KEMPF AND CHANCEY TOP LEGENDS AT FINAL SPEEDWORLD WINTER HEA TS
By Dave Westerman
A good field of cars and some great racing action marked the final Saturday afternoon of Orlando Speedworld’s Winter Heat Series which was run under balmy conditions in front of a nice crowd that included several members of the East Orlando Boys/Cub Scouts and their families.
A nice field of Legend Car Charger drivers took the green for their feature event and it would become an almost repeat performance of the previous week.
Dallas, TX driver Bryce Walker won the heat race then set the pace for the first 18 laps of the main event with Rusty Chancey right on his bumper. But engine woes began to slow Walker and he dropped back before spinning in a cloud of smoke with two laps to go. The problem was later diagnosed as a broken oil fitting. Walker also dropped out while leading the week before.
Chancey took over and raced to his second straight Charger win ahead of Zack Colangelo, Dalton Bergman, Mason Ketterman and Tony Bonavia. Rounding out the finishers were Dave Simile, Don Ketterman, Roger Englund, Jim Gleason, Ted Ruffo, Daniel Conlin, Sr. and Walker.
Despite tipping over during the open week, Dalton Bergman was a picture of consistency and the young Cocoa, FL driver earned the Winter Heat Legend Charger championship trophy.
For the first time during Winter Heat, the top three drivers from the Charger main were given the opportunity to run the regular RaceCeiver Legend Car feature and both Chancey and Colangelo took up the offer.
After winning the heat race, Alex Kempf led all the way in the 25 lap “A” Main but not with out race-long pressure from Shaughn McCormick.
The race was red-flagged however near mid race due to a horrifying crash involving last week’s winner Gary Verdier and Dave Gleason. The two tangled coming off turn four and smashed into the wall. Gleason’s car, minus the entire right front corner slid off into the infield and he emerged OK from his second major crash in as many weeks. Verdier’s car came to an abrupt halt after hitting the wall and it took several minutes before he was able to get out of his destroyed machine.
Verdier continued to have problems after going to the pit area and Orange County Fire Rescue was called and they requested Verdier be airlifted to the hospital as a precaution.
After the race resumed, Kempf drove to a close win over McCormick and Tony Sansom, however Sansom was docked a spot for jumping the restart. That gave the third position to Charger winner Chancey who actually drove back to third place after spinning out of that spot a few laps earlier. Sansom was credited with fourth while Mark Bibeau picked up fifth. Completing the finishers were Canadian Gary Bursey, Colangelo, Rob Pucak, Charlie O’Melia, Verdier and Gleason.
Kempf had two wins during Winter Heat and claimed the RaceCeiver Legends championship.
After winning his first career race in the Bandolero heat, Carl Haag was leading the feature as well until his car broke on lap five. That handed the overall race lead over to Donovan Ponder and he led the rest of the way to claim the win. Ponder also took the Young Guns point championship as well.
Bandit Zach Harris finished second overall and also took the Bandit feature win trophy as well as the Bandit Winter Heat championship.
Finishing behind Harris were James Crowe, Daniel Conlin, Coty Bibeau, Kevin Muglach and Haag.
J.L. Snowden was the third and final leader of the 25 lap Pro Challenge feature and he sped off to a convincing win over Mike Smith, Paul White, Rowdy Gordon, Harvey Johnson, Ryan Rust and Gene Dibble. Snowden also won the heat race.
Despite some late race mechanical problems, Rust earned enough points to claim the Winter Heat Pro Challenge championship.
Rust then made his second start in his newly acquired Sportsman car a winning one as he grabbed the lead from heat winner Dale Clouser and never looked back for his first-ever FASCAR Stock Car win is his Adopt A Marine special.
Clouser came home second ahead of Whitney Poole, Bryan Lynch, Sr., Bryan Lynch, Jr., Bruce McGonigal and the Pro Truck of Steve Baie. Poole’s consistent runs, including a pair of wins, propelled the second-year driver to the Sportsman championship for the Winter Heat Series.
Bobby Riley parlayed his second straight Super Stock win into a Winter Heat championship for the class. Riley won his heat then led every lap of the feature to take the win over John Hodge, Lee Wagner, Justin Reynolds and first heat winner Scott Smith. Rounding out the finishers were David Gould, Andy Nicholls, Todd McCreary, Paul Marguglio, Dale Meade, the Classic Car of Wayne Skinner and Earnest Stickle.
