Latest Race Reports
Tyler Laing Dominates Charity Truckers 200 at Orlando SpeedWorld
|b>by Dave Westerman
Despite a scheduling change due to weather, the 4th Annual Charity Truckers 200 proved to be a big success with quite a showcase performance by young driver Tyler Laing.
The event, co-sponsored by Fountain Motorsports Driver Development and Biscayne Roofing, benefited three familes this year. The Whaley family was in attendance along with the family of 12 year old Keith Purvis who gave the command to start engines. Joey Sciacca and his family were unable to be at the race as the young man is currently in the hospital battling for his life following a bone marrow transplant.
Laing got things started off on a very cold Saturday evening by setting quick time of 14.844 seconds while second quick Michael Pilla tripped the clock second fast at 14.961 with Steven Darvalics, Anthony Sergi and Nick Hernandez rounding out the top five in time trials. Laing picked up an extra $100 from MJS Concrete for setting the fast lap.
The re-draw among the top qualifiers saw Norm Agostinho pick the pole position with Lance Daubach getting the outside pole slot. Laing started the 200 lapper in fourth.
After pre-race ceremonies, the race got going under overcast but comfortable weather conditions Sunday afternoon. Pole sitter Agostinho immediately started having some handling issues and got tapped into a spin on the back stretch. Despite riding along the wall a considerable distance, Agostinho's truck had nothing more than a flat tire and some body damage. He was able to re-enter the race before the restart.
As the race finally got going, it was Nick Hernandez moving to the point with Daubach and Laing shadowing his every move. The race ran under green to lap 23 before Agostinho tangled with Bobby Owens to bring out the first caution of the race. Both were able to continue.
Laing was now on the charge and a great battle began to race between Hernandez and Laing before Laing was able to assert himself at the point. Charlie Montgomery tried to follow Laing but Hernandez shut the door and the two tangled bringing out the yellow flag and sending both to the rear of the restart line-up.
Laing quickly built up a big advantage and was opening up a full straightaway lead before Jerry Maxon's truck erupted in flames coming down the front stretch on lap 46. Maxon drove his machine into the infield off turn one and the fire was quickly extinguished although he was now out of the race.
Laing continued to lead at will under green and was not slowed again until lap 73 when the caution was displayed to get Michael Pilla's smoking truck off the racing surface. On the restart, Whitney Poole's machine stalled in turn three to keep the yellow out awhile longer.
Steven Darvalics had now moved to second but it was clear he did not have the speed to catch Laing. Hernandez and Chris Huntoon tangled on the front stretch on lap 91 for the fifth caution. With the race nearing the 100 lap half-way break and already under yellow, the trucks were stopped at lap 97 to allow crews to re-fuel, change two tires and make minor adjustments. The order at mid-race found Laing leading Darvalics, Daubach, Brent Huber, Anthony Sergi, J.R. Garcia, Chad Pierce, Doug Samion and Tim Sozio.
The second 100 laps were very tame and totally dominated by Laing. Caution flew on lap 129 for a tangle between Agostinho and Samion. Bobby Owens spun on the restart to keep the yellow out.
From that point there was plenty of green flag racing with Laing having no trouble out front. Daubach passed Darvalics for second on lap 171 but his truck was now starting to trail smoke and it was clear he was dropping fluid on the track which eventually led to a spin by Sergi and a caution flag on lap 179. Daubach retired from the race while Sergi was given his spot back in the restart line-up.
A lap 186 spin by Agostinho for the final caution was the only thing to slow Laing's pace as he sped to an easy victory. The young driver was very calm in the winner's circle thanking all of his sponsors and especially his mom and dad.
Darvalics, last years winner, was second trailed by a very happy Huber who took third spot. Sergi held on for fourth while Chad Pierce claimed fifth. Hernandez battled back for sixth with Chris Huntoon, Doug Samion (who started dead last), J.R. Garcia and Mike Powers rounding out the top ten.
Tim Sozio, Agostinho, Scott Reeves, Derrick Reeves, Daubach, Owens, Andy Leserra, Whitney Poole, Michael Pilla, Charlie Montgomery, Zachary Curtis, Jerry Maxon and Blake Koch completed the finishing field.
