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May 14, 2000

Kevin Cahill TBARA winner at Charlotte

by Robin Meiser
Punta Gorda, Florida The ever-popular Tampa Bay Area Racing Association (TBARA) Sprint Cars returned to Charlotte County Speedway on May 13. Along came Mother Nature and Spring Showers to try to put a damper on the evening but with the perseverance of drivers, officials and fans the track was dried off and racing was able to continue with three heats of the Winged Wonders. Heat winners were Brad Davis (Clermont), Ernie Teed (Sarasota) and Sport Allen (Pinellas Park). Allen started in the pole position alongside Davis for the feature race but cars were spinning at both ends of the racetrack and the race had to be restarted. Davis took an early lead, running out front despite several cautions while Florida racing legend Dave Pletcher (Clearwater) patiently waited in second place for a chance to pass. Unfortunately for both drivers a car spun on the last lap and the leaders did not watch the flagman as he threw the yellow flag instead of the checkered flag and they went into the pits. The TBARA officials ruled that the cars that went to the pits were to be penalized to the rear of the field causing an uproar from the crowd. This put Kevin Cahill (Land O' Lakes) in the lead, taking the win, with Keith Butler (Tampa) and Allen rounding out the Top 3.

The Florida Midget Racing Association also visited the track in their motorcycle engine powered three-quarter midget sized race vehicles. James Petrokus (Tampa) started in the pole position but had to retire to the pits before the first lap was up due to leaking oil, creating a nightmare for the volunteer broom crew as they tried to clean the track surface. Rod Anderson (Tampa) took the lead until Mark Gimmler (Lake Park) passed him on the sixth lap. Wendy Mathis (Ocala) took a wild ride flipping her car going into Turn 1 but she emerged unscathed. At the end of 20 laps, Gimmler was still leading the race, taking the checkered flag first. Anderson and Ben Fritz (Ocala) followed him.

The Outlaw Modifieds made their monthly appearance at the Speedway. Nineteen cars took the green flag for their feature race with S.C. Klinger (Miami) taking the lead from the start, lapping cars by the tenth lap. By midway of the race Klinger had built up almost a straightaway advantage on the rest of the field until a lapped car spun on the 17th lap bringing out the caution flag. On the restart, Klinger began building his advantage again, taking the win. On the last lap Points Leader and current champion Randy Sands (Tavernier) passed second place Ted Hoversen (Key West), leaving Hoversen third. Klinger also took a heat win, as did Duane Gulfus.(Loxahatchee).

The Oldies 95 Open Wheel Modified division honored Adam Petty, who lost his life on May 12 during practice for the Busch race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, by doing their parade lap in Missing Man formation. Rookie Kevin Williams (Port Charlotte) led the race from the start and remained there despite many caution flags, with only Chris Dean (Fort Myers) able to keep up the pace with him. Williams took his first win in the open wheel division with Dean finishing second and Tommy Schnader (Largo) finishing third.

A wreck on the first lap of the Sportsman division feature took George Ellsworth (North Fort Myers) and Buzz Martin (Lehigh Acres) out of the competition. Craig Amboyan (Port Charlotte) took an early lead with Flyin' Bryan Beckner (Naples) running second. A racing altercation between them sent Amboyan in the wall and Beckner to the rear for causing the wreck. Jerry Bryant (Punta Gorda) was also involved and left the track on the wrecker hook. Cliff Bifaro (Naples) assumed the lead with James Dubose (Arcadia) running side by side with Bifaro several laps before passing him for the lead. Dubose quickly built a wide lead while Mark Chapman (Fort Myers) did his utmost to take second from Bifaro, finally passing him late in the race, as did Points Leader Raymond "Super Frog" Jones (Arcadia). Dubose took the win, followed by Chapman and Jones.

The Pro Late Models return on May 20 where they will be joined by open wheel modifieds, pure stocks, mini stocks and Cowboy Cadillacs. The second leg of the Budweiser Open Wheel Modified 6-Pack Series takes place on Memorial Day Weekend.



1. Kevin Cahill #63
2. Keith Butler #19
3. Sport Allen #42
4. Shaun Farr #68
5. Wayne Reutimann, Jr.

1. Mark Gimmler #51
2. Rod Anderson #16
3. Ben Fritz #61
4. Chuck Kilgore #4
5. Bob Bradley #11


1. S.C. Klinger #87
2. Randy Sands #8
3. Ted Hoversen #5
4. Larry Brown #11
5. Jason Woebling #43

1. Kevin Williams #6
2. Chris Dean #80
3. Tommy Schnader #20
4. Charlie Savage #11X
5. Dave Oblinger #44

1. James Dubose #67
2. Mark Chapman #24
3. Raymond Jones #8
4. Cliff Bifaro #12
5. Ralph Goddard #39

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