MONOPOLI TAKES 2019 PRO TRUCK TITLE
Auburndale Speedway returned to action Saturday night with great early fall weather and a nice crowd of fans who were ready for a pair of 50-lap contests for the Pro Trucks and the Sportsman cars. The Pro Truck event would be the season finale for the class.
Time trials for the Pro Trucks saw young Carter “Mac n’ Cheese” Brown pull off a big surprise by setting fast time for the first time in his career. His lap of 14.597 seconds topped the laps of Cody McDuffie, Brey Holmes, Becca Monopoli and Danny Anderson.
The top four qualifiers were inverted for the start placing Monopoli on the pole flanked by Holmes. Monopoli jumped out to a quick lead with McDuffie following into second only to see the yellow flag out at the end of lap one for a Bryton Horner spin in turn one. Monopoli and McDuffie took off again on the restart as Danny Anderson slipped by Holmes for third spot.
Monopoli and McDuffie broke cleanly away from the field with Monopoli eventually stretching her lead to almost a full straight over McDuffie until the next caution of the race flew on lap 39 when J. R. Garcia stopped in turn two. Garcia pitted and returned but ran just one more circuit before dropping out.
Holmes slipped by Anderson for third on the restart as Monopoli again pulled away before the final caution came out on lap 46 for a turn two spin by William Kerns. Monopoli easily pulled away to take the win over McDuffie, Holmes, Brown and Anderson. Sixth place went to Jacob Nicoletti trailed by Kristin Clements, Rodney Tower, Colt Cecil, Jody Gill, Kerns, Garcia and Horner.
For Monopoli it was her third win here in the four Pro Truck races run and it earned her the 2019 track championship. The 30-year-old now has 14 track titles to her credit in her nine year racing career.
Just eight cars showed up for the Sportsman contest and the night belonged to George Gorham, Jr. who set quick time and was slated to start fourth in the feature race. The event was red-flagged almost immediately as outside pole sitter Adam Briggs had the throttle stick on his car and he slammed hard into the turn two wall. Briggs was unhurt but the same could not be said about his racer.
With Briggs out, Gorham started from the outside pole and that was all she wrote. The 50 laps ran green to checker and Gorham was easily the class of the field winning by over a full straight. Brett Jenkins was a distant second followed by Charlie Brown. Fourth was taken by Shawn Harper who finished ahead of Ross Francisco, Jamie Kennedy, Tom Zimmerman and Briggs.
Jimmy McLeod led the first two laps of the V-8 Bomber feature before Brandon Love took over looking for his second straight win. James Wright III closed in and the pair battled for several laps before coming together in turn four during the 13th lap. Love pitted with a flat right front tire and did not return to action. Wright had the top spot for the restart and sped away for his sixth win of the season. Ronnie Abney returned from a lap one flat tire to score a second place run while McLeod earned his first podium finish of the year. Bubba Healey claimed fourth ahead of Jason Sopczak, Brian Harbin, Bud Reed, Love and Danny Burchfield. Jamie Castleberry did not start. Wright also won the heat race.
Many of the V-8 Bomber drivers also entered the Pure Stock class but no one had anything for Matt McCrary. McCrary zipped by newcomer Ryan Thompson, Jr. on lap nine the raced his way to his second consecutive victory. Thompson had a fine run for second ahead of James Wright III who put his V-8 Bomber on the podium a second time on the night. Jammie Dunnahoe, Jr. had a good late run as the “Wild Child” took the checker in fourth ahead of Aaron Holmes, Bubba Healey, Jason Sopczak, Brian Harbin and Jimmy McLeod. Holmes won the heat race.
Guy Kolmel caught and passed early leader Eli Thompson on lap ten then ran off to his fifth Scrambler win of the year. Thompson held on for the runner-up spot with heat winner Fred Wilson third ahead of 11-year-old Trenton Henick, Guy Kolmel, Sr. and Bubba Healey.
Wilson Martins, Jr. got by Russell Bush on lap seven then went on to score his 7th Mini Cup victory making him the winningest driver so far this year at Auburndale Speedway. Bush held on for second over Leandro Martins, Maria Martins and Bryton Horner.
Chris Narramore, Jr. won both the Mini Stock heat and feature. For Narramore it was win number four on the year as he led David McCaig, Tav Gary and Freddy Martin to the checkered flag.