Citrus County Speedway race fans and racers were greeted Saturday night with the best racing weather they have seen all year. With the temps dropping into the mid 60’s after sunset, it made for one of the most comfortable nights at the speedway this year.
14 Super Late Models took the green for their 35 lap feature with Cody Lane (27) and Todd Brown (23) on the front row. Lane would jump out to and early lead at the green, but 3rd place starter Kevin Macy (119) would rocket to the lead before the 1st caution at lap 3. Lap 3 would see a pile up in turn 1 and 2 that resembled many Talladega cup races. Anthony Sergi (20) would make contact with Talon Craft (10) which sent cars in every direction to avoid the two front runners. The cars of point leader Herb Neumann (98), Scott Grossenbacher (09), Danny Maddox (82), and Frank Alberson (13) were all involved as well. Grossenbacher and Maddox would receive the most damage, with Maddox retiring his car to the pit area. Grossenbacher would continue with heavy right front damage, that would come back to haunt him later in the race. Sergi would take blame for the incident, and tag the rear for the restart. All other drivers that were able to continue, were given there spots back for being caught up in the incident. Macy would lead on the restart but caution again flew for contact between Lane and Keith Zavrel (47). Zavrel would launch over the left rear of Lane entering turn 3, Lane would be done for the night, and Zavrel would return 4 laps down after visiting the pits. Macy would again take off on the restart and distance himself from the field. Neumann and Grossenbacher were charging from the back of the field to chase down the leader. Both drivers would move into the top 3 just past the half way mark in the race. One lap later, something would let go in the right front suspension of Grossenbachers car, sending him into the turn 1 wall, ending his night at lap 18. Macy now would have his mirror full of Neumann on the restart, but moved away at the green flag. Neumann has been practically unbeatable at Citrus this year, with only 3 other drivers able to take a feature win this year. But none of those drivers has been able to outrun the points leader on the way to their victory. Macy would now have to run the last 17 laps without a mistake, not even a slip to take the win…..he did just that. Macy went on to take his 1st win of the season with a comfortable 5 car margin over the final 4 laps, after a furious battle with Neumann from lap 18-31. Neumann would come home 2nd, with Talon Craft posting his best finish of the year in 3rd. Maddox and Sergi were heat race winners.
8 Sheldon Palmes Insurance Mini Stocks put on the most exciting race of the evening in their 20 lap feature. Over the final 8 laps of the race Jessey Mallory (50), Shannon Kennedy (46), Tim Scalise (24), and Jeremy Sharrone (32) all took turns trading the lead all the way to the finish line. In the end, Sharrone would make the winning pass on Kennedy with only 1 lap left to take his 4th feature win of the season, and extend his points lead to 51pts over Kevin Stone (98). Kennedy would come home 2nd with Scalise coming home 3rd. It was one of the hardest, cleanest, and most competitive race in any division at the speedway this year. Kennedy was your heat race winner.
12 Street Stocks took the green for their 20 lap feature with Robert Kuhn Jr (92) and Kenny May (10) on the front row. May would jump out to the early lead, but 4th place starter Richie Smith (42) would put the pressure on for the lead. Smith would battle on the outside for 4 laps before taking the lead away from May, and pulling away. 9th place starter, and point leader, Curtis Flanagan (3) would catch May for 2nd with only 3 laps remaining in this caution free race. Flanagan would look high and low for a lane, finally finding a hole on the outside with only 1 lap remaining. Flanagan would prove to have the better car, and just edge out May for 2nd at the finish line. Smith was making his return to the Street Stock class after over 4 months off from the division. He picked right back up where he left off, in a division where has had many feature wins and championships. Heat race winners were Bubba Martone (98) and Kyle Peters (53)
9 Modified Mini Stocks would all try to take home the checkered flag in their 20 lap feature with Mike Slavic (29) and Jesse Henley (18) on the front row. Henley jumped out to the early lead, but was under heavy pressure from 4th place starter Mark Powers (9) right away. Powers put the pressure on, but couldn’t find a way around the leader. Behind them, point leader Clint Foley (7) had made his way to 3rd from his 7th starting position. Foley would execute a perfect timing move on Powers for 2nd while he was battling for the lead, and then move by Henley for the lead soon after. Foley would go on to take his division leading 6th feature win of the year. Powers followed Foley by Henley to come home in the 2nd position, while Chris Allen (33) made a last lap pass on Henley to take 3rd at the finish. Powers was your heat race winner.
6 Inter-County Recycling Hornets all tried to catch Scott Bumgarner (9) from the drop of the green. This race saw 3 first time drivers put the pedal to the metal and try to chase down Bumgarner, who has won all but one race he has entered this year. Lauren Longacre would take her Dolman Law Group Honda to the 2nd position early on, and was able to chase down the leader with only a few laps remaining. Longacre would come up just a bit short at the finish line in her first ever race, settling for 2nd over the victorious Bumgarner. Another 1st timer, Clay Ranallo (1), would bring one of the tracks rental cars home in the 3rd position at the end of the 15 lap feature.
8 Pro Challenge cars all ended up chasing Kevin Terry (24) for most of the 25 lap feature event. Paul White (25) would finally find a way around Terry with just 5 laps remaining, and go on to take his 2nd feature win in a row at Citrus. Following White home in 2nd was the hard charging Ryan Rust (18) and Terry settling for 3rd.
This Saturday night will be headlined by the Robert Aaron “Race for racers” 50 lap figure 8 race. Rumor has it over 24 cars have all ready registered to run this special tribute race, to honor one of the tracks greatest men and hero’s. Joining them will be the Open Wheel Modifieds, Sportsman, Taylor Made Homes Pure Stocks, Sheldon Palmes Insurance Mini Stocks, and the Inter-County Recycling Hornets. Gates open at 4pm and racing starts at 6pm sharp. Visit the track website at www.citruscountyspeedway.com for complete details. See you at the races!