate $4.00 from each paying adult's ticket back to the school. On June 22nd is our Summer Spectacular with a $5000 to win Late Model headliner, and on the 29th is the Mike Peters Open, another $5000 to win Late Model race. For more information, please visit www.bubbaracewaypark.com or call us at 352-622-9400!