FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Citrus Winter Spectacular VI Part 1 Ignites 2009 Racing Action
(Inverness Fl, 1/3/04) The stock car New Year got off to a great start with great weather, faithful fans and 5 divisions bringing 92 race cars and drivers to put on the first of two pre season special shows for 2009 at Citrus County Speedway Saturday night. Highlighting the action packed night were the Open Wheel Modifieds coming in 18 cars strong going for time trials and a 75 lap feature run. Qualifying saw Robbie Cooper coming up top shoe with a 14.455 second run and Curtis Neumann just a tick off the clock at 14.472. Cooper pulled the 8 pill for the starting inversion putting John Gerstner on the poll and Tony Carreno outside when the checkers flew. A couple of early caution flags slowed the early going but when the early anxiety attacks calmed down they put the hammer down and Richie Smith wasted little time going from his 5th starting spot to the point and set the pace for most of the 75 laps. Curtis Neumann and Tate Pearce had a battle royal going for 3rd and 4th when they connected and both were sent to the rear on the caution flag which helped Robbie Cooper move up through traffic to second after Mark Nelson lost it on turn two and went to the rear on that caution flag. From that point on, it was a freight train with Richie Smith setting the pace all the way to the checkered flag with Robbie Cooper, Jeremy Gerstner, John Gerstner, Tony Carreno, Curtis Neumann, Tate Pierce, Mark Nelson, Von Pope and Keith Elliot in pursuit and finishing in that order. Robbie Cooper won the Matt Blum Racing.com Fast Qualifier Award of 2 Gallons of 15W40 Oil and a qt. of oil Stabilizer.
Sportsman also went on the clock for qualifying with 17 cars making the up the field for their 50 lap feature. Mike Bell was the winner of the Matt Blum Racing.com Fast Qualifier Award with 2008 points runner up Bobby Ervien and Matt Blum rounding out the top three. The top six were inverted on the pill draw with 2008 Points Champion Tom Posavec taking the poll and Charles Bowers on the outside pole. Posavec took advantage of his starting position taking the point when the green flew and went on to set the pace in what looked like the makings for a flag to flag win. Meanwhile behind him Patrick Thomas was holding off heavy hitters like Bobby Ervien, Matt Blum, Charles Bowers and Josh Herman. Posavec held the lead until lap 42 and Thomas apparently was saving the best for last when Posavec ran a couple of laps moving to the outside on the turns and Thomas took advantage of the slip to take the lead and the win in the final 8 laps. Posavec was able to hold off Ervien, Blum, Bowers and Herman when the checkers flew.
Street Stocks added to the excitement of the 2009 opener at Citrus with 23 cars making the field. Richie Smith who again did double duty for the night repeated what he did in 2008s Street Stock 50. He marched from his 21st starting spot to Victory Lane in their 50 lapper in a division he didnt even venture into last season. After winning the Modified Championship and runner up in the Super Late Model local wars he just couldnt stand not having two rides on race night. Just for kicks he also drove in the Pure Stock Division last season and came up with 4 wins in Mike Hindes familiar #42. Mike Stalnaker was the only driver that had anything for Smith but had to settle for a 2nd place finish over outside pole sitter Dr. Mark Fallows, Brent Cooper and Larry Welter Jr. to round out the top five.
Twenty four 4 Cylinder Bombers kicked off the 50 lap feature night. On the pill draw for starting positions, luck, driving talent plus the necessary power helped 2008 Champion Richard Kuhn take off from the outside pole and blitzed the field for all 50 laps. Nathan Florian drove from 16th to put the pressure on in the run for the checkered flag only to lose his second place finish to post race inspection. Former champion Jeff Eberly showed he still had what it takes coming from 7th to inherit 2nd place after the D.Q. in tech. Fans Favorite from 2008 Brandon Watson motored his VW Rabbit from 22nd to a 3rd place finish followed by 10th starter Phil Edwards and 14th starter Mike Ogren to round out the top five in a race that saw plenty of position changes and passing three and four lanes deep.
Robby Aaron showed the Figure 8s how to make 100 trips through the intersection without any problems taking a flag to flag win with Robbie Hage on his rear bumper all the way. Jimmy Thompson made a late run on John Baranauskas to pick up a third place finish on lap 50. Baranauskas held out for a fourth place finish while Cliff Rousseau survived a lot of bumping and grinding in the back of the pack for most of the race until Ken Crews, Charlie Meyer, Mike Cherry, Wayne Calkins and a late arriving driver with no registration information had mechanical problems or just gave up. Only half the starting field finished.
Winter Spectacular VI part 2 returns for a preview to the regular racing season on Saturday night January 17th featuring the Super Late Models in a 75 lap main event plus the Mini Stocks and Pure Stocks in 50 lap features. Added to the program will be the V8 Thunder Stock Rookies, the Florida Pro Challenge and the Outlaw Mini Modifieds. The 2009 point season gets under way on Saturday night, February 7th featuring the TBARA Sprints, Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, V8 Thunder Stocks, Florida Pro Challenge and DeSoto Champ Karts making their first official appearance at Citrus County Speedway.
Citrus County Speedway Winter Spectacular VI Results
Open Wheel Modified Feature 75 Laps 18 Cars
1. #42 Richie Smith Hernando
2. #98 Robbie Cooper Bronson Fast Qualifier 14.455
3. #27 Jeremy Gerstner Eustis
4. #77 John Gerstner - Eustis
5. #61 Tony Carreno Lutz
6. #01 Curtis Neumann Inverness
7. #81 Tate Pierce Wesley Chapel
8. #111 Mark Nelson - ?
9. #102 Von Pope
10.#99 Keith Elliott
Sportsman Feature 50 Laps 17 Cars
1. #25 Patrick Thomas
2. #01 Tom Posavec Dunnellon
3. #88 Bobby Ervien St. Petersburg
4. # 1 Matt Blum
5. #32 Charles Bowers Trenton
Fast Qualifier Mike Bell Brooksville DNF
Street Stock Feature 50 Laps 23 Cars
1. #42 Richie Smith Hernando
2. # 8 Mike Stalnaker Ocala
3. #00y Mark Fallows Crystal River
4. #197 Brent Cooper Dunnellon
5. #58 Larry Welter Jr. Williston
4 Cylinder Bomber Feature 50 Laps 24 Cars
1. #47 Richard Kuhn Ocala
2. #01 Jeff Eberly Spring Hill
3. #66 Brandon Watson Dunnellon
4. #21 Phil Edwards Crystal River
5. #13 Mike Ogren Spring Hill
Figure 8 Feature 50 Laps 10 Cars
1. # 6 Robert Aaron Brooksville
2. #74 Robbie Hage St. Petersburg
3. #311 Jimmy Thompson St. Petersburg
4. #27 John Baranauskas St. Petersburg
5. #3 Cliff Rousseau St. Petersburg