FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tim Russell Wins Sunbelt Series Season Opener at Citrus
(Inverness, FL. 2/24/07) Twenty two of Floridas best Super Late Models made the trip to take on Citrus County Speedway and take it on they did. Seventeen drivers qualified on the clock in less than 14 second laps on the 3/8ths mile, eight of those in the 13.5 second bracket. James Powell topped them all in turning a new track record at 13.316 seconds breaking Scott Grossenbachers 13.343 record that has held for two years. Powell won the poll position for the start of the 125 lap feature but a pre race incident with outside pole sitter Mac Johnson on the back straight took both cars out with major damage before the green flag dropped. It was a real disappointment for both drivers.
Nineteen cars took the green flag with Jeff Scofield taking the point from the get-go. Tim Russell hooked up with Scofield and stayed within two to three car lengths of the leader for 124 laps. Despite 9 caution flags that had these hot shoes running 36 laps under caution Scofield was definitely the man to beat. Daniel Webster and Gary Grubbs had a race of their own going for third making contact on numerous attempts to swap positions. All the cautions were for minor incidents and the final ten laps all ran under green with a surprising outcome. Scofield apparently lost his right front brake with 7 laps to go and Russell read the problem, waited for the white flag to fly and blew past Scofield on turn three taking his first win at Citrus County Speedway. Scofield held out for second with Daniel Webster, Gary Grubbs, Darryl Shelnut, Corey Freed, Perry Brown, Scott Grossenbacher, Chad Pierce and Brian Finney rounding out the top ten.
Only three regular divisions raced on the final night of action before the Citrus County Fair break and you would have thought it was the final night of the season the way the drivers went to war. The Sportsman 20 lap main had 9 caution flags that brought the race to a checkered flag 8 laps short of the scheduled 20. Ernie Reed led the pack of 26 cars that got very physical and left some cars in a position to rebuild before they return to action in four weeks. The 12 laps they did run looked more like a demolition derby. The final caution came out after the division had run well past the 20 minute time limit and the checkers came out with Ernie Reed taking the win over 6th starter D.J. Macklin, 8th starter Steve Olone, pole sitter Jeff Rook and 5th starter Scott Wilkerson, who weighed in too light, giving the spot on the D.Q. to Phillip Rook who started 9th. Heat wins went to Jeff Rook, Clint Foley and Rusty Bremer.
Thirty one Street Stocks went in three heats taking the top six out of each heat and a B Main to qualify the final top 6 rounding out the 24 starters for their 20 lap feature event. Last weeks winner Todd Downs won the first heat and with a two week average working in his favor won the pole. He took off when the green dropped and set the early pace but some heavy hitters came from the back of the pack before it was all over plus a couple of wrecks in the front of the pack that took out some of the leaders changing the finish and giving the win to 9th starter Artie Hewitt for his first of the season. Mike Stalnaker, driving Krystal Batsons car finished second but refused to tear down and was D.Q.d. Mike Ruff was third and was found to be illegal in post race inspection moving 8th starter Curtis Flanagan into second. John Zuidema III would have moved from fifth to third but he too was found illegal in tech and that put Todd Downs in third, Don Paugh moved up to fourth and Frank Stromquist scored a fifth place finish on his first race of the season after taking the win in the B main to qualify for the feature. Mike Loudy and Jay Witfoth took the 2nd and 3rd heat wins.
The Four Cylinder Bombers started off the night with an exciting second heat race that saw John DeGeorge and Anthony LaPoint battling side by side to the line, hooking up at the start finish line taking both cars into the wall and ending their night with DeGeorge getting credit for the win by inches. Bobby Richardson took the win in the first heat setting up their 17 car 20 lap feature. Brandon Elwood was a man on a mission in his first season at Citrus and managed to bob and weave his way through traffic from his 16th starting spot to take the lead late in the race and leaving the rest of the field behind for the win. Seventeenth starter Jon Doucette did a superb driving job to a second place finish ahead of Bobby Richardson, Phil Edwards and Patrick Connor to round out the top five. Connor lost the 5th spot for running an illegal head and Jeramy Root moved up to take fifth.
Citrus County Speedway will be dark for four weeks making room for the Annual Fair activities. The next race will restart the season with a gang buster show. The School Bus Figure 8s and Boat Trailer Race will have the fans on their feet plus points action will continue every Saturday night through November 10th for the season finale. Added to the restart of the season show will be the Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, V8 Thunder Stock Rookies, 4 Cylinder Bombers and the Fantastic Figure 8s.
Citrus County Speedway Results 2/24/07
Super Late Model Sunbelt Series 125 22 Cars
1. #36 Tim Russell Longwood, Fl.
2. #07 Jeff Scofield Plant City, Fl.
3. # 3 Daniel Webster Brooksville, Fl.
4. #10 Gary Grubbs Brooksville, Fl.
5. # 7 Darryl Shelnut Lake City, Fl.
6. #12 Corey Freed Orlando, Fl.
7. #22x Perry Brown Riverview, Fl.
8. #09 Scott Grossenbacher San Antonio, Fl.
9. #57 Chad Pierce Orlando, Fl.
10.#80 Brian Finney Merritt Island, Fl.
11.#26 Travis Cope Bronson, Fl.
12.#47x Keith Zavrel Brooksville, Fl.
13.#14 Travis Towell Sanford, Fl.
14.#9 Kurt Jett Orange Park, Fl. 125 Laps
15.# 4 Blake Lehr Orlando, Fl. 124 Laps
16.#20 Scott Millar Ocala, Fl. 97 Laps
17.#24 Donnie Parkinson Williston, Fl. 84 Laps
18.#4x Perry Lovelady, Lakeland, Fl. 5 Laps
19.#21 Jim Smith Inverness, Fl. 1 Lap
20.#77 James Powell Astor, FL. 0 Laps Fast Qualifier
New Track Record-13.316 Seconds
21.# 6 Mac Johnson Newberry, Fl. 0 Laps
22.#22 Dusty Cornelius Cocoa, Fl. DNS Broke in Practice
Sportsman Feature 20 Laps (12 run) 25 Cars
1. #55 Ernie Reed First Season Win
2. #14 D.J. Macklin
3. #20 Steve Olone
4. #75 Jeff Rook
5. #97 Phillip Rook
1st Heat Winner - #75 Jeff Rook
2nd Heat Winner - #117 Clint Foley
3rd Heat Winner - #5 Rusty Bremer
Street Stock Feature 20 Laps - 24 Cars (31 registered)
1. # 9 Artie Hewitt First Season Win
2. #3 Curtis Flanagan
3. #00 Todd Downs
4. #15 Don Paugh
5. #57 Frank Stromquist
1st Heat Winner - #00 Todd Downs
2nd Heat Winner #21 Mike Loudy
3rd Heat Winner - #4 Jay Witfoth
B Main Winner - #57 Frank Stromquist
4 Cylinder Bomber Feature 20 Laps 19 Cars
1. #28 Brandon Elwood
2. #5 Jon Doucette
3. #22 Bobby Richardson
4. #21 Phil Edwards
5. #002 Jeramy Root
1st Heat Winner - #22 Bobby Richardson
2nd Heat Winner - #122 John DeGeorge