After setting fast time, Gerald White, Jr. led all 30 laps of the Legend Car feature although he was hounded all the way by Darin Coker. Ted Ruffo was unhurt after a hard crash early in the race that knocked the right front wheel and tire off his racer.
White claimed the win over Coker and Devin McLeod. Alex Kempf was fourth and Mason Ketterman fifth. Rounding out the finishers were Dave Gleason, Rick Wetmore, Eric Eichelberger, Critter Saile, John Inman, Tim Walters, Jr., Carl Haag, Roger Englund, Jim Rix and Ruffo.
The Champ Karts put on an outstanding race for 25 laps with plenty of drafting and lead changes before Tim Simmons took the point on the final lap to score the victory in tight formation over Chase Fitzgerald, Dustin Chisholm, P.J. Letourneau and Saturday night winner Tara Henderson. Caralyn Brown, Darren Coker, Ronald Letourneau, Joey Coxum and Eric Garex completed the top ten with Billy Smith, Paul Letourneau, Phil Harp, Ryan Walters, Scott Hailey, Dennis Mace, Kenner Brown III, Mitch Stevens and David Harp the remaining finishers.
Winner Simmons and Friday winner Henderson both donated $80 of their winnings back to the families while the Champ Kart club donated a total of $245 back.
Danielle Stratton won the Bandolero feature ahead of Shawn Hooven, Cameron White and Mark Hooven.
On Saturday night, New Smyrna Speedway regular Scott Smith won the Super Stock feature then donated all his winnings to the families. The top four Strictly Stock finishers were disqualified handing the win to the Ford Probe of Neal Kirby who also donated half his winnings to the families.
A nice group of vintage racers from the Daytona Antique Auto Racing Association were also on hand to run some exhibitions Friday night. Bill McPeek and Ron Hess stayed over on Sunday and displayed their vintage Modified cars behind the grandstands.
Saturday's Race Report 12/04/09
The Charity Truckers weekend kicked off on Saturday night at Orlando Speedway by putting the bad weather behind it and ending the track’s season on a high note with plenty of racing action and a great variety of cars and divisions on show for the fans in the stands.
Despite the horrendous rain that had blighted the Orlando area for the preceding few days the track was in perfect condition for the night’s racing, and the weekend’s events were led off by the always-popular DAARA antique racecars. First up came a couple of antique sprint cars that perfectly demonstrated the advances made in car design over the year by representing two different eras of race-cars, with the newer #9 of Dave Jarrett finishing well ahead in what soon turned into an exhibition race.
Much more action in the next race as the 6 cylinder and flathead cars made their way out onto the track. It didn’t take long for the action to heat up as the #98 of J.T. Dunn lost control coming down the front straight, spinning out onto the wet grass of the infield in turn 1. With little or no control over the car he slid at speed across the turf missing the two large metal dumpsters in the middle of the track by inches before regaining control in time to plow through a large puddle, sending plumes of muddy water up into the air from his rear tires before rejoining the track having thankfully avoided a considerable repair job. The tire marks still visible on the infield the next day showed just how narrowly Dunn had avoided a costly disaster!
The race soon restarted and settled down into a shoot-out between the #96 of Gordie Wood and the #A1 of Shirley Morden who ran for several laps side-by-side in a battle for the lead. As the laps counted down the leaders began to hit lapped traffic and the #98 of Dunn was again at the center of the action as he found himself in the middle of the track as the leaders attempted to pass him. Hooking wheels with the #96 high in turn 3 it was Dunn who came off worse as his car bounced up into the air and crashed back down with enough force to damage his rear axle, leaving him needing a tow off the track. Thankfully both of the lead cars were able to resume their battle once the wreckers had left the scene, and they raced to a thrilling conclusion with Morden’s #A1 taking the checkered flag by inches after making a last ditch dive for the lead coming off turn 4.
The final race for the DAARA cars saw a fine group of antique racers take to the track for another battle that saw #71 Bill Wendt and #93 Frank Lenhart battling for the lead throughout the race. Yet again these cars of yesteryear proved good value for the fans as their race again went down to the final lap, this time with Lenhart just holding off Wendt’s vintage green Camaro on the line in a photo-finish.
