Wayne “Rocketman” Jefferson tops Modifieds at Citrus County Speedway
Mother Nature smiled on the state of Florida this week, bringing some much needed rainfall to many parts of the state. Race fans, drivers, and crews were facing an ominous forecast for Saturday, with the chance of rain above 70% for Saturday night. The rains came and continued until 4pm, that’s when the speedway staff went to work, drying the track for a night of short track racing action. Most of the tracks in Florida were forced to cancel, leaving Citrus County Speedway the place to be. The show started right on time at 6:30 as everyone settled in for a exciting night.
19 Open Wheel Modifieds registered for their 40 lap feature event. With a 19 car field, that meant the class was eligible for the bonus money put up by the speedway just a few weeks ago. A six row invert put Wayne “Rocketman” Jefferson on the pole position in Tony Carenos familiar red #61. Jefferson jumped out to an early lead while Steven Hise (2) settled into the 2nd position early on, followed by Ricky Coffin (17) in 3rd. The race would run green until lap 13, when a small rain shower passed over the speedway. The cars stayed on the track under the caution, and the track was soon dry enough to go green. Jefferson would again move away quickly on the restart. The race would remain green with the top 3 unchanged until the showers would come again at lap 26. This delay was a short one, and they were back racing in a matter of minutes. Jefferson wasted no time pulling away on the restart, with Hise running a strong 2nd, and Coffin now under fire from 12th place starter L J Grimm (25) for the 3rd position. Grimm and Coffin would race hard, before Grimm would wrestle away the 3rd position. The race would see it’s last caution at lap 35 for a blown motor in Rick Case’s machine, being piloted by John Gerstner (35). The field would be reset with only 5 laps remaining, giving Grimm a shot at the two leaders. Jefferson would prove he was the man to beat, taking his 2nd feature win in a row in the Open Wheel Modified division. Hise would have his best run of the year coming home 2nd, with Grimm settling for 3rd after starting deep in the field. Grimm and Richie Smith were your heat race winners.
16 Sportsman took the green for their 25 lap feature, which also qualified them for the bonus money program. John Buzinec (114) and Dennis Neighbor Sr (83) would lead the field to green, but Mike Bell (17) would move to the top spot by the end of lap 2. Bells time at the front would be short lived as 10th place starter Aaron Williamson (13) would rocket to the lead one lap later. Bell would later suffer a mechanical issue, sending him to the pits while running a solid 2nd place. 8th place starter Brandon Morris (56) would move his way to the 2nd position by lap 12 when the nights 2nd caution flew. This would bunch up the field with Williamson leading, Morris now 2nd, and Ernie Reed moving from 12th to 3rd for the restart. Williamson would drop the hammer for the restart, and prove to have just enough speed to take his 1st feature win of the 2012 season. Morris would come home 2nd just ahead of Reed in 3rd. Reed and division point leader Jay Witfoth were your heat race winners.
12 Pure stocks spent most of the night chasing pole sitter Arden Franklin. 10th place starter Eugene Malverty (123) would catch Franklin in the closing laps, and put on the pressure. Malverty made contact with Franklins rear bumper several times, before he was able to muscle his way by on lap 17. Malverty would go on to take an apparent victory. Franklin would come home 2nd, followed by point leader Nicholas Malverty in 3rd. Eugene Malverty had his victory taken away following a post race protest of his front suspension. Malverty was found to have an illegal control arm bushing in the front of his racer, which disqualified him for the night. Franklin would then be awarded the victory, with Nicholas Malverty moving to 2nd, and Steven Stinedurf moving to 3rd. Heat race winners were Tyler Stickler (9) and Stinedurf.
The Mini Stock division saw a great battle for the lead early on between leader Mark Patterson (22) and Tim Scalise (24). Scalise would move to the lead at lap 9, and try to run away from the hard charging Ashley Williamson (84), Jeremy Sharrone (32), and Shannon Kennedy (46). Sharrone would later get a piece of the concrete retaining wall, which allowed Williamson to move to the 2nd position, and Kennedy to 3rd. Scalise would hold on to take his 1st feature win of 2012. Kennedy would slip by Williamson in the closing laps and take away the 2nd position, with Williamson just behind in 3rd. Scalise was also your heat race winner.
The beginner Hornet Division looked more like a demo derby than a race this week. Once the sparks stopped flying Daryl Veltman (55) would take the feature win with Scott Bumgarner (9) in 2nd, and early leader Kyle Stoner (7) coming home 3rd.
The cars of yesterday saw Steve Parrish (38) hold off a late race charge from Donny Duchesne (40p) to take another victory, Tim Brush (400) would come home in the 3rd position.
This Saturday night will see the Super Late Models back in action, with the Street Stocks, Modified Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks, Hornet, and the Legends. Gates open at 4pm with racing taking the green at 6:30pm sharp. Bring out the family and friends for a great night of short track racing.