The Strictly Stock/Hurricane finale for Winter Heat saw yet another big field of cars with William Hindman taking the lead on a late restart and winning the race over Rob Reynolds. Reynolds, however, earned enough points to take the Winter Heat championship.
Devon Cuddy placed third in the feature ahead of Glen Rhodes and Brian Cosier with Richard Barrenechea, Michael Poole, Mark Walls, Gary Thomas and Tim Walters, Jr. the remainder of the top ten. Reynolds and Cosier won the heats.
Despite staying home in South Carolina, Kevin O’Brien earned enough points over the three weeks he competed to take the Winter Heat Mini Stock point title.
For the second week in a row, Jared Allison drove to an easy win in the Mini Stock feature over Rex “Boneman” Hollinger, Mark Broat and Emily Cottrell. Allison also claimed the heat race win.
In a race combining several classes, Earl Beckner drove his ASA legal Crate Late Model to the win over the Goodyear Late Model of Phillip Myburgh, Jr. and the Modified of defending track champion Shain Held. Austin Fitzpatrick was also at the track with a sharp-looking new Late Model but did not run the feature after placing second to Beckner in the heat race.
Mad Max Howe topped Jerry Heflin and Jeff Ripley in the Mod Lite feature.
OFFICIAL RESULTS ORLANDO SPEEDWORLD WINTER SERIES JANUARY 12, 2008
1. #54 Zach Harris 2. #9 James Crow 3. #20 Daniel Conlin 4. #65 Cody Beebo 5. #97 Kevin Muglach
BANDOLERO YOUNG GUN
1. #8 Donovan Ponder 2. #48 Carl Haagh
1. #31 Rusty Chancey 2. #7C Zack Colangelo 3. #37 Dalton Bergman 4. #22 Mason Ketterman 5. #33x Tony Bonaira 6. #33 Dave Simile 7. #71 8. #51 Roger Englund 9. #2 Jim Gleason 10. #50 Ted Ruffo 11. #11 Daniel Conlin, Sr. 12. #680 Bryce Walker
CRATE LATE MODEL/LATE MODEL
1. #36 Earl Beckner 2. #24 Phillip Myburgh
1. #40 JL Snowden 2. #33 Mike Smith 3. #25 Paul White 4. #24 Rowdy Gordon 5. #2 Harvey Johnson 6. #18 Ryan Rust 7. #7J Gene Dibble
1. #99 Alex Kempf 2. #34 Shaughn McCormick 3. #31 Rusty Chancey 4. #56 Tony Sansom 5. #65 Mark Beebo 6. #65X Gary Bursey 7. #7C Zach Colangelo 8. #99x Rob Pucak 9. #48 Charlie O'Meila 10. #2 Dave Gleason 11. #69 Gary Verdier
1. #92 Jared Allison 2. #85 Rex Hollinger 3. #6 Mark Broat 4. #19 Emily Cottrell
1. #18 Ryan Rust 2. #30 Dale Clouser 3. #00 Whitney Poole 4. #54 Brian Lynch, Sr. 5. #00jr Brian Lynch, Jr. 6. #6 Bruce McGonigal
1. #26 Steve Baie
1. #03 Wayne Skinner
1. #52 Bobby Riley 2. #00 John Hodge 3. #74 Lee Wagner 4. #77 Justin Reynolds 5. #01 Scott Smith 6. #16 David Gould 7. #66 Andy Nicholls 8. #54 Todd McCreary 9. #32X Paul Marguglio 10. #07 Dale Meade 11. #11 Ernest Stickle
1. #1 Max Howe 2. #23 Jerry Helton 3. #60 John Ripley
1. #89 William Hindman 2. #A1 Rob Reynolds 3. #4 Devon Cuddy 4. #63 Glenn Rhodes 5. #35 Brian Cosier 6. #20x Richard Barrenechea 7. #77 Michael Poole 8. #6 Mark Walls 9. #76 Gary Thomas 10. #29 Tim Walters, Jr. 11. #32 Jim Erb 12. #24 Brenda Taylor 13. #-7 JR 14. #12 Chris Meade 15. #15 Roger Reynolds