From the big, vintage lumps of iron that had started the show the action moved on to vehicles at the other end of the racing spectrum as a field of 30 Champ Karts made their way onto the track. Spectators who’d made their way to the track early enough to see the heat races for this division knew that the fans were in for a treat, and so it proved as the tiny karts put on quite a show in their first feature of the weekend. With a racing style and set of tactics all of their own, the karts soon broke up into smaller groups, seeing #44 Tara Henderson making the early break into the lead, but soon watching helplessly as a group of karts, all lined up in a long draft to give them extra speed, sailed past and relegated her to 6th place.
The first caution of the race came with 8 laps down after hard contact at the rear of the field left #79 Vincent Crawford needing attention from the track staff before being allowed to leave for the pits, but the stoppage on the track just allowed the fans and track staff alike to look across and watch the launch of a Delta rocket heading up into the darkness to deliver its payload into orbit!
The restart saw #16 Paul Letourneau get out to the front of the lead group and hold his place despite the karts beginning to jostle for position, going 3 or even 4 wide around the track as they looked for willing colleagues to form a draft with. Letourneau was able to hold his lead all the way up to the white flag signaling the last lap of the race. At this point the race became an all-out sprint for the finish, and the crowd were on their feet as the lead cars spread all across the track, allowing #44 Henderson to take the lead entering turn 1 and hold on in a mad dash for the checkered flag with the 2nd placed #73 Chad Dokken.
A more familiar sight for the fans as the Super Stocks took to the track next for another 50 lapper, bringing with them a good mix of both Orlando and New Smyrna regulars, including plenty of the front-running cars from this season at both tracks. Right from the start the red #16D of David Gould was out in front, but behind him the #56 of Bobby Holley and the #16 of David Russell were making early moves to get past the slower cars. This group were soon joined by the #01 of Scott Smith before the first caution of the night came out for a spin by #54 Bobby Cuddy, out on the track in a new car that must surely be getting sprayed with the trademark orange Team Cuddy paintjob in the off-season. Cuddy would immediately retire with mechanical issues and the green flag soon waved to restart the race, putting Gould and Holley together up front, running door-to-door for several laps before Holley was able to pull clear leaving Gould to worry about Smith closing him down quickly in his rear-view mirror.
Smith was now all over the back of Gould as Holley pulled away at the front, and was able to use the back-markers to make a move as he blocked Gould behind the #316 of Joe Bandur, leaving Gould no choice but to back off and allow Smith to pull past on the outside and move away. The caution flag was soon out again after an excursion onto the infield grass by #21 Mike Dahm demonstrated why wet grass and slick tires are not a good combination, Dahm eventually making his was back onto the track thanks to a hefty shove from several of the track staff. The restarted race lasted just two laps as the two leaders, long-time division rivals over at New Smyrna, let their racing get a little too close with contact by Smith to the rear of Holley’s car coming out of turn 2 seeing the #56 spin out, sending both cars to the rear of the field for the next restart.
These antics meant that Gould was back up at the front of the race now, with just the length of a regular feature race left to run. Gould was quickly pulling away a lead as Holley and Smith began the task of working their way back through the field, but his evening was soon to end – entering turn 3 a major mechanical issue saw smoke begin to billow from the exhaust pipe down the side of the #16D, covering the entire track in a shroud of smoke, and seeing Gould’s race over for the night.
That left the rest of the race a straight-out duel between Holley and Smith, and both drivers took their turn at the front, but neither was able to get a definitive lead over the other. Another caution for a spinout by the erratic #388, narrowly avoided by the two leaders who were lapping him at the time, put the two fastest cars back together for one last green flag run, and this time Smith was able to get ahead and stay ahead, despite Holley trying everything he could and pushing hard enough to get out of shape plenty of times in the turns. Smith would take the checkered flag ahead of Holley, with the #388 ending the race in style by spinning out to cross the finish line and see the rest of the cars end their race in a big cloud of tire smoke.
