Florida Grand Slam Truck Series Take on Citrus County Speedway
by Larry MacMillan
(July 18, 2009) It was a different kind of short track racing at Citrus County Speedway fans as 21 high powered and very fast Florida Grand Slam racing trucks went at it similar to the Craftsman Truck Series on the NASCAR circuit.
Its generally not a contact sport but in this case it got a bit rough at times. Steve Darvalics out of Venice set the pace on the clocks with a 14.817 second fast qualifying lap and then from his 5th starting spot he proceeded to chase pole sitter Lakelands Keith Lilley for the best part of the race and survived through multiple caution flags for minor wrecks that helped keep most of the 21 starters in contention for their 50 lap main event.
When the mayhem cleared and the checkered flag finally flew it was Darvalics taking the win followed by Lilley who recovered from a minor wreck that set him back in the pack for a late restart. Rounding out the top 10 were Brent Huber, Charley Montgomery, Austin Howell, Jason Howell, Ross Chastain, Tyler Laing, Jessica Green and Dustin Chisholm.
The Napa Auto Parts Street Stocks saw 14 cars take the green flag for their 20 lap feature run. Bubba Martone won his heat started 6th and drove through the front five to take his first feature win for the season over 6th starter Jim Hand while Richie Smith who gave them both a run for their money from his 14th starting spot. Frank Stromquist got behind the wheel of a borrowed race car to pick up 4th at the checkers. Mark Fallows who leads the division in points survived a bad crash and was able to finish 5th. Jim Hand also took the win in the 1st heat.
Twenty Two Pure Stocks lined up for their 20 lap main event and after not having been in a race car for some time John Chance jumped into the car that Curtis Flanagan has been winning and really showed them how it is done, taking the win in the second heat and rocketing out of his 3rd starting spot to set the pace for most of the race being chased by Drew Matissek and Tommy Smith, finishing in that order. Drew was D.Q.d in post race inspection with Tommy Smith inheriting second for his run at what could have been his 8th win of the year. Outside pole sitter Steven Steindurf stayed in the top five throughout the race and locked down third at the finish line followed by Alex Wilder and Mathew Harris to round out the top five. Michael Martin won his first heat race of the season.
Richard Kuhn is intent on repeating his Mike Scott Plumbing 4 Cylinder Street championship run for 2009 as he drove through 17 of the 18 starters for his second feature win in a row. Wayne Heater has taken over the drivers seat for his daughter Sonya and locked down a second place finish for the second week in a row. Phil Edwards started 13 and finished 3rd for the second week in a row. Chris Snow started 6th and finished 5th ahead of Anthony LaPoint and point leader Nathan Florian. Bryson Ward and Wayne Heater logged the wins in heat races.
The V8 Thunder Stocks had a pair of feature races Saturday night with 14 cars taking the green flag for the makeup race. Bret Martin is a new name on the rookie roster but he is showing some driving talent coming from 12th to take his first win at Citrus, outrunning Richard Wilder to the checkered flag in the first race. They were followed by Tom Coffee, Jamie Shahid and Jeremy Bossert. Eighteen cars came back for the second feature and Levi Robert drove his heat out starting 17th and handled all the traffic for the his 4th win of the season. Thomas McKay gave him a run for the flag but had to settle for second ahead of Scott Werstein, Arden Franklin and Darrell Demonbreun.
Rounding out the full race card was the return of the Mini Cup Cars. Fifteen cars took the green flag for their 20 lap feature run and outside pole sitter CindaRae Irish held off the charges of Carlie Lewis, Ray Black Jr. , Rick Shahid and Jeff Sweet for the win. CindaRae and Carlie Lewis won the heat races.
Next Saturday night is Fan Appreciation night with $5 admission for everyone on the Grandstand side and a full schedule on the race card with Pure Stocks, V8 Thunder Stocks in a 50 lap race, Sportsman, The Curry Roofing Mini Stocks, NAPA Auto Parts Street Stocks, Outlaw Modifieds and the Mike Scott Plumbing 4 Cylinder Streets.
Florida Grand Slam Truck Feature 50 Laps 22 Trucks
1. #41 Steve Darvalics Venice Fast Qualifier 14.817 Sec.
2. #87 Keith Lilly Lakeland
3. #84 Brent Huber Venice
4. #12 Charlie Montgomery Venice
5. #96 Austin Howell Ormond Beach
6. #1 Jason Howell Lakeland
7. #36 Ross Chastain Alva
8. #39 Tyler Laing S.W. Ranches Fl.
9. #40 Jessica Green Lakeland
10. #7 Dustin Chisolm Seminole
NAPA AUTO PARTS Street Stocks Feature 20 Laps-14 Cars
1. #98 Tom Martone Floral City 2nd Season Win
2. #05 Jim Hand Spring Hill
3. #42 Richie Smith Hernando
4. #57 Frank Stromquist Lecanto
5. #007 Mark Fallows Crystal River
1st Heat Winner - #05 Jim Hand
2nd Heat Winner - #98 Tom Martone
Pure Stock Feature 20 Laps 22 Cars
1, #51 John Chance Inverness 1st Season Win
2. #24 Tommy Smith Hernando
3. #0 Steven Steindurf Brooksville
4. #14 Alex Wilder Floral City
5. #411 Matthew Harris Hernando
1st Heat Winner 76 Michael Martin
2nd Heat Winner 0 Steve Stinedurf
Mike Scott Plumbing 4 Cylinder Street Feature 20 Laps 16 Cars
1. #26 Nathan Florian Homosassa 3rd Season Win
2. #47 Richard Kuhn Ocala
3. #88 Anthony LaPoint Zephyrhills
4. #48 Tim Scalise Zephyrhills
5. 4 Bryson Ward Crystal River
1st heat Winner - #98 Kevin Stone -Dade City
2nd Heat Winner - #01 Jeff Eberly Spring Hill
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