20 Percent Chance of Rain Washes out 3 of 8 Citrus Speedway Features
by Larry MacMillan
With Citrus County Speedways 52nd season winding down seven regular divisions and one traveling series made up a full race card with 131 total drivers registered to ride. The weather man promised a great night for racing and for some reason it just didnt work out the way it was expected.
An early shower prior to the gates opening and practice starting saw a brief shower and then the weather turned beautiful with a nice breeze to keep everyone comfortable.
Things went well during practice and with a brief rain shower during the heat races but all went well until the Modified 2nd heat when the second of three rain showers brought out the caution flag and sending them to the pits and postponing their heat.
An hour was spent waiting out the shower and drying out the track with the cooperation of 30 to 40 drivers before it was decided to run the 4 Cylinder Bomber & Pure Stock features to get the track back in condition for the Modifieds to get their heat race in the books. Drivers gave their thumbs up to resume racing and with all the rubber washed off it left a pretty slick track to work with for the rest of the evening.
Seventeen 4 Cylinder Bomber racers took the green flag in their 20 lap main. An early crash on the 2nd lap took out point leader Jeff Eberly and ended his night with right front damage. In the meantime several lead changes took place before the final 2 laps saw point runner up 10th starter Travis Hoefler took the point and locked in his 3rd feature win of the season and closing the gap on Jeff Eberly in the run for the championship.
John Kidwell came from 16 to second when the checkers flew but he lost out in tech in post race inspection moving14th starter John DeGeorge into second followed by Peter Nelson who started 15th. Patric Connor drove from 9th to finish fourth over Jeremy Sharrone who had to recover from an early incident that sent him to the rear of the field on the restart. Sharrone took the win in the first heat while John Kidwell lost out on his win in the second heat due to the D.Q. in the feature and Robert Carter inherited the win.
High car count for the night went to the Pure Stock division with 25 of 28 registered cars making their 20 lap feature. Starting position #13 was a lucky number for Steve Hise as he worked his way through traffic to the point using the outside groove most of the way to Victory Lane for his first win in the division.
He logged 4 feature wins in the V8 Thunder Stock Rookie division early in the season and was the first driver to be moved up to Pure Stocks. Fred Henick was the registered driver in the #60 race car, came off the outside pole, led most of the race, finished second but was disqualified when it was disclosed that Wayne Heater was the driver of the car.
This moved 19th starter Bill Ryan to second and some more cushion in his point lead. Rounding out the top five were Glen Colyer, 14th starter Steven Stinedurf and 8th starter Chad Markland who battled for the lead at one point in the race. Rick Shahid, Steve Hise and Glen Colyer logged heat wins.
The Florida Pro Challenge Series brought in race cars from Georgia and Florida and these 5/8ths scale, motorcycle engine driven rockets spent the evening chasing J.L. Snowden out of Salt Springs, Fl. to the checkered flag in both their heat and 30 lap feature event. Ryan Rust from Port St. Lucie started sixth and didnt look like he was going to be a problem for the rest of the field until he found some hidden power and moved to second over Brandon Williams out of Georgia.
They see-sawed for the spot with Rust losing power late in the race and Williams took over the slot and looked like that was the way it was going to end. A caution came out and a determined Ryan Rust came back for the restart taking the spot away from Williams to lock down a second place finish. Williams held on for third ahead of pole sitter Paul White out of Eustis and another Georgia driver Kyle Plott.
Only 10 Mini Stocks took the green flag for their main event and after blowing an engine last week Johnny Siner made it his night to shine coming off the pole, setting the pace all the way to his first win of the season. In the final run for the flag George Neumann was hot on Siners rear bumper and Steve Griffin right in the hunt for a third place finish.
Bad Luck continued to haunt Mike Lawhorn as he was taken out in his heat which he led all the way until the final lap. He did salvage a fourth place finish in the 20 lap feature event over Ron Armillei. Siner and Neumann logged heat wins.
Phillip Rook wasted no time setting up a big lead in the Sportsman feature to log his second win of the year. Meanwhile lots of action was going on behind him with Richie Smith and Fred Tuski working their way from the middle of the 14 car field to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively. Sixth starter Sal DeFranco managed to hold off the rest of the field for 4th place his best finish since getting started at Citrus in April.
Ernie Reed locked down 5th when the checkers flew. Mike Veltman and Fred Tuski took the heat wins. Tuski underwent a complete money protest tear down and he was declared legal at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, taking home the money and his race engine in boxes and bags.
Again the field was set for the Modified 30 lap feature race when the bottom fell out and despite another concerted effort to dry out the track in time to get the final three features in before the 11 p.m. curfew the drivers were called to tech to see if they wanted to race on a wet surface and the answer was NO after they were given the alternative of racing double features on their next scheduled race night.
The Open Wheel Modifieds and the Figure 8s will run Double Features on October 27th and the V8 Thunder Stock Rookies will go for two feature races on October 20th.
Next Saturday night will feature the return of the Super Late Models, Sportsmen, Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, 4 Cylinder Bombers in points races plus two traveling series with the Florida Open Wheel Lites and Florida Midget Racing Association with a full contingency of races from all over the state.
October 13th will feature the Fall Fiasco featuring a 150 lap Enduro Race going after a $5,000 to win purse plus a Demo Derby, a 50 Lap Figure 8 Race, a School Bus Figure 8 Race and a Boat Trailer Race. Advanced tickets are on sale at the pit office and grandstand ticket booth on race night for $10 for everyone. This is going to be a sellout and you should plan on getting your tickets early.
Citrus County Speedway Results 9/29/07
Open Wheel Modified Feature 30 Laps 18 Cars
Postponed Due to Rain Double Feature on Oct. 27th
1st Heat Winner - #34 Teddy Nelson Pinellas Park 2nd Heat Winner - #80 James Houle Pinellas Park
Sportsman Feature 20 Laps 14 Cars
1. #97 Phillip Rook Inverness 2nd Season Win 2. #42 Richie Smith Hernando 3. #71 Fred Tuski Crystal River 4. #50 Salvator DeFranco Brooksville 5. #55 Ernie Reed Lecanto