Just one more race to go and it was the turn of the Strictly Stocks to take the track, again mixing up the Orlando regulars with several of the cars only usually seen over at New Smyrna. From the off it was one of the Orlando specialists, #8 Neil Kirby, who leapt away into the lead, with William Hindman’s #89x and Chuck Hill’s #95 leading the chasing group behind him. Hill would soon make it past Hindman, running his car back in the Strictly Stock division after recently taking it into both Super Stock and even Enduro division, and would begin to reel in Kirby’s Ford Probe, getting past him to take possession of the lead with 10 laps gone.
A caution for a spin out in turn 3 that resulted from contact between #0 Bill Loomis and #21 Maureen Dahm bunched the cars back together and saw Kirby the big loser at the restart as both Hill and Hindman muscled their way to the front and the #8 dropped all the way back to 6th place. The leaders would soon be joined by #60 Darren Gould who wasted no time in catching and passing Hindman to begin his pursuit of Hill. Hindman would soon find the Camaro of Loomis on his tail, giving a second battle for the spectators to keep an eye on as the race progressed.
The lead group was now settled and they began to rattle off laps with small gains and losses on each trip around the track but with no-one getting close enough to make a move. The checkered flag would be taken by Hill ahead of Gould, Loomis and Hindman, although the ultimate winner would turn out to be Kirby, who proved to be the first car to pass the post-race tech inspection despite finishing 5th out on the track.
And so the first night of the Charity Truckers weekend ended, just a day overdue, with plenty of good racing out on the track, and the prospect of a great truck race on its way for the fans who would make the rare Sunday afternoon trip back out to Orlando Speedworld the following day.
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Orlando Weekly Recap
|by Andy Sandall - FASCAR Media
A perfect evening for racing saw a small but appreciative crowd in the stands to see the final act of an eventful 2009 Championship Season that had seen to biggest winner being Mother Nature after the summer’s heavy rainfall had effectively split the year’s racing in two. With several of the division championships still up for grabs there was plenty to race for, be it the championship itself or just the opportunity to serve notice of intent to challenge in what will hopefully be a coming 2010 season with less interruptions and rain-outs.
A good car count contributed to a fine night’s racing, and the end of season atmosphere saw some interesting additions to the fields of some divisions. William Hindman ended his Orlando season by putting a set of slick tires on the #89x that regularly runs in the Strictly Stock races to see how it would fare with the big-boys of the Super Stock division. In the tight Mini-stock division there was also a rare appearance by Late Model driver Michael Seay who literally blew the cobwebs off his rarely seen Ford mini-stock, sporting a rear spoiler that looked like he’d borrowed the take-off ramp from a US Navy aircraft carrier, to put in a creditable performance in a tense, championship-deciding race.
As always the evening started off with the combined Bandolero race, and this fittingly ended with the #17 of Mark Hooven taking the checkered flag ahead of the #54 of Tanner Cornwell, a result that confirmed the two drivers as champions of the ‘Young Gun’ and ‘Bandolero Bandit’ divisions respectively.
Qualifying for the night’s main event, the Super Stock 50 sponsored by Mannheim Central Florida, came before the racing proper began, and this was enough to provide some of the intrigue and controversy that was to follow later as the drivers jostled for grid position in this highly competitive division. With qualifying, the parade lap and national anthem out of the way the first feature race of the evening was soon upon us as the Legends Cars made their way out onto the track.
