Orlando SpeedWorld Returns to Racing Action After Fay
by Dave Westerman
After nearly a month of inactivity due to soaking rains from Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gustav, Orlando Speedworld finally got the gates open for racing both Friday and Saturday nights.
With the recent change to Hoosier tires for all FASCAR classes, it made for interesting options for race teams as many chose the new Hoosiers while others continued to use up their remaining sets of Goodyears.
Changing to Hoosier rubber proved a good move for Deltona's Art Kunzeman as he led every lap of competition in the Modified division. Admitting that the Hoosiers really got his car "hooked up" for the first time this year, Kunzeman tip-toed his way around the persistent "weepers" which were especially bad in the low groove of turn one, and finished three car lengths in front of Mark Emberson. Earl Beckner, Chris Smyth and Rick Johns completed the top five.
The Legends Cars opted to run their events on the quarter-mile flat track and put on a fantastic show. Heat race wins went to Shaughn McCormick and Jimmy Norman but it was Gerald Campbell taking the lead at the drop of the green in the 25 lap feature.
Campbell doggedly held on to the top spot until Norman slipped by on lap eight and led the rest of the way for his fourth win of the year. Campbell held on for second, a career best at this track. James Rodriguez also had a great run taking third and first spot among the over 40 Masters Division drivers. Gerald White, Jr. and Mason Ketterman were fourth and fifth while Mark Bibeau, Rick Wetmore, Dave Gleason, Tyler Smith and Gary Verdier completed the top ten.
Earlier in the Legends Charger feature, 12 year old Zach Harris scored his first ever win in a Legend taking the victory over Ted Ruffo, Roger Englund and heat winner Daniel Conlin, Sr.
Harris also scored the win in the Bandolero Young Guns feature over Donovan Ponder to give him a sweep of his events on the evening. To top that off, Harris loaned his back-up car to Critter Saile and Critter put it in victory lane as well in the Bandolero Bandits feature topping Jake Perkins, Coty Bibeau, Daniel Conlin, Jr., Jeffery White, Cameron White and Noah "Gator" Cornman.
Bobby Riley out-powered John Hodge on lap seven and led the rest of the way to take the Super Stock win in his Billy Cuddy Painting Monte Carlo. Bobby Simcox made a late charge to nab second over Hodge, Matt Jarrett and Dennis Snyder. Vince Keeler, Jr., Billy Belflower, Jason Pick and Ron McCreary rounded out the finishers. Riley also won the heat.
Derrick Wood grabbed the lead late in the going from a spinning Jeff Wright to score his second Sportsman win in a row. Ricky Moxley took runner-up honors ahead of Ryan Rust, Wright and Andy Nicholls. Pete Starr and Richard Fiore were unable to start after a bad crash in the heat race which was also won by Wood.
Glen Rhodes topped a nice field of Action Gator Tire Strictly Stocks holding off Ricky Solomon, Jr. for the win. Neal Kirby checkered in third trailed by Devon Cuddy and Don Dangler. Heat race honors went to Steven Streight.
Saturday action saw Taylor McKeever net top honors in the Legend Chargers over previous nights winner Zach Harris, Daniel Conlin, Sr., Tim Walters, Jr., Roger Englund and Mike Gleason.
The Legends "A" main saw Tyler Smith take his first career main event victory after a hard fought battle with second place finisher Tony Sansom. Mason Ketterman was third over Mark Bibeau and Russ Thomson. Rounding out the top ten were Gary Verdier, Rick Wetmore, Gerald White, Jr., Dave Gleason and James Rodriguez. Heat wins went to Gleason and Sansom.
Brian Cosier took advantage of a mid-race skirmish between Ricky Solomon, Jr. and Rob Reynolds to grab his second ABC Towing Hurricane feature of the year. Solomon held on for second in front of Reynolds, Mark Walls and Joey Woliver.
Critter Saile again topped the Bandolero Bandits driving Zach Harris' back-up car. Jake Perkins and Coty Bibeau repeated their second and third place finishes of Friday night while Cameron White and Noah Cornman were fourth and fifth.
Donovan Ponder came home the winner in the Bandolero Young Guns ahead of Zach Harris, Carl Haag and Danielle Stratton.
Classic Car honors went to Derrick Wood over Danny Dixon and Wayne Skinner while Sam Bowman drove his Stock Heavy mount to the win in the Kart Challenge over Robert Ledford, Robert Sage, Michael Mediz, Dan Bowman and Matthew Mediz.
Winners in the Daytona Antique Auto Racing Association events were Roy Campbell (Sprint), Dick Yurewitch (Midget) and Hank Baker (Stock Cars).
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