FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Citrus Opens 52nd Season with a Big Bang
(Inverness, Fl. 2/3/07) Citrus County Speedway race car drivers braved some mighty cold weather and showed they were ready to get back to racing with an overflow pit area to include 8 local divisions and one visiting traveling series kicking off the 2007 points racing season. Only the true racing fan was willing to take on the cold weather with temperatures in the 50’s and a chilly wind coming out of the north making it feel colder.
One hundred eighty eight regular division drivers packed the pits with an additional 8 cars and drivers in the Outlaw Mini Modifieds division causing some drivers to turn around and go home because there was no room in the pits to park. That is the largest field ever to compete in the 52 year history of this 3/8ths mile venue. Experienced and inexperienced drivers had their division to compete in with new divisions set up to accommodate the pros and the rookies. The only regular division that didn’t run Saturday night was the Super Late Models that won’t see their first point’s race until April 7th.
Open Wheel Modifieds took center stage with 19 cars taking the green flag in their 30 lap main. Teddy Nelson won the drag race to turn one and set the pace from flag to flag with quite a few caution flags closing the ranks on restarts. Billy Bechtelheimer started 6th and put the heat on Nelson right to the checkers for a second place finish. Pole Sitter Harold Cannon logged a heat win and held out for third followed by Stephen Harbuck and Curtis Neumann coming from 16th to nail a solid fifth place finish. Defending Champion Kyle Bookmiller opened his 2007 season with a heat win and a 11th place finish in the feature after getting turned around on his way towards the front.
Limited Sportsmen opened the season with 21 contenders and wound up with the winner being decided in post race inspection. It was a 20 lap battle to the flag with the front row starters forced out in crashes leaving the door open for third starter Scott Hendrickson to take the lead and setting the pace until new comer Clint Foley made the pass and took the flag for the win. He was found illegal in his new Sportsman ride and Hendrickson inherited the first win of the season over 12th starter Fred Tuski, 4th starter Mike Veltman and 11th starter and first time Citrus racer Scott Wilkerson. Maloy Kelly and Wilkerson shared the heat wins.
Only the division name has been changed for the former Hobby Stock division to Street Stocks. The hot shoes remain the same in a division that saw 33 cars register and required a B Main to cut the field to 24 for the feature. Alvin Williamson took the early lead that saw a 3 car crash taking out pole sitter Mike Loudy, third starter Krystal Batson and second heat winner Larry Welter Jr. On the restart, Williamson could only take the heat for just so long and watched 7th starter Richie Smith take the point and the first win of the season. Doc Batson just couldn’t make the pass on Smith and had to settle for second followed by 12th starter Curtis Flanagan, 15th starter Mike Wilson and 19th starter Mike Stalnaker. Williamson took the win in the first heat and slid back to finish 7th while Mike Wilson claimed the win in the third heat. Only six of fourteen cars finished the B main with the win going to Mike Stalnaker.
Steve Griffin made a statement to the Mini Stock division after a 2 year hiatus by dominating all 20 laps of their main event despite several caution flags that saw only 12 of 18 starters able to finish. Jonathan Guy chased Griffin all the way to the checkers followed by 10th starter Phillip Joyner who lost his third place finish in post race inspection. Defending 4 time champion George Neumann inherited third with Johnathon Camp taking fourth. Jesse Henley lost his sixth place finish in tech to Paul Combast. Heat wins went to Guy and George Neumann who inherited the heat after the D.Q. of Joyner.
The pros in the 2006 Thunder Stock division moved into what is now known as the Pure Stock division and they showed up 35 strong with only 33 able to start the 20 lap feature event. Third starter Jack Pate wasted little time moving to the front and setting the pace right to the checkers followed by 6th starter John Zuidema Jr. Both cars were D.Q.’d in tech moving Richard Henick into the winners circle. Eddie Davis started 13th but wound up second after inspection followed by pole sitter Jim Kruse, Megan Spicer and Jason Savoia. Jim Kruse, Rick Heath and Gary Johnson locked in the heat wins.
