A Limited Late Model race car is 80 inches wide, give or take an inch or two.
With Joe Winchell in front late in a 100-lap race, the No. 15 car seems three times as wide.
It's next to impossible passing the old, wily veteran with the race on the line.
Winchell, the east-coaster who has taken many checkered flags through the years in Punta Gorda, grabbed his first win of 2007 this past Saturday night at Charlotte County Motorsports Park, holding off hard-charging Kevin Macy.
Macy's 19 car was faster through the last 25 laps of the race, but getting around Winchell proved too tough of a task.
"I'd like to thank Kevin for racing me clean even though he was faster at the end," Winchell said of the driver out of Lakeland.
Winchell started on the pole and hung on all 100 laps for the $2,000 winner's share.
But it wasn't as easy as it sounds. Winchell survived a couple of early scares before taking the checkered flag.
One came from the 11 car of Cody Pitts, who rubbed with Winchell on lap three. Pitts got a flat and had to play catchup all race.
The other came on lap 34 when the lapped car of Danny Maddox suddenly pulled in front of Winchell's 15 on the back stretch. Macy roared to the front, but the caution was out and Winchell got his spot back.
Randy Fox of Lehigh Acres was third in the
16-car field. Johnny Kay came back from a near-disastrous brush with lapped car No. 77 driven by Bill Mulder on lap 19. Kay changed a tire, went to the rear and battled back for a fourth-place finish.
Cory Collum of Cape Coral was fifth.
It was "Melon 1" night at the race track with all fans receiving free fall seedless watermelons. Georgia Watermelon Queen Brittany Faircloth also graced the track, as well as the Hooters girls.
Young Ross Chastain excelled in two Fastruck races held at the 3/8-mile paved oval.
The driver out of Alva clinched the Fastkids points championship with a victory in the 25-lapper. He went into the race leading Seth Greco by a few points. Greco finished second in the
25-lapper, just edging Tyler Laing by four feet at the stripe.
Chastain also captured the 50-lap Fastruck Pro race. J.R. "The Machine" Garcia of Balm was second in the 46 truck.
Mike Cenzi of Naples was third in the 92 truck.
In Road Warriors, Dan Benoit caught Ricky Shelnut on lap 22 and held on for the final three circuits. Anne Marie Ricardi was third.
Peter Amelotte was first across the stripe in Pro 4s, but his 95 car was disqualified in post-race tech. That left Kirk Risner the winner and Les Couch second.
In the Fab 4s, Paul Graham passed Mark Davis for the win. Lance Sober took second.
Charlotte County Race Results Nov 24, 2007
Late Models 1) 15- Joe Winchell 2) 19- Kevin Macy 3) 4- Randy Fox 4) 48- Johnny Kay 5) 23- Cory Collum 6) 33- Casey Caudill 7) 11- Cody Pitts (fast time) 8) 99- Rick Penton 9) 5- Robert Ragula 10) 8- Bobby Shelton 11) 36c- Ross Chastain 12) 36- Gary Padulla 13) 10- Ron Regula 14) 59- Dustin Dunn 15) 82- Danny Maddox 16) 77- Bill Mulder 17) 1- John Jackson- DNS 18) 29- Mike Hovis-DNS
Fab 4: 1) 11-Paul Graham 2) 2-Lance Sober 3) 57- Logan Leonard 4) 97- Josh Flesher 5) 29- James Stanton 6) 0- Mark Davis 7) 4x- Daniel Sweet
Pro 4‘s: 1) 8- Kirk Risner 2) 33- Less Couch 3) 11- Tom Pryor 4) 7- Dwayne Thibadeau 5) 24-Shane Moore 6) 09- Danny Daniels 7) 26- Michael Rodriguez 8) 97-Chuck Flesher 9) 20- Dan Bonoit- DNS 10) 95- Pete Amelotte- DQ
Road Warriors 1) 20- Dan Benoit 2) 9-Ricky Shelnut 3) 22- Ann Marie Rickardi 4) 48- Chris Scott 5) 38- Dar Houghtaling 6) 34-Eddie Morrison 7) 39- Blaine Baer 8) 23- Jeff Rumbold 9) 24- Jeff Pachinco 10) 30x- Mike Gardner
Fast Trucks 1) 36- Ross Chastain (fast time) 2) 46- J.R. Garcia 3) 92- Michael Cenzi 4) 97- Patrick Staropoli 5) 11- Graham McCorvey( Points winner) 6) 75- Mark Gill 7) 13- Rich Pellerito 8) 31- Brian Blum 9) 29- Tim Shaffner 10) 53- Mario Romay 11) 44- Michael Wear 12) 48- Vernon Hart Jr. 13) 1-Jason Leavy
Fast Kids 1) 36- Ross Chastain (fast time) points winner 2) 74- Seth Greco 3) 39- Tyler Laing 4) 46- Matt Cohen 5) 31- Kevin Blum