Ocala Speedway race report 2002-03-02

Ocala Speedway Begins 2002 Racing Season with Top Performances March 02, 2002, Ocala, FL - Ocala Speedway began the 2002 racing season by hosting the F.A.S.T. Sprint Series inaugural feature event. Former NASCAR Busch Series driver and Tampa ...

Ocala Speedway race report 2002-03-02

Ocala Speedway Begins 2002 Racing Season with Top Performances

March 02, 2002, Ocala, FL - Ocala Speedway began the 2002 racing season by hosting the F.A.S.T. Sprint Series inaugural feature event. Former NASCAR Busch Series driver and Tampa resident David Steele was on hand along with Ocala locals Craig and Mike Love. Steele, who hold track records across the country had no problem in the 1st heat race and powered his way to victory in front of Shane Miller and Craig Love. In the 2nd heat race it was Kevin Cahill out of Land O' Lakes, FL coming from the rear of the field to finish 1st with Joe Melnick and Mike Love finishing 2nd and 3rd. For the feature, Mike Love started on the pole but was unable to hold off Steele who passed on the outside of turn two late in the race to take the lead and bring home the win. Kevin Cahill finished 2nd and Shane Miller from Lutz, FL crossed the line in 3rd.

There were 14 cars in the 4 Cylinder Bomber feature event where it was Bobby Valeo out of Dunnellon leading from start to finish. Ocala driver, Rick Fort started 7th and finished 2nd, and Neal Durbin from Morriston, FL in 3rd.

Michael Smith had a convincing run in the Pure Stock Division, starting on the outside pole position and powering his way to a solid victory. The youngster Kyle Maynard, who started in 6th and momentarily took the lead in the race, finished 2nd and Darren Dukes in 3rd.

In the Hobby Stock division, John Betts from Ocklawaha crossed the line just in front of George Richards for 2nd on the last lap to secure what he thought would be a great start to the 2002 racing season. But after Mark Mitchell, who crossed the stripe 1st, was dq'd during post-tech inspection, Betts was declared the winner. George Richards from Clermont FL finished 2nd and Glen Baum from Fruitland Park 3rd.

The Sportsman Division had a familiar name that usually runs in the Modified Division in the field for the 25 Lap Feature event. Red Vann from Wesley Chapel, FL took the lead on lap 8 and never looked back. Bob Masciarelli battled Pete Close all night, but was able to hang on for 2nd and Close finished 3rd.

18 Modifieds took to the newly paved 3/8ths mile facility for a 30 Lap Feature Event with Rick Hall and Mike Wilson on the front row. Wilson led most of the race, but drove the rubber off his tires and finally gave way to David Baxley from Anthony, FL. Troy Robinson from Wesley Chapel, FL also followed Baxley underneath Wilson to finish 2nd and Wilson held on for 3rd.

Next Saturday, Ocala Speedway hosts the Antique Auto Racing Series along with heat & feature races in all divisions. Pit gates open at 4:00, Grandstands at 5:00 and racing begins promptly at 7:00.

- www.ocalaspeedway.com

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