Despite the #99 of Alex Kempf having seemingly visited the winner’s circle in every race this year his championship lead was just 20 points over #54 Zach Harris, who had done a great job in securing second place in most of the races to never let Kempf get too far ahead. Starting back on the 3rdthst turn. Despair turned to hope as a glance around the track showed the #99 had met a similar fate, and having made it around the first corner was now cruising down the back straightaway, rolling to a halt going into turn 3. Both cars managed to get a push back to the pits and were able to take the green flag but again the #54 car failed to respond and retired to effectively end Harris’s bid for the title as Kempf sailed away through the pack and up into 3rd. and 4 row respectively the two points leaders were soon in the middle of the action and giving an indication of the race to come as Kempf turned Harris from the start, bringing everyone back to try again. A second attempt met with more success but with just one lap completed the #54 lost power as he tried to accelerate through the start line, grinding to a halt on the bandolero track in the 1
With the championship now in the bag, Kempf and his silver #99 were still at the center of the action – and the controversy – as the race played itself out to a conclusion for the season. Maybe it was the number on the car he was chasing down that inspired him to race so hard, but as Kempf closed in on the leading #54B of Brandon Thomson he made hard contact and turned the race leader going into turn 4, spinning him out. Obviously unhappy with what he saw as a deliberate move, the #54B raced around to hit Kempf hard in the door under the caution, only succeeding in pushing the #99 straight into the hapless #4 car that was going low on the track to avoid the fracas – a car that was ironically being driven by Russ Thomson, the father of #54B’s driver! The impact saw #4 rise up over the wheel arches of #99 and land so hard it needed a tow off the track, its racing finished for the season, while both the #54B and #99 would play no further part in the race, Thomson being DQ’d for the deliberate hit and Kempf being black flagged for his part in the incident.
With the mess on the track sorted out and the culprits back in the pits the race ran to its conclusion with the #12 of Critter Saille getting out at the front and never looking back, although if he had he would have seen a good battle in his mirrors between the chasing cars. Saille would take the checkered flag with a handy lead over the pack, with the #06 of Rick Wetmore pulling away in the closing laps to take 2nd and secure 3rd place in the points championship.
The Sportsman cars were next up in the packed program for the evening, This race saw some of the hardest driving of the night, with the #61 of Bobby Simcox receiving a warning midway through the race to tone his driving down a little or risk a black flag, but not before the crowd had been treated to some bumper-to-bumper and door-scraping action as the evenly matched lead group of cars put on a show. With all the cars seemingly struggling for grip the racing was close, and saw Simcox, #4 Timmy Todd Jr and #20 Justin Reynolds running each other hard and pushing the limits of the traction that was available. And so it was that an inevitable caution flag came out when Reynolds pushed just too hard on an attempted overtake of Simcox, resulting in the #20 spinning out and being sent to the back.
With the cars bunched back up for the restart Todd was left trying to get past the #20S of Ron DiCandio to reclaim a place, but an attempted slide up the inside going into turn 3 saw both cars hook together and drive each other onto the infield before separating and bringing out the yellow flag. DiCandio was able to restart, albeit with massive damage to his bodywork, while Todd was able to rejoin the race after a quick trip to the pits to replace a damaged tire. The green flag saw Simcox and the #66 of track champion Andy Nicholls away at the front and racing hard, and although Nicholls was able to apply plenty of pressure on the remaining laps, his attempts to finish his season with a win were denied by Simcox’s blocks. The #61 was able to cross the finish line to take the win with the #66 finally settling for a well-earned 2nd place.
The tightest championship race of the season was without doubt in the Mini-stock division, with last week’s race putting the #31 of David Russell and the #92 of Pedie Allison level on points and leaving them with a single, winner-takes-all shootout race to decide who would be the track champion. The potential spoiler for the race came in the shape of Rex ‘Boneman’ Hollinger, who both points leaders needed to get around once he was confirmed as the pole-sitter for the race, and who had proven in recent races had the pace in his #85 car to take the checkered flag himself. From the green flag the Boneman showed he would be no pushover and that the cars behind him would have to earn their points if they wanted to take home a trophy, with the #85 getting out to small lead ahead of Russell’s #31 before a spin-out at the rear brought the pace car out to bunch the cars back up. An aborted attempt at a restart was followed by a green flag that saw Russell taking the outside line and slowly pulling his way past Hollinger into the lead, with the #92 of Allison pushing hard from behind.
As the race developed it was Allison who began to see his championship dreams fading as he struggled to find the pace to overtake the #85, but knowing that both cars were keeping pace with Russell’s #31 at the front and that his lead was far from unassailable. As the laps began to count down Allison pushed harder and harder, before one last attempt to dive down the outside of Hollinger saw him get out of shape down the front straight and drop back far enough to know his championship ambitions were over. The #85 began to claw back the lead of #31 in the closing laps, getting his nose alongside the rear quarter of his rival in the race for the checkered flag, but Russell was not to be denied and took the division championship with a measured, tactical drive in the final race of the year.
