FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Richie Smith Claims 13th Street Stock Win at Citrus
(Inverness, Fl. 8/11/07) Three traveling series and 4 regular divisons made up a full night of racing at Citrus County Speedway Saturday night. Extremely hot weather made for a slippery race track during time trials for the Mini Stock Challenge, Southern Sportsman and the Gulf Coast Modifieds. Turn 4 proved to be exceptionally difficult for all the divisions making it difficult to get a bite off that final run to turn off the clocks. This was a makeup race for the Mini Stock Challenge/ Southern Sportsman series from July 21st. The Gulf Coast Modifieds were on the regular schedule.
Mini Stock Challenge point leader Chris Thornton locked in fast qualifying time followed by Cody Blair, Jamee Ellis and local driver Jim Smith and Robbie Storer. Sixteen cars took the green for the first of three 50 lap features for the night. Jame Ellis took the early point with some heavy hitters in pursuit and wasting no time putting heat on the leader. Cody Blair ran second trying to hold off Chris Thornton, Jim Smith, Robbie Storer and Jonathan Camp. Thornton picked up the lead early and set the pace right to the checkered flag with Jim Smith making a last lap run at him but having to settle for second. Robbie Storer held out for third with Jame Ellis sliding back to fourth from his pole position and Cody Blair rounding out the top five.
The Southern Sportsman had 20 cars on the roster and the final qualifier, Patrick Thomas, shut down the clocks at 14.925 on the 3/8ths mile for fast time. Richard Elkins qualified second and was the only other driver to get into the 14 second bracket with a 14.945 second run. When the green flew for their 50 lap main event pole sitter Ron Heard put his car on the point and was determined to stay there despite a lot of heat from Aaron Williamson, Tommy Conquest Jr. and Richie Smith. Late in the race Aaron Williamson stayed on Heards rear bumper and literally took him out with 10 laps to go. Heard got his spot back and Williamson went to the rear for the restart leaving Richie Smith chasing Heard to the checkered flag and having to settle for a second place finish at his home track. Richard Elkins Jr. managed to hold off Tommy Conquest Jr. and Bart Weatherford in the race for third.
The Gulf Coast Modifieds went on the clocks with 11 cars making the show and it was a Curtis Neumann night setting fast time on the final qualifying lap with a 14.146 second lap and that put him on the pole. He took the green flag and spent the entire race looking back at Wayne Jefferson who used every bit of his modified experience he had to trying to make a pass on the young home town driver who grew up on Citrus County Speedway watching his Grandfather, his Dad and Uncle winning championships in three different divisions. The attrition rate was really rough in this division with only six of the eleven starters taking the checkered flag and despite all the restarts Curtis had this race under control putting just enough distance on the runner up Jefferson to take the win from flag to flag. Sean McLaughlin started fifth and finished third over Eric Rudd, Teddy Nelson and John E. Rogers the only cars that finished.
After running second in the Southern Sportsman Series Richie Smith jumped into his Street Stock in pursuit of that evasive 13th win of the season in the division. Todd Downs started 4th and made his way to the point early in the race. Meanwhile Richie was working his way from his 16th starting position and moved into the top five by lap 10 of the 20 lap run. Despite several caution flags Downs looked like he was going to take the win with a big lead going into the white flag lap when caution came out again. On the restart Richie Smith closed the gap and thats all it took with Downs going wide off turn three and Richie making the pass to log another win. Mike Stalnaker, Artie Hewitt and Tim Wilson rounded out the top five. Curtis Flanagan and Downs won their heat races.
Pure Stocks had a 20 car field taking the green flag for their 20 lap feature run. Mike Dubbs took the early lead and held off Chad Markland stayed in the chase for the entire race. Point leader Bill Ryan methodically worked his way from 13th to the lead by lap 12 and motored on to Victory Lane for his 5th win of the season. Team mate Chad Markland managed to hold out for second followed by Jesse Mullis who was D.Q.d in post race inspection. That gave Mike Dubbs a third place finish over Glen Colyer and Rick Shahid. Ricky Henick and Mike Dubbs won their heat races.
