Miller takes second points title in a row at Citrus County Speedway
Doug Miller entered Saturday nights final Open Wheel Modified event with a 42 point lead in the championship standings. Miller would need to take the green for his heat and feature to claim his second division title in as many years. Miller would do just that, and then turn his attention to winning the 40 lap feature event.
Jarret Snowden (4) and Troy Robinson (0) would lead the 15 car field to the green flag, Snowden would get the early lead on lap 1. Robinson would quickly go to work on the leader, and move to the top spot just a few laps later. Snowden would continue to battle on the outside as the pack was bearing down on him. Lap 12 would see Snowden involved in some three wide racing down the backstretch, as the drivers entered turn 3 everyone ran out of racing room pretty quickly. Snowden would get the worst end of the chaos, ending up spun into the backstretch wall. Robinson would lead on the restart, but now had a hungry Doug Miller (53) and Richie Smith (289) in his mirror. Miller would take to the low side after the restart, on move by Robinson for the lead, bringing Smith with him. Lap 18 would see the next caution for contact between Herb Neumann Jr (01) and Tommy Schnader (19). Both drivers were trading paint in the laps leading up to the caution, which ended with Schnader spinning, and both drivers being sent to the rear. Miller would lead on the restart, but Smith soon turned up the pressure after the green. Smith looked high and low, finally finding a way by on the inside to take the lead at lap 27. Smith tried to pull away, but just two laps later Miller dug a little deeper and found some extra speed. Miller would move to the inside off of turn two in a bid to retake the lead, but the two leaders made contact on the exit of the corner, with Smith going for a spin. Caution would fly once again, Smith and Miller would stop next to each other on the track to discuss the incident. Miller in the end reluctantly took blame for the incident, giving Smith back the lead, and sending himself to the rear. Smith would survive a late race charge from L J Grimm (25) to hold on and take his 2nd feature win of 2012. Grimm would come home a strong 2nd, with Robinson 3rd. Miller would win the points championship for the 2nd year in a row, besting Robinson by 37 points. Miller was Mr. Consistency all year, taking 3 heat wins, but no feature wins in 2012.
Jay Witfoth (4) entered Saturday nights final Sportsman race of the season in a similar fashion as Doug Miller. Jay just needed to start the feature to claim his 1st Sportsman division championship. The green flag flew, and Witfoth clinched, but then he started his race to the front. Andy Nichols (66) would move to the lead from his outside front row starting position at the drop of the green. But Witfoth would run down the leader, and move by to take the lead on lap 10. 5th place started Mike Bell (17) would follow Witfoth to the front, and challenged for the lead just before the half way mark of the event. Bell would take over the top spot on lap 12, and never look back. Witfoth would give up the 2nd spot to Nichols, as he was unable to get back to bottom lane after Bell move by for the lead. Bell would stretch out his lead over the final 12 laps, and go on to take his 2nd feature win of 2012, and secure his runner up finish in the championship standings. Nichols came home 3rd, and your 2012 champion Witfoth in 3rd. Witfoths season was also a picture of consistency, taking 6 heat wins (the most of any driver), but no feature wins in 2012.
Happy Florian (65) entered Saturday nights final Pure Stock event with a slim 3 point lead over 2nd place Nicholas Malverty (17). After both competitors ran their heat races, that margin was increased to 4 points. At 2 points per position, Malverty would need to best Florian by 2 spots to take the Championship. Florian started 5th, while Malverty found himself deep in the field starting 12th. Dustin Dinkins (96) would take early control of the race, pulling out to a comfortable lead. Behind him Florian was carefully making his way to the front of the field, while Malverty found himself tied up with slower traffic. 6th place starter Karlin Ray (72) was on the move from the green, and found himself in 2nd as the nights first caution flew at lap 5. Dinkins was you leader for the restart with Ray 2nd, and Duane Baker (46) 3rd. Ray went to work right away on the restart, and would take over the lead on lap 7. Behind him Florian began his charge to the front, getting by Baker for 3rd, and then Dinkins for 2nd two laps later. Malverty finally cleared the traffic and was desperately trying to run down Florian to challenge for the championship. A late race caution would find Malverty in 4th with Florian just ahead in 2nd, so the drama was building for the finish. Ray rocketed away on the restart, and would go on to take his 5th feature win of 2012. Florian would come home 2nd, and clinch the 2012 Pure Stock points championship. Malverty would race his way to 3rd at the checkers, but fell just 6 points short of the title.
Shannon Kennedy (20) raced to his 2nd feature win in a row, and 4th of the season in the Mini Stock division. Kennedy held off a late race charge from this years points champion Jeremy Sharrone (32) in the exciting finish. Jesse Mallory would come home in the 3rd position.
The Florida United Pro Truck series saw J R Garcia (13) jump out to an early lead, only to see his power plant go up in smoke, while out front and cruising to a victory at lap 32. This handed the lead over the 2nd running Brent Hubar (64) for the restart. Hubar would have a mirror full of Jessica Green at the drop of the green, and these two would pull away to settle the battle for victory. Hubar would prove to have just enough to hold off the faster Green, taking the victory in their 50 lap feature. Green would come home 2nd followed by Steve Darvalics (41) who slipped by Jessica Murphy for 3rd at the finish line.
Jennifer Dillon (15) took off from her pole position to take a dominant victory in the 15 lap Hornet feature. Dillon nearly lapped the other two cars in the event at the checkered flag. Coming home 2nd was Jackie Viers (1) in her first race, and Ron Dillon (6) was 3rd.
The Citrus County Speedway has now concluded itís 2012 points season, the track will be idle until December 15th when it will fire back up for the first leg of the Winter Spectacular series. The first leg will see and action packed night of special races headlined by the Open Wheel Modifieds for 75 laps, and the Sportsman, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Pro Figure 8ís all going for 50 laps .