A small field of Late Models came out for their season’s finale, seeing a good 4-car race up at the front to end the year for this division. The early action saw the #111 of Donny Williams and the #55 of Todd Allen racing for the lead, with the #19 of Bobby Good and the #4B of Alan Bruns having their own battle for 3rd. It was this secondary battle that provided the first incident of the race as contact between Bruns and Good saw the #19 spin out down the front straight, skid across the infield grass and come to rest just inside the 1st turn. These four cars continued to race hard in their last outing at Orlando of the year, seeing Allen leading from the front and Good slowly working his way past Bruns and Williams into 2nd place, getting right onto his rear bumper by the 5-to-go signal. As is often the case it was left to the lapped traffic to have one final say in the result, and so it was with this race as the leaders came across a slower car with 3 laps to go. Facing one last back-marker to deal with, Allen managed to get past with no problems, but Good lost just enough time in getting past to allow the #55 to take the win by a couple of car lengths, confirming his 2nd place in the division championship behind Bruns.
One more race before the interval and this saw the Pro-Trucks out on the track for a short blast sandwiched between last week’s 100-lapper at New Smyrna Speedway and the upcoming 200 lap Charity Truckers race at Orlando. The early running was made by the #63 of Zach Curtis, with the #20 of Anthony Sergi coming strongly through the pack to race hard with the #00 of Whitney Poole and take the 2nd spot. Sergi was soon pushing for the lead, and saw his chance to move inside and take the front spot coming around turn 1, making contact with the #63 as they powered out of turn 2. This contact obviously dislodged something in the engine compartment of the #63 as flames suddenly leapt from under the hood of the overtaken truck, seeing Curtis scrambling for safety as the fire crew raced to the scene. Curtis was OK, and the race was able to resume after a lengthy caution period to clear up the fluids dropped onto the track in the fire.
From the restart the #20 pulled away, followed by the #96 of Ben Kennedy and the #37 of Nick Hernandez, and with 10 laps to go it was Kennedy right on the rear bumper of Sergi at the front of the race, with Poole’s #00 racing hard with #55 of Scott Reeves in the middle of the pack to add to the excitement for the fans. This fight for 5th place erupted when the #55 touched the wall down the back straight, pushing his car into Poole and leaving her no option but to straight-line across the bandolero track in turn 3, taking out the unfortunate #18 of Jason Rosarius as she scooted across and back up onto the track. All the trucks involved were able to continue, and the race played out with Kennedy chasing Sergi hard up at the front, but being unable to make a move stick and leaving Sergi to take the win by a couple of car lengths.
The interval gave the fans a chance to stretch their legs and get themselves refreshments ready for the drama that was to follow in the Super Stock 50 immediately after the break. With the qualifying complete and a complete field invert announced, fans were surprised to see the #52 of points leader Billy Cuddy still at the front of the field, having put in a couple of qualifying laps that were well off the pace of the rest of the cars, and particularly compared to the cars he usually runs with at the front. Regardless of whether this was a deliberate tactical interpretation of the rules or not, it really made little difference as the race would ultimately see the cream of the division soon racing at the front for the vast majority of the laps, and the final results being decided as much in the tech shed as they were out on the track.
With the #52 up at the front and the field inverted it took little time for the faster cars to carve their way through the field, and by the first caution of the race it was championship rivals Billy Cuddy and the #16D of David Gould up on the front row, with the #211 of Jarrett Korpi and #64 of Bobby Cuddy already up close behind them. The restart saw the #51 of Butch Herdegen and the #01 of Scott Smith joining the party up at the front, and further cautions in quick succession saw the lead group of cars all pushed together to battle at the restarts while the #316 of Joe Bandur was black-flagged and sent to the pits for being the cause of 3 cautions in quick succession.
