Aaron Williamson tops Sportsman 50 at Citrus County Speedway
23 Sportsman competitors started the night off with time trial qualifying around the ¼ speedway for their 50 lap feature event. After each driver took the fastest of their 2 laps, Patrick Thomas (25) was the man on top of the mountain, with a fast lap of 14.52 seconds. Following him were Mike Bresnahan (69) in 2nd at 14.58, and Brandon Morris (56) at a 14.61. After the fan determined 6 row inversion for the feature, the top three had their work cut out for them, now starting right in the middle of a competitive field. Mark Peterson (73) would benefit from the deep inversion, ending up on the pole position with Travis Hoefler (22) alongside for the green. At the drop of the green, the action was non stop through the field. Peterson would jump out to the early lead with Hoefler settling into 2nd. Behind them, the dash for the front of the field was on. The cars of Thomas, Bresnahan, Morris, George Gorham Jr (10) and Aaron Williamson (13) were all racing furiously to get to the front first. The first caution would fly at lap 18 for contact between Gorham and Craig Cuzzone (88), both would tag the rear for the restart. The top two remained the same, with Mike Bell (17) securing the 3rd spot early on. Once back to green, the action picked right back up for the 5th through 8th positions, where the top qualifiers were carving their way to the front. Hoefler would get shuffled out of the 2nd spot by the new 3rd place runner Williamson, and bring 4 others with him. Williamson would then go to work on Peterson for the lead at lap 23, moving by on the high side to take the top spot. Bresnahan would get by Bell for 3rd in lapped traffic, he would also bring Thomas and Morris with him. Bresnahan then went to work on Peterson for 2nd, moving by him on the outside at lap 32. Thomas would follow Bresnahan by on the high side of Peterson, and it was shaping up to be a battle of the top qualifiers over the final 15 laps. As Thomas almost cleared Peterson in turn 1, contact from Peterson sent Thomas spinning out of control in turn 2. Caution would fly once again, and both drivers would be sent to the rear of the field for the restart. Williamson would now have to hold off two of the top three qualifiers over the final 15 laps of the race. Williamson would get a great restart, and began to pull away from the rest of the field. Neither Bresnahan or Morris had the speed to run with the leader, and both faded over the final few laps. The race seemed to be all wrapped up with Williamson cruising to the victory, but a last lap caution changed the complexion of the race. Now Williamson would have to survive a one lap shoot out to take the victory. Williamson would prove to be up for the task as he would survive one last outside charge from Bresnahan on the restart to take the victory and the $1000 winners purse. Bresnahan would come home 2nd, and also secure the hard charger award after starting 12th in the field. Morris would come home 3rd just ahead of Gorham in 4th, and Hoefler in 5th.
17 Open Wheel Modifieds roared to the green with Troy Robinson (0) and Josh Todd (011) on the front row. Todd would get the jump and go to the lead from the drop of the green. Robinson would settle into 2nd, with Herb Neumann Jr (01) running 3rd. The field would be slowed at lap 9 for a multi car spin, and the caution would fly. Once back to green, Neumann would move by Robinson on the outside like he was tied to a stump off of turn 4, and then set his sights on the leader Todd. Neumann would run down the leader, and make the outside pass on Todd to take the lead at lap 17. Robinson now had his hands full with Richie Smith (289) for the 3rd position. Smith raced hard on the inside, but had trouble finding the traction he needed to complete the pass. Both these drivers would see their luck run out, as contact on lap 29 between them sent both cars spinning, and the caution flying again. Both cars would be sent to the rear, and Robbie Cooper (98) would now move to the 3rd position. Neumann would lead on the restart, but looked as if his car might be going away. Todd would turn up the pressure over the final 5 laps, challenging Neumann for the lead. Neumann would have just enough to hold Todd off, taking his 2nd feature win of 2012. Todd would come home a strong 2nd, with Cooper coming home 3rd. Todd and Robinson were your heat race winners.
13 Pure Stocks were lead to the green with Karlin Ray (72) and Carl Peters (39) on the front row. Peters would jump out to the early lead and looked to be headed to an easy victory. Ray would run just behind in 2nd, but found a little extra speed over the final 3 laps, challenging Peters for the lead. Peters would prove to be up to the task, taking his 3rd feature win of 2012. Ray would come home a strong 2nd, with Sheri Makula running 3rd. Ray and Peters were also your heat race winners.
The Street Stock division saw Curtis Flanagan launch from his pole position to take the victory in their 20 lap feature. Mike Wilson (79) briefly challenged Flanagan for the lead, but settled for the 2nd position after battling hard with Bubba Martone (98) for much of the race. Martone would fall victim to a lapped car while racing Wilson for 2nd, which allowed John Makula (27) to slip by and take 3rd at the checkers. Martones 4th place finish now moves him within 5 points of the division point leader Dora Thorne (48), who came home 5th.
Jeremy Sharrone (32) moved from his 7th starting position to the lead by lap 10 to take his 9th feature win of 2012 in the Mini Stock division, and extend his large point lead. Ashlee Williamson (84) would race her way from 8th to 2nd at the checkers, with Kevin Stone (98) running a strong 3rd.
Benny Harris (99) took the lead from the pole position early in the 20 lap Pro Figure 8 feature. Harris was under heavy pressure from the get go, 2nd placed starter Eric Sharrone (32) was looking high and low for a way around the leader. Harris would lead until a lap 10 red flag for a small fire on the 25 machine of Patrick Thomas would bring the field to a stop. Harris did not obey the red flag, and continued to move around the track while all other cars were stopped. Harris was sent to the rear of the field on the restart for failing to obey the red flag. This would hand the lead over to Sharrone, who now had his hands full with 9th place starter Mason Love (01). Sharrone would prove to be just fast enough, and pulled away over the final 5 laps to take his 1st Pro Figure 8 win of 2012. Love would settle for 2nd well ahead of Michael Cherry (1) in 3rd. With Loves 2nd place finish, he now finds himself in a tie for the division points lead with Joey Catarelli (6), with only one points paying race left in their 2012 season.
This Saturday night will feature the Frank Stromquist Memorial 57 lap race for the Street Stock division, this should bring the largest field of Street Stocks this season. Saturday night will be the annual Kids bicycle races, so parents bring out your children for their chance to race on the speedway, helmets, knee, and elbow pads are required. Other events on the schedule will be the Pure Stocks, Enduro race, Flag pole race, Boat and Trailer race and Demo Derby! Bring the family out for a fun filled night of action!