Father & son battle to finish
Citrus County Speedway kicked off it’s 2012 racing season in style with some exciting racing action on Saturday night. 18 Pure Stocks registered to compete for their 20 lap feature, which had a emotional and thrilling finish. Nicholas Malverty launched his bright yellow 17 car from his 8th starting position to take the lead by the end of lap 5. Following him was someone Nicholas is very familiar with, his father Eugene, in his bright yellow No. 23 machine. These two would battle for the lead over the final 15 laps, along with Larry Welter Jr. (58) in 3rd. In the end Nicholas showed that father doesn’t always know best, as he edged out the elder Malverty to take the first Pure Stock feature win of 2012. Father Eugene tried to make a last lap pass after a green-white-checker finish, but didn’t have enough for the youngster, Larry Welter Jr came home 3rd after a strong showing. Karlin Ray (72) and Welter were your heat race winners.
16 Open Wheel Modifieds tackled the ¼ bullring for their 40 lap feature event. Scott Millar (20) took advantage of his pole position to rocket out to a large lead early in the race. The action behind him was furious as drivers mixed it up racing for position. 5th place starter Randy Anderson (86) patiently worked his way through the field, running a clean race, and moved to the runner up spot by the half way point in the event. Anderson looked to have the fastest car on the speedway, so you knew the battle for the lead was soon to heat up. A lap 34 caution would set up a 6 lap shootout for the checkers. Millar took off on the restart, but Anderson was glued to his rear bumper. 10th place starter Tommy Schnader (19) had moved to the 3rd position, and now joined the battle for the lead. Anderson would look high and low for a passing lane, and finally found it on the outside as the drivers came to the stripe with two laps to go. Anderson and Millar would battle side by side all the way till turn 4 of the last lap. Millar and Anderson would make side to side contact, which sent both cars sliding out of control. Millar spun to the infield, while Anderson slid up the track and opened the door for those running behind them. Anderson would regain control of his racer and cross the finish line sideways for the victory. Behind him the cars of Doug Miller (53) and Herb Neumann Jr. (01) would find their way through the last lap mayhem to cross the line in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Miller and Neumann also crossed the line sideways and spun to the infield. It was an exciting finish, and no one knew who the winner was until the official word came from the scorers tower. Robbie Cooper (98) and Billy Bechtelheimer (6) were your heat race winners.
Andy Nichols (66) took advantage of his pole position to dominate the 12 car sportsman 25 lap feature. Nichols was never challenged for the victory, and was happy to finally get a good finish at Citrus County Speedway. Austin Carr (8) had his career best finish coming home in 2nd, followed by Chris Harvey (51) in 3rd. Cody Stickler (99) and Devin McLeod (121) were your heat race winners.
Jeremy Sharrone proved why he was crowned the 2011 division points champion last year in the 20 lap Mini Stock feature. Jeremy moved from his 11th starting position to wrestle away the lead from pole sitter Jessey Mallory (50) with just 2 laps remaining in the feature event. Mallory battled hard for the victory, but had to settle for 2nd just ahead of a hard charging Shawn Jenkins (43) in 3rd. Heat race winners were Wayne Heater (71) and Sharrone.
Matthew Jenkins (777) and Darryl Veltman (55) had perhaps the closest finish of the night in the 15 lap hornet feature. Both drivers battle door to door to the finish line with Jenkins just edging out Veltman by less than 12 inches. Scott Bumgarner (9) had mechanical issues, but still came home in the 3rd position.
10 DWARF cars took the green for the 25 lap feature event. Bo Bass took advantage of his pole position, and a lightning fast car, to take an unchallenged victory over the 10 car field. Chris McClelland (98) ran a solo 2nd, but didn’t have enough to keep pace with Bass. Behind him, the cars of Danny Cretty (01), Tim Cobb (24), and Darren Bass (25) waged a hard fought battle for the 3rd position. In the end Cretty would prevail, and bring home a 3rd place finish in his first race with the division. Heat race winners were Bo Bass and McClelland.
This Saturday night will see the first races of the 2012 season for the Super Late Models, Street Stocks, and Modified Mini Stocks. Joining them on the race card will be the Mini Stocks and the Hornet division. Grandstand gates open at 4pm, and the first heat race takes the green flag at 6pm sharp. Please visit the track website at www.citruscountyspeedway.com for complete details or call the track office at 352-726-9339. Come on out and enjoy the “action attraction”, the Citrus County Speedway!