Neumann tops Late Models at Citrus County Speedway
Citrus County Speedway fans were greeted with cold temperatures and a stiff wind on Saturday night. With nearly 60 cars in the pits for 5 divisions of racing, the fans were ready for the drivers to heat things up.
18 Super Late Models all took the green for their 35 lap feature with Todd Brown (23) and Drew Brannon (82) on the front row. Brannon would take the machine normally piloted by Danny Maddox, to the lead from the pole position. Randy Anderson (4) would shake out in the 2nd position in his new ride, with Brown settling into the 3rd spot. These two drivers would put on a spirited battle until the first caution would fly at lap 24. Behind these two young guns, 2012 division champion Herb Neumann Jr. had raced his way to 3rd, after coming from the 14th starting position. On the restart Brannon would leave the door open for Anderson going into turn 1, the cars would make slight contact, with Anderson slipping by on the inside to take the lead. Neumann would follow him through, and put the pressure on Anderson for the lead. Neumann would make the winning pass on lap 28, and go on to take the victory to open the 2012 Super Late Model season. Anderson would hold onto 2nd just ahead of Brannon in 3rd. Neumannís win was a bit improbable, as mechanical problems saw him drop out of his heat race after only a few laps. Anderson and Steven Simpson (07) were your heat race winners.
15 Street Stocks battled to the checkered flag in their 20 lap feature. Tim Alexander (63) would take the early lead from his pole position, with 2012 point champion Curtis Flanagan (3) just behind. Flanagan would make quick work of Alexander and move to the top spot after just a few short laps. Flanagan would prove why he was the 2012 division champion and drove away to an unchallenged victory to start the 2012 Street Stock season. Alexander would hold onto 2nd after battling John Chance (61) and Bubba Martone (98) for the position through the middle part of the event. Craig Cuzzone (88) was the biggest mover of the race, moving from his 8th starting position to 3rd when the checkers fell. Flanagan and Austin Hughes (68) were your heat race winners.
17 Mini Stocks put on one of the best battles of the night. This race saw 3 former Mini Stock champions swap the lead back and forth over the final 10 laps of the event. Jeremy Sharrone (32), Rick Kuhn (47), and Jeff Eberley (01) all proved why they are the drivers to beat in this division. Kuhn would take the early lead, and hold it to just past the halfway mark when Sharrone would wrestle away the top spot. Not to be outdone, Eberley would then let Sharrone know that repeating as champion this year, was going to be a tough task. Eberley would put his Toyota power to the ground and get by Sharrone with just a few laps remaining in their 20 lap event. Sharrone would have to settle for the runner up spot just ahead of the hard charging Shawn Jenkins (43) in his beautiful new ride. Sharrone and Eberley were your heat race winners.
Clint Foley (07) would show the way once again in the Modified Mini Stock 15 lap feature. Chasing Foley to the checkered flag were Mark Powers (69), in the car normally piloted by Shaun Cater, and Phil Edwards (24) in the third position. Foley was also your heat race winner.
The Hornet division once again provided the most thrilling finish of the night to cap off the evenings events. This race would see 3 different leaders over the 15 lap race distance. Daryl Veltman (55), Matthew Jenkins (777), and Scott Bumgarner (9) all spent time at the top spot. But the real mover in the race was Matthew Street (151). Street would have problems with his transmission on the initial start, which left him over half a lap behind the leaders. Street would overcome that handicap to battle Bumgarner for the lead over the final two laps. Street had a run on the outside lane coming to the checkers, but Bumgarner would close the door coming off of turn 4, and go onto take the victory. Street would settle for the 2nd position just ahead of early race leader Veltman.
This Saturday night will see the return of the Open Wheel Modifieds along with the Sportsman, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pro figure 8ís, and the Outlaw Modified Miniís. Grandstand gates open at 4pm, and the first heat race will take the green flag at 5:30pm sharp. Visit the speedway website atwww.citruscountyspeedway.com or call the speedway office at 352-726-9339 for complete details.