(Inverness, Fl. 12/09/07) Citrus County Speedway closed out 2007 with part I of the Winter Spectacular VI featuring the Open Wheel Modifieds, the Sportsman and Street Stocks. Sixty race drivers made the scene for the season ending special with perfect weather making for an exciting and comfortable evening for the race fans.
The Mod Squad came out 23 cars strong for qualifying time trials, turned up the boost and in most cases the first of two qualifying laps scrubbed in the new tires and the second lap turned out to be their qualifying lap. Billy Bechtelheimer was a man on a mission while still recovering from the accident that took him out for most of the season. He definitely is back in stride taking fast qualifying time of 13.825 seconds on the 3/8ths mile. Ralph Bowman, Robbie Cooper, Curt Jett and Shaun McGlaughlin took the balance of the top five spots.
Bechtelheimer pulled the 16 pill, setting up a draw for position by the fast 16 drivers. Billy is definitely back in black with his new ride and luck stayed with him as he pulled the #1 for the pole. Curtis Neumann picked up the outside pole to set up a drag race for turn one that Bechtelheimer won and he looked like he was going to put the rest of the field to sleep from the get go.
Despite several caution flags and a couple of red flags for crashes and track clean ups Billy continued to pull away from the rest of the field on each of the restarts. Neumann slipped from second to third when Tate Pierce moved from 6th to third and then found his way around him off turn four, setting sail in pursuit of Bechtelheimer. Meanwhile Neumann had John and Jeremy Gerstner plus the rest of the pack working on his third position. Jeremy and Curtis connected turning Neumann around and both had to restart in the rear of the field around lap 60. On the restart Tate Pierce locked onto Bechtelheimer rear bumper and just wouldn’t let go, making the pass on lap 65 and took the checkered flag for the big win. Bechtelheimer held out for second followed by 11th starter Curt Jett, 12th starter Robbie Cooper, 8th starter Doug Miller and 16th starter Jimmy Wagner. Only 14 of the 23 starters were able to finish the race.
The Sportsman division brought out 12 cars to go on the clocks and in the absence of the 2007 champion the two runners up, Mike Veltman and Tom Posavec were in a match race for the fast qualifier with Veltman clocking a 14.815 second run for the top spot. Posavec was second fast qualifier followed by Patrick Mennenga, Mike Ruff and Shelton Bowers rounding out the top five.
Veltman drew the 6 pill for the inverted start to their 50 lap main putting Daniel Webster on the pole driving Richie Smith’s racer. Fifth fast qualifier Shelton Bowers picked up the outside pole in his first appearance at Citrus. Webster launched his racer to the point when the green flag flew and set the early pace while Bowers, Mike Ruff, Patrick Mennenga and Tom Posavec lined up in that order. Mike Veltman wasted no time making his move on the outside lane snatching the lead away from Webster at the halfway point. No one had anything for Veltman who went on to win his 10th of the season followed by Webster, Mennenga, Shelton Bowers and Edward Allen.
Qualifying time trials kicked off the action with 24 Street Stocks rolling out first on the raw race track seeing some new pavement on the inside of turn 3 through 4. Doc James Batson was first out of the chute and held fast time for quite awhile until Mike Wilson hit the throttle for two faster laps to take the top spot at 15.788 seconds. Richie Smith, Mike Stallnaker, Doc Batson and Tim Quick locked in the top five spots. On the pill draw the top 8 were inverted for their 50 lap special. Curtis Flanagan won the pole starting spot flanked by Jason Murphree. Flanagan, third starter Jeff Stallnaker and Murphree set the early pace for all 24 starters. There were three different leaders in the early going before Doc James Batson took the point in lap 18. Several caution flags came out while Mike Wilson flexed his fast time muscle and locked onto Batson’s rear bumper in the run for the flag to no avail. Doc Batson, driving his daughter Crystal’s racer took the checkers for the win followed by Wilson, Richie Smith, Murphree and Mike Stalnaker.
So much for Winter Spectacular VI, part 1, closing out the 52nd season at Citrus County Speedway. Three Hundred fifty plus, drivers, pit crews, car owners and fans will gather for the Annual Awards Banquet this Friday evening. They will be picking up all the awards that they have worked so hard for throughout the 2007 season. Citrus County Speedway saw 561 drivers in the 8 divisions that run on a regular schedule through the season plus five traveling series that brought in at least another 150 racers to try on this premier 3/8ths mile oval. Only the top ten in each division will pick up the honors on Friday night.
Part 2 of the Winter Spectacular VI will kick off the 2008 season on January 19th 2008 featuring a 75 lap Super Late Model race plus a Figure 8 50, Mini Stock 50, Pure Stock 50 and 4 Cylinder Bomber 50. The regular season will open on February 2nd 2008.
Citrus County Speedway Results December 8, 2007
Winter Spectacular VI – Part 1
Open Wheel Modified Feature – 75 Laps – 23 Cars
1. #81 Tate Pierce - Ocala 2. # 6 Billy Bechtelheimer - Dover 3. #9 Kurt Jett - Ocala 4. #98 Robby Cooper - Bronson 5. #53 Doug Miller -Largo 6. #17 Jimmy Wagner – St. Petersburg 7. #42 Richie Smith - Hernando 8. #12 Jay Coleman - Holiday 9. #01 Curtis Neumann - Inverness 10.#70 Jeremy Gerstner - Tampa
Sportsman Feature – 50 Laps – 12 Cars
1. #94 Mike Veltman – Crystal River 2. #42 Daniel Webster - Brooksville 3. #16 Patrick Mennenga - Belleview 4. #32 Shelton Bowers - Ocala 5. #23 Edward Allen- Lecanto 6. # 3 Chris Cross –Crystal River 7. #69 Donald Milam - Ocala 8. #17 Mike Bell - Brooksville 9. #121 Gordon Cade - Ocala 10.#28 Mike Ruff - Homosassa
Street Stock Feature – 50 Laps – 24 Cars
1. # 7 Doc James Batson - Inverness 2. #44 Mike Wilson – Dade City 3. #142 Richie Smith – Hernando 4. #95 Jason Murphree - Homosassa 5. # 8 Michael Stalnaker - Ocala 6. # 4 David Foster - 7. # 3 Curtis Flanagan – Floral City 8. #66 Bobby Taylor – Crystal River 9. #12 Justin Durbin – Candler 10.#15 Don Paugh - Homosassa