By Jeff Bean-NFS Media
Lake City FL. Racers and fans got a chance to get the 2012 season underway Saturday night and defending Limited Modified champion Shane Taylor wasted no time getting his title defense underway with a feature event win. He also took top honors in the Pure Stock feature event. Stanton Mills won the Late Model event with Devin Walker the winner in Street Stocks and John Windham the top finisher in Box Stock and Chuck Cumby the victor in TQ Lates.
At the drop of the green flag in the Limited Modified feature Shane Taylor took the lead from JD Jeffers and paced the first three laps. On lap three the battle for second between Jeffers and Jamie Green saw the two make contact with the end result seeing Jeffers into the front stretch guard rail and coming to rest on his roof. Both drivers were OK and when the battle resumed Donnie Hall would be the new challenger for Taylor. While the race leader would continue lead rookie Jimmie Peele would work his way through the field and edge Hall for the second spot in the closing stages.
Bobby Rivers would take the early lead in the Street Stock feature from Jerry Fortner and led the first five laps. Contact from Josh Bedenbaugh would see Rivers going for spin and bring out the first yellow. Bedenbaugh would be placed at the rear of the field for his involvement in the caution and Rivers was placed back at the head of the field. The restart order would now see Rivers leading Sammy Hatcher and Devin Walker. At the half way point Hatcher would take the lead away from Rivers. That lead was short lived however as Hatcher would spin on lap nine while negotiating lapped traffic and Rivers would again see himself at the head of the field. After a couple of attempts to get the race back under green the field would get two more laps in the books before a spin by Bedenbaugh would bring out another caution flag. Devin Walker would apply the pressure on a couple of late race restarts and coming to the white flag he would make the winning pass on Rivers. As the field worked the final lap Rivers would get out of shape and collect Chris Barnhart who would end up on top of the back stretch wall. The top three at the finish line would be Walker with Jerry Fortner second and Josh Bedenbaugh rallying back from an earlier penalty and a late race flat tire to finish third.
The Box Stock feature event would see John Windham take the lead at the drop of the green and never look back with Ray Hunter coming home second and defending division champion Bryar Zimmerman coming home third.
In Late Model action Johnny Collins and Stanton Mills would wage a side by side battle for the lead with Mills finally getting the upper hand after several laps and cruising home for the race win. Kyle Owen and Johnny Collins would follow Mills to the line.
In TQ Late Model action Chuck Cumby would survive challenges from Dave Rader and John Hopke for the win.
Pure Stock honors were taken by Shane Taylor with apparent runner up Jimmy Carter running afoul of the tech inspectors with a carburetor deemed to be illegal thus erasing his second place finish. Complete official results will be posted later this week.
This Saturday March 17th come spend St. Patrick’s Day with us as the Florida Mini Sprint Association will be on hand and the Open Wheel Modifieds get their championship battle underway. Also the Sportsman, Box Stocks and Pure Stocks will be in action. For more info call 386-754-8800 or visit us at www.northfloridaspeedway.com.