2/14/10 By: Phil Schryver Inverness, FL The weather was frigid, but the racing action was as hot as ever last night at Citrus County Speedway.
The first feature event of the night was the four cylinder stocks. On the pole was the #21 of Phil Edwards, starting second was the #26 of Nathan Florian, and third was the #47 of Richard Kuhn. The first caution of the race was brought out when the #71 of Sonya Heater, and the #79 of Wayne Heater made contact and spun in turn 2. They are father and daughter, and were both done for the night unfortunately after their wreck. The #32 of Jeremy Sharrone, who had started 5th, had taken an early lead in the race and went on to win the feature.
The second event of the night was a traveling series Ė the Bass Champions Pro Challenge Series. The #25 of Paul White started on the pole, starting second was the #28 of Randy Gleick, and third was the #2 of Harvey Johnson. The #4 of Jarrett Snowden quickly moved up on the start to battle with the leaders, but ended up being sent to the rear for making contact with the #28 of Gleick and bringing out the yellow. The second yellow of the night came out on lap 23, when the #2 of Harvey Johnson came to a stop on the front stretch. The leader at this point was still the #25 of White, back up to second was the #4 of Snowden, and in third was the #24 of Ryan Rust. The #24 of Rust had made it up as far as second place and was able to take second back from the #4 on the restart, with the #25 of Paul White the feature winner of the night.
Up next was the Pure Stocks. 18 cars took the track for the 20 lap feature event with the #421 of Tyler Currier on the pole, the #88 of Vic Shahid 2nd, and the #35 of David Walls starting third. There was a ton of hard racing throughout the race, but very few cautions. The #35 of David Wells was the winner, the #58 of Larry Welter Jr. second, and the #5 of James Peters finishing third.
The fourth race of the night was the Sportsman class. On the pole was the #15 of Joey Catarelli. Starting second was the #55 of Ernest Reed, and third was the #72 of Jo Jo Viverito. Tempers flared on lap 9 when Richie Smith in the #64 was sent crashing into the turn #1 wall, with half of the car landing on top of the wall. The accident seemed to be caused by the #27 of Kevin Healy, who was a lapped car. Joey Catarelli in the #15 went on to win the race. The #13 if Aaron Williamson finished 2nd, with the # 72 of Jo Jo Viverito finishing 3rd.
The Mini Stockís were next to come out. On the pole was the #32 of Steven Smith, the #9 of Mark Powers second, and the #15 of Jason Rendell starting 3rd. Before the race could even get underway, the #155 of Mike Sweet and the #2 of Donald Faunce had slammed into each other resulting in a flat tire for the #155. The #155 then proceeded to go after the #2 causing some damage to his car. So the #155 of Sweet got an escort back to the pits for the night. The #32 of Smith did a great job on hanging on to the lead for the entire race and came home the winner. Finishing 2nd was the #7 of Clint Foley. 3rd place went to the #15 of Rendell.
The big feature event of the night was the 40 lap Open Wheel Modifieds. 22 modifieds had signed in for the nightís event. On the pole was the #6 of Billy Bechtelheimer, starting second was the #70 of Jeremy Gerstner, and third was the #8 of Michael Stalnaker. On the drop of the green, there was a huge pileup on the front stretch, causing at least 3 to 4 cars to have to head to the pits for repairs. When the green dropped again, the #70 of Gerstner took the early lead. A couple more cautions followed later due to cars spinning out on their own. On lap 16, the #51 of Collin Cabre, and the #98 of Robbie Cooper were battling door to door down the front stretch. The battle continued down the back stretch until they both spun out coming out of turn 3. The wreck also collected the #75 of Bobby Blake and the #3 of Harold Cannon. On the restart, the # 01 of Curtis Neumann was able to take over 3rd position from the #03 of Kyle Bookmiller. By lap 35, the #01 of Neumann had taken over 2nd and was battling side by side with the #70 of Gerstner for the win. On the last 2 laps, Neumann was able to get by Gerstner and take the checkered flag.
In post race interviews, Neumann thanked the fans for making it out on such a cold night and said the car had a lot of power with the cold air, but the cold also made the track a lot slicker with the type of tires they use. Gerstner was not very happy with losing the race, but also acknowledge it is only the beginning of the new season and I see a win coming for him very soon.
The last race of the night was the wild and crazy Figure 8ís. The # 8 of Bob Hage was on the pole with the #74 of Robbie Hage 2nd, and the #27 of John Baranauskas starting 3rd. Michael Cherry , who had started 6th in the #18 car ended up winning the race after a tough battle with the #74 of Robbie Hage, who had led the majority of the laps.
Next week the FAST (Florida All Stars Tour) Late Model series will be at Citrus County Speedway for a 100 lap feature. Make sure to come out early for qualifying and to make sure you donít miss their feature, as it will be the 1st event of the night.