Whitener Controls Mike Peters Open
OCALA, Fla. – The Bubba Army Late Models, in conjunction with the Sunoco United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series presented by Buddy’s Home Furnishings, ran a 50-lapper at Bubba Raceway Park on Saturday night to honor the man who saved the three-eighths-mile oval.
UMP Modifieds opened up the night with Bryan Bernhardt leading the opening stint from Pole. Buzzie Reutimann’s night would come to an end in turn two- just three laps in- with some mechanical troubles, and Rich Pratt also came to a halt there on lap five while riding second. Tim Gay and Justin Galbreath were fighting at the tail of the field and a spin from Gay resulted in Bernhardt receiving front-end damage.
Bernhardt would retire due to the damages leaving Kyle Bronson with the lead. Bronson would put his foot down and lap all the way past fourth placed Paul Snyder. Roger Crouse finished second while Jeff Mathews finished third, just in front of Bronson. Snyder was fourth and Chuck Gustafson, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Hobby Stocks ran second and it was Devin Walker stealing the early lead from outside pole. Sean Monoghan took the lead away from Walker on a lap three restart, but Tim Powers would steal the lead from Monoghan on lap six. Dennis Williams found himself spinning in turn three after struggling to get around the lapped car of Alvin Adkison on lap 10, setting up a restart with Powers, Monoghan, and Brian Morgan the top three. Walker would stop in turn two with troubles with just five to go, setting up Powers, Brian Morgan, and Monoghan.
Powers held on to beat his fellow “Big Lake Boy” Brian Morgan for the $500 win. Jeff Stalnaker, Jr., Sean Monoghan, and Bubba Christian rounded out the top five.
The Late Models kicked off their feature with outside pole-sitter Mark Whitener leading lap one. Adam Bedenbaugh smacked the wall on lap fifteen giving Austin Kirkpatrick and Tyler Ivey another shot at Whitener. The cautions remained at a minimum as the drivers had amazing battles all over the track, except for the lead as Mark Whitener dominated the Mike Peters Open.
Tyler Ivey was his only close competitor while Rich Pratt and Kyle Bronson duked it out for third. Pratt won that battle while Austin Kirkpatrick completed the top five.
The 1-800-ASK GARY Thunder Stock drivers put on a clinic for an opening stint as they ran seven laps caution free with side-by-side action deep in the field. Randy Strehle had opened up a gap, but continued to work hard on each restart. Brandon Elwood and Melvin Fockler had some fun as they battled for fifth and that brought out the final caution with just three laps left.
Strehle held on to win over Jeff Stalnaker, Jr. in what is Strehle’s first win at Bubba Raceway Park. John Florkowski finished a career best third with Shane Guessford and Melvin Fockler the top five.
The Rent-N-Roll Gladiators tried five-wide for the lead, but that didn’t work. Dave Arivett used the second attempt at a race start to take the lead that he held for most of the race. With just four to go, Ray Hunter passed Arivett as he went on to win the feature. Arivett, John Moore, Stephen Frankland, and Kody Fisher rounded out the top five. Moore was found illegal in tech, so Frankland is credited with third, Fisher with fourth, and Tyler Bryden now finishes fifth.