Eighteen 4 Cylinder Bombers came ready to race and Joshua Fairchild popped out of his 4th starting spot to the point in two laps and it was all over but the celebration in the winners circle until he got to tech inspection where he was disqualified. Bobby Richardson moved up and for his second win of the season. Robert Carter had his best finish of the year claiming second after the D.Q. followed by Travis Hoefler who moved to within 11 points of regaining the point lead in the division. Jon Doucette out dueled Dan Haag in the race for 5th.. John DeGeorge and Richardson claimed the wins in the heat races.
Closing out the night of action were the V8 Thunder Stock Rookies which has lost 4 drivers thus far this year after they were dominating the win column and moved up to Pure Stocks. Eleven cars took the green flag for their 20 lap main and 8th starter Richard Dinkins made his way through 3 and 4 deep traffic to take his first win in just 4 weeks of racing. Jesse Veltman moved from 9th to second in his second week in the car after recovering from a spin in the first lap of the race. Chad Fairbanks locked on to third ahead of Jennifer Brown and Eddie Rosasco.
Next Saturday night will see the return of the local Open Wheel Modifieds after the scheduled FAST Trucks cancelled their race. It will be an all local show with 8 divisions on the schedule featuring the Figure 8s, Sportsman, Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, 4 Cylinder Bombers and V8 Thunder Stock Rookies.
Citrus County Speedway Results 8/11/07
Florida Mini Stock Challenge Feature 50 Laps 16 Cars
1. #24 Chris Thornton Clearwater
2. #32 Jim Smith Inverness
3. # 9 Robbie Storer Zephyrhills
4. #98 Jame Ellis Brooksville
5. #81 Cody Blair Winter Park
Fast Qualifier - #24 Chris Thornton
Southern Sportsman Series Feature 50 Laps 20 Cars
1. #00 Ron Heard Seffner
2. #42 Richie Smith Hernando
3. #55 Richard Elkins Jr. Auburndale
4. #72 Tommy Conquest JR. Bronson
5. # 1 Bart Weatherford - Lakeland
Fast Qualifier - #25 Patrick Thomas 14.925 Secs.
Gulfcoast Modified Feature 50 Laps - 11 Cars
1. #01 Curtis Neumann Inverness
2. # 1 Wayne Jefferson Pinellas Park
3. #99 Sean McLaughlin Port Charlotte
4. #12 Eric Rudd Naples
5. #34 Teddy Nelson Pinellas Park
Fast Qualifier # 01 Curtis Neumann 14.146 Secs.
Street Stock Feature 20 Laps 18 Cars
1. #42 Richie Smith Hernando - 13th Season Win
2. #00 Todd Downs Homosassa
3. # 8 Mike Stalnaker Ocala
4. # 9 Artie Hewitt Port Richey
5. #93 Tim Wilson Floral City
1st Heat Winner - # 3 Curtis Flanagan Floral City
2nd Heat Winner - #00 Todd Downs
Pure Stock Feature 20 Laps 20 Cars
1. #33 Bill Ryan Bushnell 5th Season Win
2. #134 Chad Markland Inverness
3. #00 Mike Dubbs Bushnell
4. #44 Glen Colyer Homosassa Springs
5. # 3 Rick Shahid Floral City
1st Heat Winner - #61 Ricky Henick Inverness
2nd Heat Winner - #36 Mike Dubbs
4 Cylinder Bomber Feature 20 Laps 18 Cars
1. #22 Bobby Richardson Lecanto 1st Season Win
2. #199 Robert Carter Belleview
3. #20 Travis Hoefler Floral City
4. # 5 John Doucette Bayonet Pt.
5. #70 Dan Haag Lecanto
1st Heat Winner - #122 John DeGeorge Dunnellon
2nd Heat Winner - #22 Bobby Richardson
V8 Thunder Stock Rookies 20 Laps 11 Cars
1. #34 Richard Dinkins Inverness - 1st Feature win
2. #94 Jesse Veltman Crystal River
3. #37 Chad Fairbanks Spring Hill
4. #53 Jennifer Brown Inverness
5. #10 Eddie Rosasco Spring Hill