Duke makes it two in a row in Citrus Super Late Model action
19 Super Late Models invaded Citrus County Speedway this past Saturday night, with some of the states best young guns with their eyes on the checkers. T J Duke (28) returned to try to prove his first victory just two weeks ago was no fluke, but some of the tracks veteran competitors had other ideas. Duke would benefit from the nights inversion of 6 rows, putting him of the pole along side former Super Late Model track champion Herb Hoefler (122). At the drop of the green, Hoefler would prove the veterans still have a few tricks, powering to the lead from his outside front row starting position. Duke would settle into the 2nd position, followed by 4th starter David King (22) in 3rd. Hoefler would stretch out his lead, and was showing the speed that made him a track champion. A lap 4 caution for the spin of Mike Smith (123) would bunch the field back up. Hoefler would again lead the field to the restart with Duke and King just behind. Once back to green, Hoeflers machine didn’t have the speed of the early laps, and Duke would make the pass for the lead at lap 12. Hoefler would drift to the rear of the field with what was determined to be a loose right front wheel after the event. Following Duke by were King, Randy Anderson (4), Herb Neumann Jr (98), and Scott Grossenbacher (09). King would soon apply pressure to Duke, but a lap 28 shuffle would see King lose his runner up spot to Anderson, who brought Neumann Jr and Grossenbacher by with him. Lap 30 would see the final caution of the night for a spin involving the 47 of Keith Zavrel, and give the front of the field one last shot at Duke. Duke would run away on the restart, and leave the others to battle for the 2nd position. Anderson had his hands full with the familiar bright orange 98 of Neumann filling his mirror. In the end, the young guns proved to have the talent to outlast the veterans with Duke taking his 2nd victory in a row, followed by Anderson in 2nd. Neumann survived a late race battle with a hard charging Scott Grossenbacher to take the 3rd position at the stripe. Drew Brannon (82) and Kurt Jett (9) were your heat race winners.
14 Street Stocks were all looking to knock Curtis Flanagan (3) off the mountain in their 20 lap feature. Flanagan has taken every feature win this season, but one, and he suffered a mechanical failure in that event. David Kingsbury (73) and Robert Kuhn Jr (92) would occupy the front row for the green flag. Kingsbury would jump out the early lead with 5th place starter John Chance (61) settling into 2nd in the opening laps. Kingsbury and Chance would attempt to put some distance on the rest of the field, knowing that Flanagan would be making his charge to the front. Flanagan would catch the leaders by lap 6 from his 9th starting position, and move by Chance for 2nd, bringing Bubba Martone (98) with him. Flanagan would take little time in setting up Kingsbury, making the inside pass for the lead on lap 8. Martone and Chance would follow Flanagan by Kingsbury, moving them into the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. Flanagan and Martone would drive away from Chance in 3rd to settle the battle for the checkers alone. Martone looked high and low for a way around the points leader, but that opportunity would never come, and Flanagan would go on to take his 5th feature win of the season. Martone would come home a strong 2nd place, with Chance following them home in the 3rd position. Chance and Tim Alexander (63) were your heat race winners.
16 Pure Stocks spent the night chasing Eugene Malverty (123), with little success. Malverty moved to the lead early on in the event from his 3rd starting position. Lap 6 saw the 1st caution for contact between William Stansbury (83) and Tyler Stickler (9). Stickler would take blame for the incident, giving Stansbury back the 2nd position. Malverty would lead the field back to green followed by Stansbury and Duane Baker in the 3rd position. 10th place starter Carl Peters (39) would soon make his way towards the front, moving by Baker for 3rd, and then Stansbury in 2nd. Peters would now set his sights on Malverty for the lead. Lap 14 would see the next caution for contact between Nicholas Malverty (17) and Michael Martin (76), both drivers would be sent to the rear. Eugene Malverty would lead on the restart, but now face heavy pressure from Peters in 2nd. Caution would fly one more time for a spin by Stansbury, who once again was given his spot back at the front of the field. Malverty would scoot away on the restart, but behind him the field was in shuffle mode. Several positions shuffled over the final two laps with Peters, and the 3rd running Stickler losing positions. At the stripe Malverty took the victory followed by Happy Florian (65) in 2nd, and a dizzy Stansbury in 3rd. Peters and Arden Franklin (7) were your heat race winners.
8 Modified Mini Stocks came to the green lead by Shaun Cater (69) and Chris Snow (29). Cater would jump out to the early lead, but 5th starter James Ellis would soon move to the top of the running order. Cater soon felt the pressure of Clint Foley (7) for the 2nd position, and contact between these two drivers would bring out the caution. Foley would take blame for the incident sending himself to the rear, and Cater back to 2nd. Ellis would drive away from the field over the final 16 green flag laps to take his 1st feature win of the 2012 racing season. Foley would rally for 2nd at the checkers followed by Ray Miller (06) in 3rd in only his 2nd race this season. Foley was your heat race winner.
12 Street Stock figure 8 drivers all tested lady luck with 40 trips through the dreaded intersection of the figure 8 track. Gator Jones (81) would jump out the early lead from his front row starting position, on pull away from the rest of the field. Lap 4 saw the leader slow for congestion in the intersection, which allowed 2nd place runner Jimmy Kruse (82) move by for the top spot. Deep in the field the cars of Thomas Peet (85) and Eric Sharrone (58) were weaving their way to the front of the field. Peet would put on a driving clinic moving his way to the bumper of the leader only 2 laps from the finish. Peet would attempt a last lap, last turn, outside pass for the win as the cars came to the checkers. Kruse would hold his line and go on to take his first feature win of the 2012 season. Behind Kruse, and opportunistic Sharrone would use the inside lane to edge out Peet at the line for 2nd, with Peet coming home 3rd. This was one of the closest finishes of the night, and certainly entertaining for the fans.
The Hornet Division saw a 1st time winner in their 15 lap feature. Young Daryl Veltman (55) faced fierce competition for the entire 15 lap race from 2nd running Scott Bumgarner. Bumgarner tried every possible line around Veltman, but the young man proved he was up to the challenge taking his 1st feature victory every at Citrus County Speedway. Bumgarner would have to settle for 2nd ahead of 3rd place Chris Hennessey.
This Saturday night will be “Open Wheel Madness” at Citrus County Speedway. Saturday night will be the 1st visit in nearly 2 years from the TBARA winged outlaw sprint cars! If you’re a sprint car fan, this is your chance to come out and would your support for these ground pounding, fire breathing monsters. Winged spring cars can lap the speedway in less than 12 seconds, compared to 13.5 seconds in a Super Late Model, that’s bad fast! Joining the Sprints will be the Open Wheel Modifieds, Sportsman, Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Hornets, and the Dwarf cars. This will be an action packed night of racing you won’t want to miss, best bang for your buck all season. Come out and support your open wheel stars!