FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lawhorn Top Gun in Curry Roofing Mini Stock 100
(Inverness, Fl. 4/11/09) In what was billed as the 1st Annual Curry Roofing Modified Mini Stock 100, 35 of the best in Florida made the trip to Citrus County Speedway Saturday night. Time trials put Robbie Yoakam on the fast track in qualifying, winning the Dennis Jones Race Cars $50 fast qualifier bonus. He pulled the #18 pill inverting the top 18 qualifiers putting Mike Burke Jr. and Ronnie Allen on the pole and Clint Foley and Yoakam right in the middle of the 34 starters. Scotty Sharpe was unable to get his car running and did not start the race. When the green flew Mike Lawhorn made his way from third to first in the first few laps, setting the pace through the first 50 laps while the rest of the field tried to make their way through heavy traffic and battling numerous caution flags through lap 50 when the mandatory caution came out. The drivers and pit crews were limited to what they could do to their cars other than check tire pressures and refuel for the final 50 laps. Due to time limitations on the noise curfew the next five laps were run 1 at a time due to crashes before time ran out and the race was given the checkered flag at lap 55. Mike Lawhorn led 52 laps and picked up the winners purse plus and extra $400 in lap bonus money and several bonus prizes in his first win of the season. Three former Citrus Champions chased him to the finish line with Jim Smith, Robbie Yoakam and Clint Foley finishing in that order. By virtue of being sent to the rear on one of the early caution flags Foley picked up the Karnac.Com Hard Charger award with his 4th place finish. Rounding out the top ten were Rick Sirmons, George Neumann, James Ellis, Mike Bell, outside pole sitter Ronnie Allen and Jesse Henley.
Twenty two Open Wheel Modifieds made for quite a show in their 40 lap feature event plus three heat races. Ritchie Smith locked onto the point when the green flag flew and never let go despite several cautions flags. Keith Lilley made his first appearance at Citrus pay off putting the heat on Smith several times from his 4th starting position but when the checkers flew he settled for a solid second. Eighth starter Mike Wilson made his way through traffic to claim a third place finish over Mark Nelson who now holds the season point lead after 2 races. Jay Coleman started fifth and finished fifth to round out the top five. Heat wins went to Doug Miller, Curtis Neumann and Billy Bechtelheimer.
Only 12 Sportsmen made the show and had to settle for a 25 lap feature race. JoJo Viverito wasted little time jumping from 3rd to the point to set the pace all the way to the checkered flag. Tom Posavec came off the outside pole and just didnt have enough to catch Viverito. Mike Veltman came with a new #5 on the side of his racer and moved from 10th to finish third ahead of Joey Catarelli who put the heat on in the final laps and leads the points after 4 weeks with 4 top five finishes. Ernie Reed moved from 7th to 5th to round out the top five.
Four Cylinder Bombers came to race with 18 cars registered. Sonya Heater set the pace in the early going off the outside pole coming off two wins at Bronson Speedway and the young lady is coming into her own at Citrus. Mike Ogren started 13th on his return to Citrus and proved that a front wheel drive can win making his pass on Sonya in the late laps to take the checkered flag being chased by defending Champion Richard Kuhn and Sonya holding out for third. Anthony LaPoint and Chris Eberly, in his new ride, rounded out the top five. Heat winners were Tim Scalise and Bobby Richardson.
Tommy Smith made an exciting race out of the 19 car Pure Stock 20 lap feature, going for his 4th win out of five races only to come up short by one spot from his 18th starting spot. Drew Matissek launched his racer out of his third starting spot and set the pace for the entire 20 laps for his first win of the season. John Drye drove his way from 17th to third in a great run through traffic to lock down third ahead of Victor Shahid and brother Rick Shahid who stayed in the top five throughout the race from their front row starting positions. Cory Swanston won the first heat and showed some promise in the feature until he crashed on the front straight ending his night. Tommy Smith locked down the win in the second heat.
In the first race of the season Figure 8s showed up in strength with 18 racers going for the intersection action. Robbie Aaron and John Baranauskas put on a terrific dual for the entire race coming off the front row and setting the pace all the way despite numerous red flags for wrecks along the way. Aaron took the win with Baranauskas right on his bumper at the checkered flag. Charlie Meyer held out for third after running second in the early going. Cliff Rousseau worked his way from 8th to 4th at the finish line followed by Eric Sharrone who started 12th in the line up.
The 11 oclock curfew postponed the V8 Thunder Stock feature until next week. Added to the program will be the Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, 4 Cylinder Bombers, the Bass Pro Challenge, Florida Open Wheel Lites, DeSoto Champ Karts and Mini Cup cars. Also Tom Sherrill will present the awards from Florida Short Track Report to Florida Short Track Flagger of the Year Brent Fults and Florida Short Track Announcer of the Year Larry MacMillan during intermission. Joining them will be Daniel Miller the Rookie of the Year as voted by the fans and race teams during the month of December on the internet and he will be racing in the Bass Pro Challenge Saturday night.
Citrus County Speedway Results 4/11/09
Curry Roofing Modified Mini Stock 100 55 Laps Run 35 Cars
1. #44 Mike Lawhorn Claremont 1st Season Win
2. #32 Jim Smith Inverness
3. # 8 Robbie Yoakam Inverness Fast Qualifier
4. # 7 Clint Foley Dunnellon Hard Charger Award
5. #05 Rick Sirmons St. Petersburg
6. # 1 George Neumann Inverness
7. #98 James Ellis Brooksville
8. #17 Mike Bell Brooksville
9. #68 Ronnie Allen Lehigh Acres
10.#13 Jesse Henley Homosassa
Open Wheel Modified Feature 40 Laps 22 Cars
1. #42 Richie Smith Hernando 1st Season Win
2. #87 Keith Lilley - ?
3. #79 Mike Wilson Dade City
4. #111 Mark Nelson Clearwater
5. #12 Jay Colman Holiday
1st Heat Winner - #53 Doug Miller Largo
2nd Heat Winner - #01 Curtis Neumann Inverness
3rd Heat Winner - # 6 Billy Bechtelheimer Dover
Sportsman Feature 25 Laps 12 Cars
1. #72 JoJo Viverito Inverness 1st Season Win
2. #01 Tom Posavec Dunnellon
3. # 5 Mike Veltman Crystal River
4. # 15 Joey Catterelli Pinellas Park
5. #55 Ernie Reed Lecanto
No Heat Races
Four Cylinder Bomber Feature 20 Laps 18 Cars
1. #13 Mike Ogren Spring Hill 1st Season Win
2. #47 Richard Kuhn Ocala
3. #71 Sonya Heater Homosassa
4. #88 Anthony LaPoint Zephyrhills
5. #11 Chris Eberly Spring Hill
1st Heat Winner - #48 Tim Scalise Lutz
2nd Heat Winner - #22 Bobby Richardson Lecanto
Pure Stock Feature 20 Laps 19 Cars
1. #68 Drew Matissek New Port Richey 1st Season Win
2. #24 Tommy Smith Hernando
3. #39 John Drye Inverness
4. #88 Victor Shahid Floral City
5. # 3 Rick Shahid Floral City
1st Heat Winner - #92 Cory Swanston Aripeka
2nd Heat Winner - #24 Tommy Smith
Figure 8 Feature 20 Laps 18 Cars
1. # 6 Robert Aaron Brooksville 1st Season Win
2. #27 John Baranauskas St. Petersburg
3. #94 Charlie Meyer St. Petersburg
4. # 3 Clifford Rousseau St. Petersburg
5. # 53 Eric Sharrone Floral City