Jessica Murphy tops FUPTS 50 at Citrus County Speedway
Citrus County Speedway fans were treated to two 50 lap feature events on Saturday night as the Florida United Pro Truck Series and the Pure Stocks both went the extra distance. The night got underway with time trial qualifying for the trucks and Pure Stocks. When the dust settled, Jessica Murphy took top honors in the truck division, and Michael Martin to the honors in the Pure Stocks.
17 Pro Trucks took the green with Tim Sozio (16x) and Gerald Campbell (2x) occupying the front row, fast qualifier Murphy would start in the 3rd position. Sozio would jump out the early lead with Murphy settling into 2nd, and Brent Hubar (64) in 3rd. The top three would run unchanged until the 1st caution at lap 12 would slow the field for a restart. Truck series rules call for double file restarts, so Sozio would now have the fast qualifier Murphy, just to his outside. Murphy would power by on the restart green, to take the lead in the outside lane. Hubar would also find a way by Sozio to take the 2nd position just ahead of Brad Bowman (2) in 3rd. Bowman would soon put the pressure on Hubar for 2nd, and make the pass, then setting his sights on the leader. The field would slow again at lap 20 for itís second caution, resetting the field for another double file restart. Murphy would now have the hard charging Bowman on her outside for the restart. As the two leaders came to the green flag, they raced hard to turn one. The top 2 would make hard side to side contact at the flag stand, that sent the field scattering behind them. Murphy would spin in turn one, and Bowman would suffer front end damage. Gerald Campbell would get the worst of the crash that damaged 7 trucks. Campbells racer was turned head on into the turn one guardrail after being contacted in the right rear by Jessica Green (16). The red flag was displayed while the track crew cleaned up the carnage, all drivers were uninjured in the incident. With only 13 trucks left on the speedway, this restart was single file. Murphy would jump back out to the lead on the restart, and go on to take an unchallenged victory over the final 30 laps. Hubar would hold out for 2nd over Danny Anderson (50) in 3rd.
17 Pure Stocks now took center stage for their 50 lap feature. After the 2 row inversion, Karlin Ray (72) took the pole position, with Nicholas Malverty (17) to his outside. Ray would get the jump on the rest of the field, taking the early lead. Fast qualifier Michael Martin (76) would settle into 2nd, with Carl Peters in 3rd. The top three quickly moved away from the rest of the field to settle the race among themselves. Peters would soon put the pressure on Martin, and move to the 2nd position at lap 7. Peters then ran down the leader Ray, and the battle for the win was on. Peters made and inside pass attempt at lap 17, which saw the top two cars run side by side for two laps. A lapped car would force Ray to tap the brakes entering turn one, handing over the lead to Peters. The race would run green till the 1st caution at lap 42, for a single car spin by Malverty. With only 5 cars left on the lead lap, the top 5 all had a shot at victory. Peters would move away on the restart, and go on to take the victory followed by Ray in 2nd, and Martin in 3rd. The top three cars were forced to pull flywheels in post race technical inspection. The top two cars of Peters and Ray were found to be legal. Martin, the 3rd place car, choose not to disassemble his car for a third place finish. As a result, Martin was disqualified for the night, which moved Sheri Makula to the third position.
A full field of 21 Sportsman roared to the green with Ernie Reed (55) and Patrick Thomas (25) on the front row. Thomas would move to the lead from his outside starting spot by the end of lap one. Behind him there was racing action all thru the field. The first caution would fly at lap 4 for contact between Chris Harvey (51) and Lance Dubach (77). Harvey would receive a flat tire, and Daubach would be sent to the rear for the restart. Thomas pulled back to a comfortable lead on the restart while others battled behind him. 3rd place starter George Gorham Jr (10) would move by Reed for 2nd at lap 10, and try to run down the leader. The next caution would fly at lap 14 for a hard wreck in turn one. Point leader Jay Witfoth (4) and Bret Jenkins (199) were racing side by side for position when the lapped car of Justin Monahan (28) got in the way. Witfoth and Jenkins would make contact, sending Jenkins into the turn one wall hard. Jenkins car would briefly get airborne in shower of sparks, but came to rest on all four wheels. Jenkins expressed his displeasure with Witfoth under caution, trying to reach through Witfoths window net as he drove by. Jenkins has had terrible racing luck this season, this will be the 2nd front clip that he has replaced this season. Thomas would now have Gorham Jr on his bumper for the restart, with Reed still on 3rd. Thomas got a great restart, and would pull away over the final 11 laps to take his 2nd victory in a row at Citrus. Gorham Jr would hold on to 2nd, with Reed coming home 3rd. Heat race winners were Reed, Harvey, and Gorham Jr.
Ashlee Williamson (84) lead the 11 car Mini Stock field to green from here pole position, and pulled out to a big early lead. The 1st caution came at lap 5 for the stalled car of Carson Taylor (60), resetting the field. Williamson would survive 2 more late race cautions, and a furious closing lap charge by Jeremy Sharrone (32), to take her first feature win of 2012 at Citrus County Speedway. Sharrone would settle for 2nd after applying heavy pressure to Williamson in the final laps. Shawn Jenkins (43) would charge from dead last in the field, to bring home 3rd at the checkers. Heat race winners were Tim Scalise (24) and Sharrone.
In other racing action, Daryl Veltman (55) took the victory over Skylar Graves (7) in the Hornet division. Dave Gleason (07) took the win in the Legends, and Sam Comman (74) in the Bandoleros.
This Saturday night sees the return of the Florida United Promoters Late Model Series for the A-Able Septic 100. Some of the states top drivers including Steve Dorer, Jeff Scofield, Wayne Anderson, Daryl Shelnut, Billy Bigley Jr, and local hot shoes Herb Neumann Jr and Scott Grossenbacher will all try to take home the checkers in this 100 lap event. Joining them on the race program will be the Modified Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Hornets, and Figure 8ís. Qualifying will start at 5:45pm with the first race taking the green flag at 6:30.