The rookies in Thunders are now known as the V8 Thunder Stocks and in many cases shared car rides with their Pure Stock counter parts. Fourteen cars took the green for their 20 lap feature only race due to time constraints. Steven Hise launched his racer to the front early in the race from his 8th starting spot and was untouchable once he took the lead. Joshua Libby was the only car that had anything for him but it wasn’t enough. Third finisher Josh Long was another loser to Tech inspection giving the spot to Eddie Rosossco. Mike Pancake took fourth followed by Ricky Shahid.
The Four Cylinder Bomber division was 24 cars strong and ultimately their 20 lap main was also decided in post race inspection with the top three being disqualified for illegal equipment or weight distribution. Brett Jenkins, John Doucette and Robert Bryant took the top three spots but lost them to Anthony LaPoint, Brandon Elwood, Jon Dale, Jeff Eberly and Jeramy Root. Heat wins went to Dale Elwood and Phil Edwards who finished sixth in the feature.
Due to time constraints and multiple crashes in a 24 car Figure 8 race their feature event was cut short with just 12 laps in the books. Defending Champion Joey Catterelli took the first win of the season with Steve Anderson, Paul Grynewicz, John Thomas and Clifford Rousseau in hot pursuit. The checkered flag came out on the final wreck that took out all three of the leaders and scoring reverted back to the last completed lap.
Week two of the 2007 season will see the Winged TBARA Sprints highlight the show with their season opener. Joining them will be the Limited Sportsmen, Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks, V8 Thunders and 4 Cylinder Bombers in heat and feature action. Practice will be on Friday night and race time on Saturday night will be 5:30 p.m. Don’t miss these high powered rockets.
Citrus County Speedway Results February 3, 2007
Open Wheel Modified Feature – 30 Laps – 19 Cars
1. #34 Teddy Nelson
2. # 6 Billy Bechtelheimer
3. # 3 Harold Cannon
4. #09 Stephen Harbuck
5. #01 Curtis Neumann
1st Heat Winner - #03 Kyle Bookmiller
2nd Heat Winner - # 3 Harold Cannon
Limited Sportsman Feature – 20 Laps – 21 Cars
1. #03 Scott Hendrickson
2. #71 Fred Tuski
3. #94 Mike Veltman
4. #12 Scott Wilkerson
5. #78 Arthur Conquest
1st Heat Winner - #92 Maloy Kelly
2nd Heat Winner - #12 Scott Wilkerson
Street Stock Feature – 20 Laps – 24 Cars (33 Registered)
1. #142 Richie Smith
2. #77 Doc James Batson
3. # 3 Curtis Flanagan
4. #44 Mike Wilson
5. # 8 Mike Stalnaker
1st Heat Winner - #09 Alvin Williamson
2nd Heat Winner - #58 Larry Welter Jr.
3rd Heat Winner - #44 Mike Wilson
Mini Stock Feature – 20 Laps – 18 Cars
1. # 3 Steve Griffin
2. #42 Jonathon Guy
3. # 1 George Neumann
4. #84 Johnathon Camp
5. #119 Paul Combast
1st Heat Winner - # 3 Steve Griffin
2nd Heat Winner - #1 George Neumann
Figure 8 Feature – 20 Laps – 24 Cars
1. #15 Joey Catterelli
2. #48 Steve Anderson
3. #40 Paul Grynewicz
4. #77 John Thomas
5. # 3 Clifford Rousseau
4 Cylinder Bomber Feature – 20 Laps – 24 Cars
1. #88 Anthony LaPoint
2. #28 Brandon Elwood
3. #155 Jon Dale
4. #001 Jeff Eberly
5. #002 Jeramy Root
1st Heat Winner - #155 Jon Dale
2nd Heat Winner - #28 Brandon Elwood
3rd Heat Winner - #21 Phil Edwards
Pure Stock Feature – 20 Laps – 33 Cars (35 Registered)
1. #61 Richard Henick
2. #119 Eddie Davis
3. #82 Jim Kruse
4. #83 Megan Spicer
5. #87 Jason Savoia
1st Heat Winner - #82 Jim Kruse
2nd Heat Winner - # 5 Rick Heath
3rd Heat Winner – #40 Gary Johnson
V8 Thunder Stock Rookies – 20 Laps – 14 Cars
1. #42 Steve Hise 4. #13 Mike Pancake
2. #169 Joshua Libby 5. # 3 Ricky Shahid
3. #10 Eddie Rosassco