Modified Mini 100 Lap Race a Success at Citrus County Speedway
By Phil Schryver KARNAC MEDIA--Advertisement--
Inverness, FL (April 12th, 2009) Last night 37 Modified Mini Race Cars showed up at Citrus County Speedway for the 1st Annual Modified Mini 100 lapper race. This event was the brain child of Jim Curry of Curry's Roofing.
Anyone who has followed racing locally and across the state of Florida has seen the car counts drop drastically over the last couple of years in the modified mini class. As Jim put it, "The modified mini is basically a late model with a 4 cylinder engine." Jim also has felt that the problem has been not only the economy, but also the focus was taken off the drivers, who are the ones who put on the show.
This 1st Annual 100 lapper had no entry fee, a $1,200 payout to win, and a great payout all the way through the field, so all the drivers could go home with some money in their pockets. Additional funds were also added by multiple sponsors involved. They also only charged $5 for the Friday night practice session.
A lot of big names showed up for the event, including a number of people who had not raced for the last couple of years, including well-known Rick Sirmans and Robbie Storer.
Fast Time in qualifying was set by the #8 driven by Robbie Yoakum, whose car is owned by Jim Curry, 2nd fastest was set by the #7 of Clint Foley. Robbie and also Jim had both blown their motors during Friday and Saturday practice sessions and had to spend countless hours building new motors to be ready for the night's race.
The feature event was actually done as the first event of the evening, This was due to a curfew restriction that the track has, and also because the drivers were guaranteed either 100 laps or a 70 min time limit to complete the race. The 1st 50 laps would also include yellows being counted, but the last 50 would only be counted as green laps.
Starting on the pole was the #10 of Mike Birk Jr, and on his outside was the #68 of Ronnie Allen from Lehigh Acres . The first caution flag was waved on the 1st lap when the #291of Mike Slarik got together with the #14 of Brandon Strevels and a complete race restart followed. The 2nd yellow waved on lap 5 when the #291 of Slarik spins out. By this lap, the #44 of Michael Lawhorn was in the lead, followed by the #68 of Ronnie Allen, and #10 of Birk Jr. in 3rd.
By lap 30, the #44 of Lawhorn was still holding on to the lead with a bumper to bumper battle going for 2nd place between the #32 of Jim Smith and the #68 of Allen. Lap 45 brought out the 5th caution of the night when the #37 of Brandon McSwain, the #2 of Donald Faunce, and the #15 of Scott Clemens all collected over in turn 4 while battling hard for positions.
With only 6 laps to go until the half way break for refueling, the #32 of Smith was doing everything he could to take the lead away from the #44 of Lawthorn, but could not get past him before the yellow would fly.
During the 5 min break, the drivers could refuel their cars and make minor adjustments, but they were not allowed to change tires.
When the green flag waved to restart the race, everyone seemed to think it was the last lap and mayhem would begin. On the 2nd try to restart the race, 4 cars got collected in turn 1 including the #18 of Rickie Acres, the #14 of Brandon Strevels, the #24 of Chris Thornton, and the #62 of Jessie Henley. The 14 had slammed the wall hard and was done for the night.
The top 5 cars at this point were the #44 of Lawhorn, the #32 of Smith, the #05 of Sirmans, #68 of Allen, and the #8 of Yoakam. 25 cars also remained at this point on the track.
With the time limit drawing to a close, after some additional yellows due to hard charging, it was decided to do a green, white checkered finish on lap 54. The #44 of Miachael Lawhorn ended up bringing home the win, with the #32 of Jim Smith holding onto 2nd place, and the #8 of Yoakam moving up to 3rd position. 4th place went to the #7 of Clint Foley and in 5th, was the #05 of Rick Sirmans.
Several competitors from the race will be guests on Inside Florida Racing on Monday along with longtime Florida announcer Larry MacMillan.
A DVD will be available from Florida Video by midweek, with driver interviews and the feature event.
1. #44 Mike Lawhorn Claremont 1st Season Win
2. #32 Jim Smith Inverness
3. # 8 Robbie Yoakam Inverness Fast Qualifier
4. # 7 Clint Foley Dunnellon Hard Charger Award
5. #05 Rick Sirmons St. Petersburg
6. # 1 George Neumann Inverness
7. #98 James Ellis Brooksville
8. #17 Mike Bell Brooksville
9. #68 Ronnie Allen Lehigh Acres
10.#13 Jesse Henley Homosassa
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