Plenty of racing to go, and with Billy and Bobby Cuddy making up the front row it was left to Korpi to work his way past the #64 and start to claw into the lead of the #52. With the half-distance flags displayed the lead group of five cars were battling hard up at the front, and with lapped traffic beginning to get in their sights it was obvious that the race was moving into a key period. And so it turned out, as the #211 went around a lapped car but with the #64 trying to steal a march by going underneath and using the bandolero track as way to reclaim a place. This attempted move saw the #64 spin out and bring out a caution that put the #211 and #52 up on the front row for the restart. With the green flag waving it was Billy Cuddy who pulled away, leaving Korpi chasing hard but watching his mirror for Herdegen and Gould who were both chasing him down hard and looking for any opportunity to get past. Gould’s evening, and season at Orlando, would soon be over as with 15 laps to go his #16D began to smoke from the engine down the back straight, taking himself and Bobby Cuddy into the wall in turn 4 and picking up a couple of lapped cars for good measure. Both Cuddy and Gould were able to get back onto the track after quick repairs, but an overheating engine meant Gould’s night was finished and he was quickly back in the pits and loading his car on his trailer.
Just 15 laps left and again the #52 of Billy Cuddy was able to get away from the restart and leave the chasing pack in his wake, with the action now right behind him in the form of Herdegen and Korpi battling for 2nd place, and with Smith and the crafty veteran Ron McCreary in the #14 having avoided trouble and slowly moved up into contention should the front-runners get into difficulty. Cuddy continued to lead, but made the race much more interesting when he lost grip coming out of turn 4 with 5 laps to go, getting out of shape and catching his car before it went around, but giving the chasing pack an opportunity to regain some ground on him.
As the race entered its final two laps it really was everything to play for, and it was here that Billy Cuddy produced the maneuver of the night – knowing Korpi was looking down his inside and with Herdegen pushing hard from behind, Cuddy took his line coming out of turn 2 to pull alongside a lapped car, leaving Korpi no choice but to back off the gas and lose revs and momentum. The genius of the move was for Cuddy to also blip his throttle just enough to force Herdegen behind him to do the same as they came alongside the lapped #23, and effectively create his own restart for the last lap and a half. With their momentum gone and a lapped car blocking the inside line for him, Cuddy was able to blast away and leave his rivals behind, taking the checkered flag and leaving Korpi to beat Herdegen in a straight drag race for the line to take 2nd place.
As always, the night wasn’t over for the Super Stock cars and a lengthy tear-down and tech inspection ensued, which ultimately confirmed Billy Cuddy as the winner of both the race and the points championship for the year. Things didn’t go as well for the #211 of Korpi as he was disqualified to give Herdegen the 2nd place, and pushing Scott Smith and Ron McCreary, who had both provided plenty of entertainment during the race, into the 3rd and 4th places.
Still two classes to go before the Orlando season came to an end, and so next out on track were the Open Wheel Modifieds. Just taking the green flag was enough to confirm #30 Mark Emberson as the division champion, and he was soon pushing for the lead right from the start by overtaking the #4B of Alan Bruns. With regular driver Chad Pierce unable to drive due to a hand injury, the #38 car was handed over to SLM points leader Jared Allison, and he was soon able to show the car’s speed by racing through the field and getting up into 2nd place, chasing down the #55 of Shain Held that had led from pole position. Taking the 5 laps to go signal inspired Allison to try the high line and see if that gave him the pace to challenge for the lead, and this proved a wise move as he pulled alongside Held, making contact in turns 1 and 2 before getting open track in front of him to bring the #38 car back to it’s regular place in victory lane, with Held in 2nd and Emberson underlining his championship with a 3rd place ahead of Bruns.
Just the Strictly Stocks left, and as always they provided more than enough entertainment for the crowd who stayed on to watch them race. With the whole race taking place in a shroud of smoke provided by the constantly rubbing rear tire of #19 Ricky Solomon Jr, it was the #8 of Neil Kirby who was able to get his Ford Probe out to the front and make the early running, although the real action was taking place at the back of the field as William Hindman’s #89 Lincoln began to reel in the slower cars, and the #6.7 of Todd McCreary expertly picked his way through the pack, using every inch of the track to make his overtakes. Once Hindman and McCreary got alongside each other the fun really began, with both cars looking for a way around the #93 of Bruce Gayton. Hindman was the first to profit as Gayton moved low to block McCreary, leaving the outside line open to the #89. Gayton would soon bring out the caution flags for turning the #24 of Tony Bandur, bunching up the pack and putting the battling McCreary and Hindman up at the front of the field with Kirby.
