TIME TO RACE!!
Dwayne Dempsey Wins a Pair in Winter Spectacular III
|by Larry MacMillan
You had to dress for the occasion but despite two cold nights the racing action heated things up for the fans. One hundred twenty three race cars and demolition derby contestants provided two nights of action in Winter Spectacular III at Citrus County Speedway to wrap up their 49th racing season.
Cold temperatures and hot cars returned for the Saturday night finale. Nineteen of 20 Late Models qualified in time trials with Rich Pratt turning a 13.555 second run for top qualifier. The top eight were inverted for the 150 lap marathon putting Tuffy Hester on the pole and Dan Johnson on the outside lane. Chase Austin and Dwayne Dempsey in row 2. It only took 1 lap for Dempsey to take the point and despite numerous caution flags and a 10 minute break after 75 laps for refueling no one had enough for Dempsey who was dominate in the Late Model 150. Track record holder Scott Grossenbacher moved from sixth to finish 2nd over Raymond Lovelady who worked his way from 9th to third. Rookie of the Year Daniel Webster got caught up in an early accident worked his way from the back of the pack to finish fourth over a very aggressive Jeff Scofield. Rounding out the top ten were Jim Smith, Chase Austin, Herb Neumann Jr., Gary Grubbs and Hubert Simmons.
Twenty three Modifieds made the show which altered the original plan for the mod squad requiring time trials and extending their feature to 50 laps and increasing the purse. Billy Bechtelheimer turned fast time with Dwayne Dempsey just a fraction of a second behind on the clock. The line up had the pair of 6s on the pole and Dempsey and Bechtelheimer raced for 3 laps side by side for three laps before the first of several caution flags came out putting Dempsey on the point for the restart. Bechtelheimer spent the rest of the evening trying to find the horse power to pass without success. Dempsey ran a total of 200 laps for the night and led 194 of them in the two races that he won. Chris Fadling, Steven Perez and Harold Cannon locked in the top five at the checkers.
A 23 car Hobby Stock event that featured several visiting drivers to try their hand against the locals that took the green for their 25 lap main event. Doc James Batson took the green and set the pace before Curtis Neumann worked his way through traffic from sixth put the pressure on. Curtis made the pass on lap 23 to end his Hobby Stock career for the win. Batson had to settle for second followed by visitor Tommy Roberts who stayed in the top three throughout the race. Richie Smith passed 18 cars to nail down fourth followed by Jeff Tillman.
Thunder Stocks wrapped up Spectacular III with a 15 lap, 11 car race that put Andy Taylor in Victory Lane over Rick Badessa, Mike Lawdy, Joe Boyd and Michael Bocija.
Friday night kicked off the 2 day affair with a cook out that satisfied 100s of appetites before trying to satisfy their racing appetites with three wild events that overcame the cold temperatures. The advertised 75 lap Mini Stock race was modified to 50 laps due to the short field of 11 cars with only 9 able to start the race. Robbie Yoakam was fast qualifier and the entire field was inverted for the start. Robbie ran into mechanical problems early in the race ending his night before he could make his familiar power run to the front. This left the door open for Chris Hooker to outrun Robbie Storer to the checkers for the win. Chris Thornton, Jay Zolciak and Rick Bristol locked in the top five spots.
Super Stocks put on a wild show with Michael Bell opening things up with a fast qualifying run of 14.960. James Green took off from the green flag and led the first three laps before the first caution flag came out. On the restart Green lost power and Frank Buchanan took the point and kept it right to the checkered flag. Travis Nichols put on all the heat he could but had to settle for second over Hobby Stock Champion Bobby Taylor who moved up. Dusty Bouchard and Stephen Anderson battled right to the checkers to finish in that order over the 20 car field.
The evening was wrapped up with a wild 14 car Demo Derby that lasted for 25 minutes before a very aggressive Big Tim Murray was declared the winner over John Schutt and Jason White who stayed active throughout the 25 minute crashing and banging event that left the infield looking like a salvage yard with parts scattered everywhere.
Winter Spectacular IV is scheduled for January 22nd as Citrus County Speedway opens its 50th racing season. The regular season will feature the TBARA Sprints on February 12, 2005.
Citrus County Speedway Winter Spectacular III 12/4/04
Super Late Model 150 20 Cars
1. #6X Dwayne Dempsey
2. #09 Scott Grossenbacher
3. #17 Raymond Lovelady
4. #1X Daniel Webster
5. #07 Jeff Scofield
6. #32 Jim Smith
7. #11 Chase Austin
8. #98 Herb Neumann JR.
9. #47 Gary Grubbs
10.#74 Hubert Simmons
Fast Qualifier #01 Rich Pratt 13.555 Secs.
Modified Feature - 50 Laps 23 Cars
1. #6x Dwayne Dempsey
2. # 6 Billy Bechtelheimer
3. #29 Chris Fadling
4. #92 Steven Perez
5. # 3 Harold Cannon
Fast Qualifier Billy Bechtelheimer 13.856 Secs.
Hobby Stock Feature 25 Laps 23 Cars
1. #01 Curtis Neumann
2. #77 Doc James Batson
3. #96 Tommy Roberts
4. #142 Richie Smith
5. #95 Jeff Tillman
Thunder Stock Feature 15 Laps 11 Cars
1. #36 Andy Taylor
2. #30 Rick Badessa
3. #21 Mike Lawdy
4. #83 Joe Boyd
5. #4x Michael Bocija
Winter Spectacular III Results 12/3/04
Mini Stock 50 11 Cars
1. #1X Chris Hooker
2. #9S Robbie Storer
3. #24 Chris Thornton
4. #69 Jay Zolciak
5. #30 Rick Bristol
Super Stock Feature 50 Laps 20 Cars
1. #07 Frank Buchanan
2. # 2 Travis Nichols
3. #66 Bobby Taylor
4. #47 Dusty Bouchard
5. #48 Stephen Anderson
Fast Qualifier - #17 Mike Bell - 14.960
Demolition Derby 14 Cars 25 Miniutes
1. #54 Big Tim Murray
2. #69 John Schutt
3. #78 Jason White
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