Volusia Speedway Park
RESULTS FOR 4-19
TOVET IS THE IRON MAN …
MARTIN JR., WRIGHT, MILLER CLAIM FEATURE WINS
Danny Martin Jr. in victory lane
It was another great night of racing at “The World’s Fastest Half Mile” with five divisions on hand including the Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprints and the first round of the “Iron Man” series in the Benny’s Racing Tires V8 Thunderstocks.
The evenings feature events started off with the Auto Add Ons Hobby Stock Division. The front row saw Alan Lane and Scott Stewart leading the field to green. The story of the night, however, was Donnie Ashford who was looking to remain perfect on the season trying to win his fourth race in a row. When the green flag dropped it was Stewart jumping out to the early lead, but Chad Scanton and Ashford began a torrid march to the front of the field. By lap three Scranton had moved into the second spot and claimed the lead on the ensuing lap with Ashford in tow. Todd Morgan, who also won his heat race, began to show his muscle by lap seven and moved into a three way battle for the lead.
As the top three battled for the top point, Rodney Wright began to make his way up through the field from his 12th place starting spot. Wright, the 2013 VSP Track Champion, had spun in his heat race while battling Ashford forcing him to start deep in the field. Wright didn’t let his starting spot slow him down moving him into the fourth spot by lap 12. He would then make quick work of Morgan on the ensuing lap while chasing the leaders down.
Now it came down to Ashford, Scranton, and Wright for the win. The three battled side by side and it was Wright taking both of them on the high side in the closing laps, holding on for his first victory of 2014. Scranton came home second with Ashford on his heels for third. “We changed a couple things on the car this week and changed some more from the heat race,” said Wright, “Track was good on the top, but we ended up on the bottom and worked our way to the front.” Heat race wins went to Morgan and Ashford.
The Benny’s Racing Tires V8 Thunderstocks were next on the feature list with the first round of the Iron Man Series. Chad Scranton and David Showers Jr. lead the field to green and it was Scranton who got out to an early lead. Mike Tovet moved into the second position on lap two making quick work of Showers and setting his sights on Scranton. The two would battle back and forth for several laps with Scranton running the high line and Tovet running on the bottom. On lap ten Tovet finally found a way around Scranton when he got a little too high down the back stretch and lost traction allowing Tovet to get around. Scranton would fall back into the second position with Hayden McCormick in third.
The action further back in the field saw Keith Briggs making his way into the top five after starting 20th on the grid. Also making moves right behind him was Jeff Smith who found himself just behind Briggs in the sixth spot. With five laps to go Tovet would pull away from the field as Scranton would start to get pressure from Briggs and Smith. Smith ended up getting around Briggs for the third position, but when the dust settled it was Tovet taking home the win for the second week in a row. Chad Scranton was second followed by Jeff Smith. “Chad had me and the slipped up on the back and I was able to get around him”, said Tovet, “We were able to stay up front and bring home another win”. Justin Durbin, Tovet, Showers Jr., and Scranton all won heat races.
Next up were the highly anticipated Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprints making their first start of the season at VSP. The Top Gun Sprints were slated to run on March 29th, but the skies opened up and the rains came forcing the cancelation of the event. Tonight was not the case as it was Tony Agin and Danny Martin Jr. on the front row leading the field to the green flag. On the initial start it was Agin getting a good jump and taking the lead. Martin would slide into second with Gene Lasker in third. Agin would lead the first few circuits, but it was Martin on the high side with a power move on lap 4 to take the lead away from Agin coming out of turn two. As Martin began pulling away from the field Lasker started to battle Agin for the second spot. Lasker was able to get around Agin for a brief moment, but a mechanical failure would end his night and bring out a caution before he could attempt to run down leader Martin.
Once the field was re-set and the green flew, it was Martin jumping out to a commanding lead on the top shelf. AJ Maddox would slide into the third spot with Matt Kurtz in fourth. As the lap continued to click away and Martin pulled away from the field, Mark Ruel Jr. started to make his way to the front of the field after starting in row seven. Maddox could not hold off the persistent Kurtz and Ruel with both of them slipping by at the half way point. With about 10 laps to go, there was a scary moment for Kyle Pitts in the #7 machine. Kyle tried to miss the spinning Tanner Witherspoon and ended up hitting the wall coming off of turn two causing the car to go end over end three times. The VSP track safety crew reacted quickly to the incident and arrived on scene in a matter of seconds. Pitts would be ok, but his car was un-repairable forcing him to retire for the evening.
After the red flag, the green once again fell with Martin taking another commanding lead and setting sail taking the checkered flag. “The track was very good tonight on the top,” said Martin, “There was some bumps on the bottom in turn one, but with all of the rain the past week this track was in phenomenal shape and we were able to get the win tonight.” Martin, Maddox, and Lasker all won heat races respectively.
