Citrus Closes 2008 Season with Two Championships Decided
by Larry MacMillan
(Inverness, Fl. 11/08/08) Citrus County Speedway fans saw six divisions close out the 2008 run for their championships Saturday night and two were decision makers when the checkers flew. The ladies got their chance to get up on the wheel in the annual Amateur Women’s Powder Puff race in a ten lap shoot out. The night was full of action and closed out the season with a bang or two with some real close racing particularly in the Pure Stock and Figure 8 division.
The real battle was in the Pure Stock division with Bill Ryan picking up the lead by 14 points over John Drye after last weeks race. Drye had led most of the second half of the season and ran into problems with Ryan winning his heat and finishing 6th in the feature while Drye finished 3rd in his heat and 14th in the feature. Twenty eight cars took the green flag with Drye starting 15th and Ryan back in 22nd position. In the heat races Drye picked up 1 point on Ryan who got taken out on the initial green flag and had to go to the pits with flat tire on another early caution flag.
Drye drove his way through the front half of the field to take the lead and the win with Ryan coming from the back end with his mission of having to finish at least 7th or better. Some how he managed to come across the finish line in sixth and took the crown by three points over John Drye who did all he could to come up top shoe for 2008. Top five at the checkered flag were John Drye, Tommy Smith, Steven Steinderf, Mike Hinde and James Peters. Drye and Steinderf took the heat wins.
The other nail bitter was in Figure 8 action with 16 cars in their finale. Joey Catterelli came into the race with a 24 point lead over Darryl Hage. At the green flag problems erupted from the get go in the intersection bringing on the rare red flag for a complete restart. Catterelli and Hage started side by side and made there way through traffic behind Robbie Aaron who took the point away from Charlie Meyer after the first five laps. Several more red flags came out for crashes in safety zones.
This closed up the field on several restarts but Robbie Aaron held onto the lead all the way to the checkered flag for his 3rd win of the season. Right on his rear bumper was Joey Catterelli just ahead of Darryl Hage assuring Joey of the 2008 Figure 8 Championship by 26 points. Rounding out the top five were 64 year old Charlie Meyer and 4 time winner John Baranauskas.
With only 14 cars on deck for the Street Stock finale Tim Quick came into the race with the championship crown already won but he wasn’t going to close out the season without a celebration driving from 8th to Victory Lane for his 9th win of the season and doing donuts in the infield and burnouts on the front straight. Mike Loudy moved from 11th to take the lead away from Dr. Mark Fallows during the second half of their 25 lap finale. Loudy just couldn’t hold off Quick in the run for the flag settling for 2nd followed by Mark Fallows, Kyle Peters and Rick Shahid. No heats were run.
Twenty Mini Stocks wrapped up their season with a Mini Stock Challenge Series winner coming in to show the field how you start at the back and finish in Victory Lane. Johnathan Camp had it all together in one of his rare performances at his home race track this season. James Ellis enjoyed the lead for several laps before Camp made the pass and settled for second just ahead of early leader Travis Hoefler who also added his first heat win to his final resume in his rookie year.
Point runner up Mike Lawhorn salvaged a fourth place finish over Chris Hooker who made a last lap run at three cars to lock down a fifth place finish. Six time winner Clint Foley took the win in the second heat but ran into early mechanical problems for a DNF in the feature. Kevin Harrod had the Mini Stock Crown already won coming into the final race of the season and wrapped it up with a conservative 7th place finish and a burn out for the fans to celebrate his top spot in the point’s race.
Despite only winning 1 feature and 5 heat wins Richard Kuhn managed to build a big point lead in the 4 Cylinder Bomber division with top five finishes throughout the season and has had the championship won for several weeks. The star of the show Saturday night was 14 year old Brandon Watson who came in with a flu bug but went out with a bang picking up his 8th heat win and 7th feature win of the season. Phil Edwards took the early lead away from Patrick Connor who ran into mechanical problems early. Watson waited for the opening to make the pass on Edwards for the lead and despite a caution flag tightening up the field in the later laps Brandon held Phil off followed by Andy LaPoint, Shawn Evans and defending champion Jeff Eberly. Shawn Evans logged his 6th heat win of the season.
Drew Matissek had it all together this week after breaking an axel last week in practice and having parts flown in to the airport across the street from the speedway. The team installed the new parts for the feature and he managed to pull off a 3rd place finish for the effort. Now that’s wanting to race in a bad way. He had it all together for Saturday nights’ finale with a big win over Jamie Shahid. Alexander Wilder held out for third and took home the points’ championship in the rookie division. Tom McKay and Darrell Demonbreun rounded out the top five and Darrell’s family managed to win the 50/50 drawing.
The final race of the season got the women behind the wheel for the annual Powder Puff Race. When the green flag dropped it was all over but the shouting when Bonnie Yoakam (Robbie’s wife) put the hammer down and left the rest of the field in her dust. They couldn’t even find her #98 Mini Stock when the checkers flew because she left them in another time zone. Only 7 cars survived the night to run out of 11 that were registered. Gina Evans and Marsha McCall held out for the top three spots.
Next event for the drivers will be the Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday night December 13th at the Citrus County Auditorium and all drivers need to get their tickets to pick up their awards. Call Kolleyne at the pit office 352-726-9339 or contact Beverly Aaron in Brooksville 352-799-7181. There will be no tickets available at the banquet.
Winter Spectacular VI part 1 is scheduled for Saturday night January 3rd, 2009 featuring the Open Wheel Modifieds in a 75 lap feature plus the Sportsman, Street Stock, 4 Cylinder Bombers and Figure 8’s in 50 lap features. Winter Spectacular VI part 2 is scheduled for January 17th featuring the Super Late Models in a 75 lap feature, Mini Stocks and Pure Stock in 50 lap features plus the V8 Thunder Stocks, Florida Pro Challenge and Outlaw Mini Modifieds. The regular 2009 points’ season will open the season in February.
Citrus County Speedway Results 11/08/08
Street Stock Feature – 25 Laps – 14 Cars
1. #97 Tim Quick – Lecanto – 9th Season Win – 2008 Champion