DQ GIVES BECKNER 50-LAP MODIFIED WIN AT ORLANDO SPEEDWORLD

Orlando Speedworld LogoThe rain finally held off for once at Orlando SpeedWorld and fans were treated
to some good NASCAR Whelan All-American Series racing on a warm, muggy night.
The Modified class was top bill of the evening going for 50 laps in their
feature.  Earl Beckner of Orlando was quickest in time trials turning a lap at
14.62 seconds just ahead of Lakeland’s Josh Todd who turned in a lap at
14.78.
Pole sitter Roger Benton grabbed the early lead and was looking strong until
Shain Held went for a spin on lap two off the bumper of Todd’s machine.  Todd
was sent to the rear of the field for the restart while Held got his spot
back.  Benton continued to lead the way but began to get pressure from
Beckner.  On lap ten, Beckner dove low into turn three to try and make a pass
and just barely touched the left rear tire of Benton’s car sending Beckner
into a wild slide.  Beckner restarted the event from the tail of the field.
On the restart, Benton’s car began to slide backwards, victim of a cut tire
from the incident with Beckner.  Todd moved his car to the front and began to
check out.  Lap 22 saw Beckner, his teammate Jason Vail and Matt Wheeler lock
horns in turn four.  There was no significant damage and all three continued.
Just as the field got the halfway signal on lap 25, Wheeler tangled with Matt
Jarrett on the front stretch and hit the wall.  The crash eliminated both
drivers from the race while Vail also took his car to the sidelines.
The second half of the race was a runaway for Todd although Beckner eventually
moved into second and looked to be a bit faster but was too far behind to make
up the necessary ground as Todd took the checker about a half straightaway
ahead of him.  Todd’s win would be negated in tech when an illegal titanium
axle was found to be installed on his car and he was disqualified.  That
handed the win to Beckner with Held getting second and Benton gamely hanging
on to his “squirrely” machine for third.  Wheeler, Jarrett, Vail and Todd were
credited with fourth through seventh places.
The Super Stocks put on their usual good race with Jeff Cuddy leading the
opening four laps before Donny Funk zipped through the field to lead the
remaining distance and score his fourth consecutive victory.  Funk’s win
wasn’t an easy one as Chad Pierce gave him all he could handle in the waning
laps before settling for second over Michael Held, Brandon Christian, Charles
King, Cuddy and Art Hendren.  Funk also won the heat race.
The Pro Late Models and Sportsman cars were combined for their action but two
cars never made it to the green flag of their heat race as Zach Harris and
Daniel Conlin, Jr. somehow collided hard enough while lining up for the race
to put both out for the evening.  That left just a pair of Pro Lates to duke
it out and it was Mooresville, NC visitor Eric Stokes winning both the heat
and feature over Ricky Moxley.  Stokes is originally from Miami.  Steve Barnes
topped both the heat and feature races for the Sportsman over Justin Starr.
Richard Fiore was also unable to answer the feature call for the Sportsman
class.
The best race of the night was the Strictly Stock feature that saw ageless Ron
McCreary dust off an old Ford Probe, driven several years ago by his son Todd,
and win the feature after a dandy battle with both Shane Sutorus and Wes
Railing, Jr. who collided late in the event trying to get their V-8 Chevies
past McCreary’s car.  Early race leader Richard Fiore came home second ahead
of Sutorus, Megan Matheny and Mike Trotter.  Rounding out the finishers were
John Walls, Railing, Rex Carr, Tyler Jewer, Scott Sweat and Donald Springer.
Railing was the heat race winner.
After heat winner David Owen dropped out, Ryan Pierce went on to claim victory
in the Bandolero feature topping Brett Suggs, Derek Pugh, Brandi Bibeau and
Owen.

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