BECCA MONOPOLI ZOOMS TO 50 LAP PRO TRUCK WIN AT ORLANDO SPEEDWORLD

20130525-012035.jpgThe Pro Trucks took center stage Friday night at Orlando SpeedWorld going for 50 laps in NASCAR Whelan All-American Series action joined by the Super Stocks, E-Modifieds and Strictly Stocks.

The ladies dominated Pro Truck qualifying with Becca Monopoli setting quick time over Whitney Poole. The pill draw saw the two reverse starting positions for the big feature race as Poole started from the pole with Monopoli on the outside of the front row. Monopoli snared the early lead while Gerald Campbell moved up to challenge Poole and made a pass for second on lap four. The race stayed green until John Hodge, subbing for Zach Curtis, spun off turn two on lap 21. On the restart, Campbell turned up the wick and led the 22nd lap only to see Monopoli back out front on the following lap.
Poole drove back around Campbell on lap 26 and set her sights on the leader only to see Randy Leonard loop his machine off turn four on lap 29. Poole got forced high on the restart and lost two spots to Campbell and Matthew Green but re-passed Green a lap later and settled into third. From that point the race ran under green flag conditions all the way to the finish. Monopoli won by almost a full straightaway with Campbell second and Poole, her truck overheating badly, holding on for third over Green and Leonard. Doc McKinney and Hodge were scored sixth and seventh but both were a DNF.

Donny Funk did it again in the Super Stock class, taking his third win in a row, but had his typical “eventful” evening. Upon arriving at the track, he discovered his racer had a broken spindle. After repairing the car but
getting minimal hot laps, Funk drew the pole for the heat and won easily while getting to watch a wild battle for second behind him. The re-draw for the feature line-up saw Funk pull a six but he would eventually be up to the task in scoring a rare hat trick in this tough class. Jeff Cuddy led the first lap only to be passed by David Gould who led the next pair of circuits only to be spun by Cuddy during lap four. Gould was placed back in the lead while Cuddy went to the back of the pack for the restart. Just after the field went back under green, Gould went for another “ride,” this time off Funk’s front bumper. At this point Gould, who wasn’t happy with the way his car was running, elected to restart from the scratch position. Funk was not penalized and restarted in third spot. By the time the field had made another lap, Funk was out front and cruised from there to take the checker ahead of Chad Pierce who was driving the No. 40 machine of Dennis Snyder for the evening. Jeff Cuddy came back for third just ahead of a resurgent Gould, Dustin Turnage, Bobby Cuddy and Art Hendren. Earl Beckner led every lap of the E-Modified feature race as he won with relative ease over teammate Jason Vail and heat race winner Roger Benton. Fourth went to Mike Soukup.

The Strictly Stock feature race was basically a battle between last weeks
winner Wes Railing, Jr. in his V-8 Chevy Monte Carlo and the Ford Probe of Neil Kirby. After Kirby won the heat race, Railing flexed his muscle and took over the top spot in the feature at the drop of the green. Kirby stayed close but just did not seem to have that “little extra” to get around Railing. When Charles King and Megan Matheny collided on lap 21, Railing’s car was stopped on the track during the caution and he was made an offer… if he would restart last behind the remaining cars and win, he would get an extra $50 from the track. Railing took up the offer and the race was on. With no caution flags to help him out, Railing was able to get back up to second spot but ran out of time before he could mount a challenge for the win. Kirby crossed the stripe well ahead of Railing while former Marine fighter pilot Eddie Moran celebrated the Memorial Day weekend with a solid third place run. Jason Clendinen, King, Richard Tyner, Matheny, Luis Guillen and Tyler Jewer rounded out the finishers.

Next week, racing will be held on Saturday night, June 1 with the Tampa Bay Area Racing Association Sprint Cars as the featured attraction. Also on the card will be the Three-Quarter Midgets, Legend Cars and Mini-Cup cars along with special big money races for the Super Stocks and Strictly Stocks. The final event next Saturday will be a FWD Demolition Derby.

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