Herb Neumann & Scott Millar Share L.M. Twin 50 Wins
By Larry MacMillan
After severe morning weather threatening the final race before the Citrus County Fair break and a long awaited opening round for the Super Late Models at Citrus County Speedway, the sun broke out after noon on Saturday, dried out the race track and saved a very important race for 5 local divisions and the visiting Florida Pro Challenge cars.
Highlighting the 4th race of the season was the Super Late Model Twin 50s. Seventeen hot shoes went on the clocks for qualifying and despite running on a fairly green track 10 racers turned qualifying laps in the 13 second bracket. Richie Smith got a ride in Glen Websters #33 car turning fast time at 13.490 seconds, just a few ticks off the track Late Model record. Richie pulled the 8 pill for the inversion for the first 50 lap shoot out.
Keith Zavrel won the pole starting spot and shot off the starting line with Jim Smith in a side by side race for the early lead. Zavrel held the lead for 16 laps before Jim Smith took over being chased by Scott Grossenbacher who inherited the lead with a smooth pass. Meanwhile hard charger Herb Neumann Jr. worked his way from 7th to take the lead on the outside lane in lap 48 to take the win. Grossenbacher settled for second followed by Jim Smith, Richie Smith and Perry Brown locking down the top five positions.
After a 10 minute brake in the infield the second race got under way with Scott Millar and Brock Oglesby coming off the front row for a drag race into turn one and two side by side before Oglesby gave way to Millar who set the pace from flag to flag for the win in race #2.
It was another barn burner in the final five laps as Scott Grossenbacher and Herb Neumann got three wide with Millar off turn 4 in lap 48. Neumann hugged the outside wall with Grossenbacher in the middle and Millar trying to block both cars when Neumann and Grossenbacher got together on the front straight making contact with Millar who spun.
The end result was Neumann and Grossenbacher going to the rear for the restart and Millar retaining the lead for the final run for the checkers and the win. Kurt Jett outran Perry Brown in the run for second followed by Jim Smith and Brock Oglesby. Kurt Jett and Jim Smith came off the pair of races tied for the 2008 point lead in their first race of the year, 3 points up on Herb Neumann Jr. and 4 points up on Richie Smith.
Thirteen cars made the show for the 3rd week of the Sportsman season. Clint Foley took his new ride to the point in the early going but Ernie Reed made an early pass on him leading the pack until 7th starter Bobby Ervien caught him, making an inside pass and checked out on the rest of the field for his first win at Citrus.
Two time winner and defending champion Mike Veltman made a great run from 10th in an effort to make it three in a row but had to settle for a solid second place finish over Ernie Reed, Clint Foley and Tom Posavec. Posavec and Reed took the wins in the heat races.
Robbie Yoakam has returned to Citrus on a regular racing schedule and drove from 9th to the winners circle making it two out of three wins Saturday night against a solid 16 car Mini Stock field. Clint Foley came off his win two weeks ago to charge from his 13th starting spot to a 2nd place finish to hold onto the point lead after 3 races. Mark Powers drove a solid race after having some trouble in his heat race for a third place finish over Kevin Harrod. Chris Hooker rolled from 14th at the green flag to take the checkers in 5th place. Foley and George Neumann locked down wins in the heat races.
Seventeen Street Stocks took the green flag for their 20 lap main event and Frank Stromquist set the pace from the get go. Despite several caution flags Frank continued to hold the lead until lap 17 when David Foster took advantage of an open low groove and went on for his first win of the season after winning the second heat. Tim Alexander stayed in the top five throughout the race and survived a spin for a third place finish. Mike Loudy finished right where he started in fourth and Rick Shahid drove from 10th to finish fifth. Point leader Tim Quick drove from 16th to finish 6th. Jason Murphree took the win in the first heat.
The Four Cylinder Bomber Division is becoming very popular for the drivers coming up with the largest field of the night with 26 cars taking the green flag for the feature. Melissa Hunley drove away from the field in her heat race and then showed she was for real when she drove from 9th to the lead in the early laps of their 20 lap main. Unfortunately she ran out of steam by lap 10.
There were at least five lead changes before the checkered flag came out for 14th starter Chris Harvey making his move in lap 19. John DeGeorge drove from 18th to 2nd in the five car run for the checkered flag. Defending champion Jeff Eberly locked down third followed by Justin Elwood and Travis Hoefler to round out the top five. Heat winners were Patric Conner, Brandon Watson and Melissa Hunley.