Fourth up on the evening saw the Todd’s Tomatoes and Produce Mini Sprints taking center stage. The Mini Sprints were also making their first start of 2014 due to the rains that fell on March 29th. Front row starters Robby Hoffman and Dirk Miller would lead the field to green and it was Miller jumping out to an early lead over Hoffman. John Craddock would settle into third and Connor Borah fourth. Hoffman would not let Miller out of his sight as the two stayed just car lengths apart for most of the race. Once the race reached the five to go mark, mother-nature decided to play a hand in the night
activities causing the race to be red flagged. VSP track crews began working on the track right away trying to keep the surface drivable during the rain.
After nearly 20 minutes the drivers were called back to their cars as the rain came to a stop. Track officials gave the drivers a few laps to make sure the track was ok, but since rains were on the way, the session was short and the green flag was quickly back out. Miller would jump back out to the lead this time pulling away from Hoffman on the new tacky surface. Hoffman would have nothing for Miller who took home the checkered flag leading flag to flag. Hoffman would come home second followed by Craddock. “The car was awesome tonight,” said Miller, “We had the right set-up under the car and when the rain came we were worried, but the track got even faster.” Martin, Lasker, and Maddox all won their heat races.
The final division of the night saw the Kerr’s Automotive Gladiators taking the green. Ashley Taylor and Heather Beebe would start on the front row, but mother-nature would have the final say on how the field came to green. The rains picked up right before the cars came out of turn four causing extreme slick conditions and a massive five car pile-up on the front stretch with Beebe taking the brunt of accident suffering heavy front end damage. The race would be red flagged and shortly after was called due to the poor weather conditions. Track officials said the feature will be run next week as a double header to kick things off
Next week, April 26, will see the UDLMCS Late Model series invading the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” with the Spring Shootout. The event will be 50 laps and $3000 will go to the winner. Supporting the event will be the Modifieds, V8 Thunderstocks, Hobby Stocks, and the double feature for the Gladiator division.
We hope to see you all next week at the track!
Eagle Jet / Top Gun Sprints
Volusia Speedway Park, April 19, 2014
Heat #1 Brown& Miller
1) 24 Danny Martin (Sarasota, FL)
2) 14 Tyler Clem (St. Petersburg, FL)
3) 11 Brett O’Donnell (Deland, FL)
4) 79 David Slawiak (Seffner, FL)
5) 99 Tanner Witherspoon (Jacksonville, FL)
6) 7 Kyle Pitts (Mulberry, FL)
7) 22 Shawn Murray (Jacksonville, FL)
Heat #2 DMI
1) 02 Gene Lasker (Tampa, FL)
2) 82 Matt Kurtz (Jacksonville, FL)
3) 36 Ken Laureno (Pt. Charlotte, FL)
4) 52 Shane Kreidler (Jupiter, FL)
5) 83 Mark Ruel Jr. (Jacksonville, FL)
6) 17C Aileen Collins (Odessa, FL)
Heat #3 Lucas Oil
1) 3A AJ Maddox ( Brandon, FL)
2) 38 Tony Agin (Fort Myers, FL)
3) G6 Brandon Grubaugh (Ocala, FL)
4) 98 Hal Wilson (Crescent City, FL)
5) 8 Rich Alexander (Tampa, FL)
6) 2X Rex Howe (Jacksonville, FL)DNS
Feature Eagle Jet
1) 24 Danny Martin
2) 38 Tony Agin
3) 82 Matt Kurtz
4) 83 Mark Ruel Jr.
5) 3A AJ Maddox
6) 22 Shawn Murray
7) 52 Shane Kreidler
8) 11 Brett O’Donnell
9) 14 Tyler Clem
10) 98 Hal Wilson
11) 8 Rich Alexander
12) 99 Tanner Witherspoon
13) 79 David Slawiak
14) 17C Aileen Collins
15) G6 Brandon Grubaugh
16) 7 Kyle Pitts
17) 02 Gene Lasker
18) 36 Ken Laureno
19) 2X Rex Howe; DNS
Florida Mini Sprints
1. #71 John Craddock
2. #29 Connor Borah
3. #3d Robert Snyder
4. #67 David Hall
5. #04 Paige Moss
6. #23 Eddie Moss Jr.
7. #77 Robbie Smith - DNS
1. #12 Robbie Hoffman
2. #68 Dirk Miller
3. #2jr. Sheldon Kinser
4. #8 Rae Lynn Moss
5. #44m John Moss
6. #k9 Andrew Kurjack
1. #68 Dirk Miller
2. #12 Robbie Hoffman
3. #71 John Craddock
4. #2jr Sheldon Kinser
5. #44m John Moss
6. #8 Rae Lynn Moss
7. #29 Connor Borah
8. #3d Robbie Smith
9. #23 Eddie Moss Jr.
10. #67 David Hall
11. #04 Paige Moss
12. #k9 Andrew Kurjack
13. Robert Snyder - DNS
Heat 1: Justin Hamilton, Nathan Rhodes, Heather Beebe, Dave Ladrie, Wayne Conley
Heat 2: Tony Laporta, Chris Thomas, Ashley Taylor, Dustin Childers, Conner Crawford
Feature: Rain Delayed. Will be resumed as a double feature 4-26-14