(3-24-18) Barberville, FL – It was a beautiful night of racing at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” for the second night of the 2018 racing season which saw the Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprint cars make their return. Also in attendance on the night were the open wheel modifieds, street stocks, thunderstocks, and gladiators.
First up on the night went to the Top Gun Sprint Car Series as it was Frank Carlson and Matt Kurtz leading the field to the green flag. Kurtz would get the early lead and set sail from the field as Carlson, Dennis Misuraca, and Shane Kreidler all battled for second. Only a few laps in saw points leader Hayden Campbell’s night go from bad to worse as he would hit the front stretch wall knocking him from competition. When racing action resumed Kurtz would jump out to his commanding lead, but the man on the move was “Hot Rod” Harley Zimmerman cracking the top three from his 6th row starting spot. On lap seven as Kurtz continued to lead, disaster would strike as mechanical issues knocked him from competition. When racing action resumed it was Carlson and Zimmerman battling it out for the lead until Zimmerman would slip past Carlson with five laps to go and go on to win his first event of 2018. Nikole Voisey would come home in second after Misuraca hit the wall with four to go and Carlson had engine issues on the final start. Third went to Kriedler, Bridges fourth, and Carlson would round out the top five.
The Open Wheel Modifieds took the track next as it was last weeks feature winner Rich Pratt on the pole with Dylan Browning on the outside. When the green flag dropped it was Browning taking the early lead over Pratt as the rest of the field scattered for racing room. As Browning extended his lead Garret Stewart would charge from the back of the pack to the runner up spot just past the half way point. Browning, who had a battle with cancer earlier on in 2018 and beat it, was a man on a mission as he would dominate the feature event winning flag to flag over Stewart, Geary, Carter, and Pratt. In the Gary Yeomans Victory lane Browning said the team is planning on running VSP as much as possible, but also traveling to tracks such as Charlotte and Eldora in 2018 to represent Florida.
Street Stocks were on tap next at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” with Zach Yakaboski and Alan Peacock leading the field to the green flag. As the field entered turn one Peacock, and Yakaboski would race side by side all the way down the back stretch before Peacock would inch out in front of him taking the lead. The race would go non stop with Peacock keeping a commanding lead the entire way. Yakaboski would have a great run, but fade near the end as his tires would give up allowing Landon Lungren to get by and Trent Tentham at the end for third. Yakaboski would finish fourth with Joe Belkey coming home fifth.
The next feature of the night went to the V8 Thunderstocks as Joe Belkey and Curt Spencer would lead the field to green, but it was Belkey taking the point early on as Ron Adams would charge from his row two starting spot to the runner up spot to challenge for the lead. The two would battle nose to tail for the entire 20 laps which also went non stop. In the end it was Belkey who took home the feature win with Adams taking second. Curt Spencer would cross the line third followed by Donnie Birdwell and Hank Baker.
The final feature event of the night went to the Gladiators with Michael Trotter and Nathan Rhodes leading the field to the green flag. Nathan Rhodes would jump out to the early lead powering around last weeks feature winner Trotter to lead the first few laps. As Rhodes would keep his lead, Johnny Yeomans would start to apply pressure to the back of Trotter’s #86 and would eventually get around Trotter for the runner up spot and begin to work on Rhodes for the race lead. The field would slow its pace when Jeremy Lanier made contact with the turn four wall. This would stack the field up single file for the restart with the top three running for the win. In the end it was Johnny Yeomans getting by both Rhodes and Trotter taking home his first career win. Trotter would take second followed by Rhodes, Henry Lanier, and Jason Gentry who started on the tail as a late entry.
Next week the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” will wrap up March with racing action across four divisions which include Florida Late Models, Street Stocks, Thunderstocks, and Gladiators.
Official Rundown from 3-24-18
Eagle Jet Top Gun Spring Cars | (13 Cars)
Heat 1: Anthony D’Alessio, Marc Misuraca, Matt Kurtz, Billy Bridges, Harley Zimmerman, Dave Thomas, Hayden Campbell (DNF)
Heat 2: Shane Kreidler, Justin Webster, Frank Carlsson, Nikole Voisey, Brandon Grubaugh (DNF)
Feature: Zimmerman, Voisey, Kreidler, Bridges, Carslon, Thomas, Misurca (DNF), D’Alessio (DNF), Kurtz (DNF), Webster (DNF), Campbell (DNF), Grubaugh (DNS), Ruel Jr. (DNS)
Open Wheel Modifieds | (9 Cars)
Heat 1: Rich Pratt, Dylan B rowning, Jamie Carter, Seth Geary, Larry Burkins, Jim Passino, Mike Phillips, Garret Stewart (DNF), Charlie Phillips (DNF)
Feature: Browning, Stewart, Geary, Carter, Pratt, Burkins, Passino, M. Phillips, C. Phillips
Street Stocks | (10 Cars)
Heat 1: Zach Yakaboski, Alan Peacock, Landon Lungren, Billy Furr, Tuck Trentham, James McCague, Cory Hupp, Kevin Mills, Kameron McGauley
Feature: Peacock, Lungren, Trentham, Yakaboski, Belkey, Mills, Furr, McCauge, McGauley
Thunderstocks | (7 Cars)
Heat 1: Joe Belkey, Curt Spencer, Hank Baker, Ron Adams, Donnie Birdwell, Paul Schloss, David Szczepanik
Feature: Belkey, Adams, Birdwell, Schloss, Szczepanik, Spencer (DQ-light), Baker (DQ-Light)
Gladiators | (16 Cars)
Heat 1: Michael Trotter, Johnnie Yeomans, Henry Lanier, Jason Tovet, Jeremy Lanier, Jerry Taylor, Steven Chamberlin, Mike Paterson (DNF)
Heat 2: Nathan Rhodes, Dustin Childers, Stephen Kramer, Jason Gentry, Mike Barfield, Erik Mantz, Tonya Sowles, Corey Phillips
Feature: Yeomans, Trotter, Rhodes, H. Lanier, Gentry, Tovet, Kramer, Childers, Taylor, Sowles, Chamberlin, Barfield, Phillips, Paterson, Lanier, Mantz