J.L. Snowden proved to be the man to beat in the Florida Pro Challenge races. He started off the night in a match race with Ryan Rust in a 10 lap run from the back of the field for a second place finish. Then came right back in the 35 lap feature to snatch the win from Ryan Rust in the final laps. Rust had to settle for 2nd over Jarrett Snowden, Gene Dibble, Paul White, Brandon Williamson, Rowdy Gordon, Richie Stanley and Ron Stanley.
Citrus County Speedway will light them up in a big way on Saturday, March 29th when they return from the Citrus County Fair 4 week hiatus. Doug Rose brings his Green Mamba Jet Car to turn on the after burners and totally cook a car and provide his own brand of fireworks.
The School Bus Figure 8s, Boat Trailer race and the Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, V8 Thunder Stocks, 4 Cylinder Bombers and the Fantastic Figure 8s will put on a killer restart to the 2008 season. Mark your calendar for Saturday night, March 29th for the best stock car action in Florida and the restart of the 2008 racing season at Citrus County Speedway, continuing every Saturday night through November 8th.
Citrus County Speedway Results 2/23/08
Super Late Model Twin 50s 1st Feature 17 Cars
1. #98 Herb Neumann Jr. Inverness 1st Season Win 2. #09 Scott Grossenbacher San Antonio 3. #21 Jim Smith Inverness 4. #33 Richie Smith Hernando Fast Qualifier 13.490 Seconds 5. #22 Perry Brown Ocala 6. #19 Kurt Jett Orange Park 7. #88 Brock Oglesby Ocala 8. #20 Scott Millar Ocala 9. # 1 Dale Sanders Lecanto 10.#7 Perry Lovelady Lakeland
Super Late Model Twin 50s 2nd Feature 17 Cars 1. #20 Scott Millar Ocala 1st Season Win 2. #19 Kurt Jett Orange Park 3. #22 Perry Brown Ocala 4. #21 Jim Smith Inverness 5. #88 Brock Oglesby Ocala 6. # 1 Dale Sanders Lecanto 7. #62 John Gerstner Eustis 8. #33 Richie Smith Hernando 9. #47 Keith Zavrel Brooksville 10.#98 Herb Neumann Jr. Inverness
Sportsman Feature 20 Laps 13 Cars 1. #88 Bobby Ervein St. Petersburg 1st Season Win 2. #155 Mike Veltman Crystal River 3. #55 Ernie Reed Lecanto 4. #56 Clint Foley Dunnellon 5. #01 Tom Posavec Dunnellon 1st Heat Winner - #-01 Tom Posavec 2nd Heat Winner - #55 Ernie Reed
Mini Stock Feature 20 Laps 16 Cars 1. # 8 Robby Yoakam Hernando 2nd Season Win 2. # 7 Clint Foley Dunnellon 3. # 9 Mark Powers Hernando 4. #34 Kevin Harrod Floral City 5. # 6 Chris Hooker Inverness 1st Heat Winner - # 7 Clint Foley 2nd Heat Winner - # 1 George Neumann Inverness
Street Stock Feature 20 Laps 17 Cars 1. #41 David Foster Wildwood 1st Season Win 2. #57 Frank Stromquist Lecanto 3. #63 Tim Alexander Floral City 4. #21 Mike Loudy Brooksville 5. #31 Rick Shahid Floral City 1st Heat Winner - #63 Tim Alexander 2nd Heat Winner - #41 David Foster
4 Cylinder Bomber Feature 20 Laps 26 Cars 1. #00 Chris Harvey Belleview 1st Season Win 2. #122 John DeGeorge Dunnellon 3. #01 Jeff Eberly Spring Hill 4. #117 Justin Elwood Ocala 5. #20 Travis Hoefler Floral City 1st Heat Winner - #444 Patric Conner Dunnellon 2nd Heat Winner - #66 Brandon Watson Dunnellon 3rd Heat Winner - #18 Melissa Hunley Ocala
Florida Pro Series Feature 35 Laps 9 Cars 1. #40 J.L. Snowden Salt Springs, Fl. 2. #18 Ryan Rust Port St. Lucie, Fl. 3. # 4 Jarrett Snowden Salt Springs, Fl. 4. # 7 Gene Dibble Salt Springs, Fl. 5. #25 Paul White Eustis, Fl.