Ruel Sprints To BRP Victory
OCALA, Fla. – The Limited Sprints, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks, 1-800-ASK GARY Thunder Stocks, and Rent-N-Roll Gladiators all put on some impressive racing on Saturday night.
The Limited Late Models opened up the night, but Jason Pope tried to climb the fence out of turn four. Pope would climb out of the car, but his night was over. Tim Powers would open up a lead after the restart, but it went away on lap five when Shane Koperda spun in turn one. Powers again pulled away, just to see his lead disappear when Chuck Jackson looped his No. 0 in turn two.
Powers quickly put a few seconds on Shane Koperda and Tyler Clem- in a damaged race car- who were battling for second. Powers would win an easy one over Koperda, Forrest Gough, Kevin Mills, and Clem.
Our very own Hobby Stocks would be up second, and Smokin’ Joe Belkey, Jr. took control of the point early. David McCormack would lead lap two after Belkey washed up the track. The culprit was found on lap four when Belkey brought the caution out with a flat tire. McCormack, Tim Powers, Mike Stalnaker, and Brian Morgan rocketed away from the pack and put on a tussle.
Stalnaker would lead lap six, but lost control in turn two and made contact with Powers. Powers would pit with a flat right rear, among other damages, while Stalnaker would go back on the hook. McCormack, Morgan, and Sean Monoghan would lead the field back to green on lap six. Brian Morgan would slip up and make contact with team-mate McCormack that sent both cars around; Morgan would go to the tail with no troubles and McCormack would bring the field back to green.
Matt Kurtz jumped out front of the Limited Sprints race quickly, but Mark Ruel, Jr. would steal the lead in lapped traffic. On lap fourteen, the lapped cars of Johnny Alexander and Tanner Witherspoon made contact right in front of the leaders, but Ruel, Danny Martin, Jr., and Kurtz would make it through.
Tyler Clem, in his debut race in the Tony Stewart Racing No. 14, would bring the caution out with just four to go after Clem nosed it into the fence out of turn number four. Ruel, Martin, and Kurtz would have to fight through another restart and Martin tired his hardset to get around “The Peruvian Outlaw.” Ruel would take the win over Kurtz and Martin. Robbie Smith finished fourth after a great battle with Martin and AJ Maddox rounded out the top five.
The 1-800-ASK GARY Thunder Stocks started off with Melvin Fockler in the lead. Jeff Stalnaker, Jr. would bring the yellow flag out on lap two as his tire would go flat. Fockler continued to stave off the fight from Bubba Durbin and Randy Strehle, but made a mistake out of turn four that put his #33 into the wall. He continued on, but had to pit.
Randy Strehle spun from second just four laps later, allowing Brandon Tillander a shot at Bubba Durbin for the win. Durbin would end up taking home the win, and Melvin Fockler would finish in the second position after rebounding from the back. James Erickson, Jon Layerd, and Randy Strehle rounded out the top five.
The Rent-N-Roll Gladiators put on a spirited battle and Tom Sheehan led the opening lap. Ray Hunter would quickly end Sheehan’s reign, but Hunter would get into an accident on lap six that ultimately led to his retirement from the race. Jonathan Green inherited the lead, lost it to team-mate Kevin Benjamin for a coupld laps, then re-gained it and won over his team-mate Benjamin. John Windham’s wild night resulted in a third place finish with Stephen Frankland and Dustin Baxter the top five.