The Checked Flag Sprint Series (CFSS) was at Charlotte County Motorsports Park on Saturday December 6 for their final race of the 2008 season. Going into the race weekend, only 19 points separated the first and third place drivers in the race for the Championship. Sixteen cars signed in for the event.
There were eight cars in the first heat. The current point leader and the car sitting in third place in the points, Keith Butler in the number 19 car and Gary Gimmler in the number 29 car started side by side in 5th and 6th position. Billy Boyd Jr had the pole for the start of the heat race.
A very exciting first lap saw the cars running three wide coming through turn four, with Keith Butler claiming the race lead in that battle and going on to win the heat. The 11X driven by Bryan Riddle sat on the pole for the start of the second heat. The 79 car of David Slawiak that was in second place in the Championship points started the heat in fourth place. On lap one, Mark Gimmler in the 51 car came from his third place starting position to take the lead and hold that position to take the heat win.
The cars were pushed out onto the front straight during intermission in preparation for the start of the Eagle Jet International feature race. Before the race, Bobby Diehl and Don Rehm signed the contract for 11 CFSS races at Charlotte County Motorsports Park in the 2009 season. The cars were then pushed off for not only the start of the final race of the season but also a race against the approaching rain band, forcing them to waive off the 4 wide parade lap and get straight to racing.
Tim George in the number 1 car had the pole for the start of the feature race alongside Bryan Riddle in the11X. Amanda Ferguson in the 11X car was supposed to start on the front row outside, but the car developed an oil leak during hot laps and pulled off into the infield before the green flag. As the cars took the green flag, it was Bryan Riddle in the 11X that took the race lead. On lap three, the 79 car driven by David Slawiak made contact with the 79DD of Dakotah Stephens, resulting in the 79DD spinning out on the back straightaway and bringing out the only caution of the race.
The 79 was able to keep running, meaning that only the 79 DD needed to go to the rear of the field for the restart. The 11X was able to hold on to the lead for the restart but only for one lap, and was passed on lap 4 by David Slawiak in the79 car to take the lead. David needed to finish the race 5 places ahead of Keith Butler in the number 19 car in order to take the Championship.
As the race progressed, Keith began to make his way through the field from his 9th place starting position until he was running in second place, getting within about two car lengths behind the 79, where he was content to stay and take second place in the feature race rather than take a chance and lose the Championship.
David Slawiak took the race win followed by Keith Butler in the 19 car, Mark Gimmler in the 51 car , Scott Adema in the 22 car. Gary Gimmler rounded out the top 5 in his 29 car. The Real Racin USA Hard Charger Award was won by Keith Butler in the 19 car who went from 9th to 2nd place in the race.
The 2008 CFSS Driver and Owner Champion is Keith Butler. Join us next year to see if he can make it two in a row or whether another driver can take it away!
Happy Holidays from all the staff, drivers, owners and crews of the CFSS.
Checkered Flag Sprint Series Charlotte County Motorsports Park, December 6, 2008
Heat #1 1) 19 Keith Butler (Riverview, FL) 2) 22 Scott Adema (Ft. Myers, FL) 3) 29 Gary Gimmler (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) 4) 56D Jeff VanDusen (Englewood, FL) 5) 79DD Dakotah Stephens (Brandon, FL) 6) 21A Amanda Ferguson (Montverde, FL) 7) 15 Billy Boyd Jr. (Gibsanton, FL) 8) 10N Shawn Namor (Deerfield Beach, FL)
Heat #2 1) 51 Mark Gimmler (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) 2) 11X Bryan Riddle (Thonosassa, FL) 3) 1 Tim George (Venice, FL) 4) 2 Dustin Henderson (St Cloud, FL) 5) 79 David Slawiak (Brandon, FL) 6) 7 Robert Parrow (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 7) 11 Tom Selhorst (Clearwater, FL) 8) 3 Travis Bliemeister (Nokmis, FL)
Eagle Jet International Feature 1) 79 David Slawiak; 2) 19 Keith Butler; 3) 51 Mark Gimmler; 4) 22 Scott Adema; 5) 29 Gary Gimmler; 6) 56D Jeff VanDusen; 7) 79DD Dakotah Stephens; 8) 11X Bryan Riddle; 9) 10N Shawn Namor; 10) 15 Billy Boyd Jr.; 11) 1 Tim George; 12) 2 Dustin Henderson; 13) 7 Robert Parrow; 14) 3 Travis Bliemesiter; 15) 11 Tom Selhorst