A door-to-door battle saw McCreary getting the advantage by going three-wide into turn 3 and moving into 2nd place with Kirby well and truly in his sights. Now there was a real chance that the final race of the year at Orlando Speedworld could go down as a classic, but with just two laps to go Kirby’s #8 lost grip in turn 2, span out, and left McCreary with nowhere to go, taking both cars up the bank and to the wall. Kirby managed to get clear, but before the #6.7 could restart he was rear-ended by Hindman, sending McCreary back to the pits for a quick repair and leaving Hindman out of the race despite his desperate attempts to prove that he could complete the race even with his hood popped up and totally blocking his windshield. The track officials weren’t convinced, and Hindman was ushered into the pits and wouldn’t return. The crash put the leaders to the rear for the end of the race, which allowed the #9 of Chris Brannon to take advantage and claim a win over the #93 of Gayton with a last lap pass for the checkered flag.
NOVEMBER 13, 2009
SUPER STOCK 50
presented by Manheim Central Florida
1. #52 Billy Cuddy
2. #211 Jarrett Korpi
3. #51 Butch Herdegen
4. #01 Scott Smith
5. #14 Ron McCreary
6. #721 John Bennett
7. #57 Woody Strickland
8. #64 Bobby Cuddy
9. #23 Shannon Kelly
10. #7i Scott Edwards
11. #16 David Gould
12. #14x Geno Smith
13. #89 Tim Gallucci
14. #16x David Russell
15. #89x William Hindman
16. #316 Joe Bandur
1. #55 Todd Allen
2. #19 Bobby Good
3. #111 Donny Williams
4. #4B Alan Bruns
5. #7 Dillon Jackson
6. #1 Zach Harris
OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS
1. #38 Jared Allison
2. #55 Shain Held
3. #30 Mark Emberson
4. #4B Alan Bruns
5. #72 Matthew Jarrett
6. #8 Randy Froehlich
7. #59 Chris Brannon
8. #97 Kelly Jarrett
9. #05 Mike Murphy
TAYLOR RACING PRODUCTS PRO-TRUCKS
1. #20 Anthony Sergi
2. #96 Ben Kennedy
3. #37 Nick Hernandez
4. #00 Whitney Poole
5. #55 Scott Reeves
6. #18x Jason Rosarius
7. #57 David Groah
8. #407 Norman Agostino
9. #63 Zach Curtis
1. #61 Bobby Simcox
2. #66 Andy Nicholls
3. #49 Jason Foster
4. #57 Eddie Furtak
5. #20s Ron DiCandio
6. #4 Timmy Todd Jr
7. #44 Ed Michalak
8. #20 Justin Reynolds
9. #14 Billy Bellflower
1. #31 David Russell
2. #85 Rex Hollinger
3. #92 Pedie Allison
4. #15 Casey Loeffler
5. #10 Michael Seay
6. #77 Randy Blakeslee
1. #12 Critter Saille
2. #06 Rick Whetmore
3. #17 Dave Gleason
4. #71 Mason Ketterman
5. #50 Ted Ruffo
6. #51 Roger Englund
7. #6 Jim Rix
8. #99 Alex Kempf
9. #4 Russ Thomson
10. #54 Zach Harris
DQ #54B Brandon Thomson
1. #9 Chris Brannon
2. #93 Bruce Gayton
3. #00 Steve Daniels
4. #8 Neil Kirby
5. #19 Ricky Solomon Jr
6. #6.7 Todd McCreary
7. #37 Art Hendren
8. #8x Luis Guillen Jr
9. #24 Tony Bandur
10. #89 William Hindman
1. #54 Tanner Cornwell
2. #2 Jonnie Varga
3. #30 Noah Cornman
4. #55 Michael Held
BANDOLERO YOUNG GUNS
1. #17 Mark Hooven
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