Photo from National Speed Sports News
Article from track staff
7-23-2016) Barberville ,Fl The Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprint Car Series made their return this past Saturday night to Volusia Speedway Park along with special events for the Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks and the Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Mini Stocks.. The weather was beautiful in the Sunshine State as the temperatures were hot and the racing action was even more hot.
After a rain shower set the evening back one hour, Track officials ran through the night seamlessly gaining back that hour quickly as the first feature event of the night took the track just before 9:00pm with the Mercedes Benz Limited Late Models taking center stage. When the green flag dropped it was Sonny Thompson taking the early lead, but quickly had his hands full with Adam Bennett who has been coming on strong in his Mastersbilt #40 in recent weeks. Bennett won his heat race in dominating performance and by lap ten had worked his way around Thompson for the lead and set sail to take home his first win of 2016. Thompson would hold on to finish second followed by Paul Shead (who took back the points lead from Nevin Gainey), Mark Stuebe, and Steve Shead rounded out the top five.
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The main event for the evening, the Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprint Car Series, took the green flag next as Mark Ruel Jr. set the early tone jumping out to a huge advantage over the entire field. AJ Maddox quickly moved his was to the front and into second before the mid way point and began to slowly catch Ruel Jr., After a brief caution period Ruel Jr. and Maddox quickly started to dominate the entire field as the two had nearly a straightaway lead over third on back at one point. Ruel Jr. looked to have it in the bag until seven to go when the engine on the #83 let go handing the lead and ultimately the win over to Maddox. In victory lane Maddox was ecstatic as it was his first win at VSP in his career after countless runner up finishes. Points leader Dennis Misuraca finished second, followed by, Anthony D'Alessio, Tony again, and Brett O'Donnell.
The Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks were next as they were running for $1,000 to win in the special event. James McCague would lead the field to green with Trevor Gamble on the outside of him, but Gamble would get the lead going off turn two on the initial start. McCague, who had his best outing to date, ran in the second spot for the first few laps before Bubba Christian got around him and began to reel in race leader Gamble. Christian would catch Gamble before the races mid way point and get into the lead never looking back in his Eliminator Race Cars #04. The win was Christians second on the year and biggest pay day of his career. Gamble came in second, followed by, last place starting Donnie Ashford, Joe Jump, and McCague.
Gary Yeomans Parts Department Mini Stocks were next up on the race lineup as they were running a special event paying $500 to win for the second time in 2016. Cecil Martin and Nick Kerr would lead the field to green as Martin would ump out to an early and commanding lead to start the race. Fender would slip into second as Kerr would battle him, but heat race Billy Dukes from Tampa, FL would begin to track the two down and ultimately get around them both for second and track down your leader Martin. Dukes would get around Martin just before the races midway point and check out leading by nearly a straightaway. Martin would have engine troubles just after half way handing second to Kerr and third to Fender. Dukes would go on to win untouched as Kerr came home second, followed by Fender, Candi Schmit, and Robert Anderson. Points leader Dalton Walker hit the wall early on and ended up not finishing the event with a flat tire, but retained his points lead.
The final feature of the night went to the ever entertaining Integrity Painting V8 Thunderstocks. Rusty Young, also having his best performance of 2016, started on the pole along side Bubba Durbin. The two would race door to door going into the first turn as Durbin would get around Young as well as David Showers Sr. putting Young in the third spot. David Showers Jr. would be the man on the move early as he would charge into the second spot getting around both Young and his father, Showers Sr., for second in one turn setting his sights on leader Durbin. The two would battle door to door coming off turn four on lap seven, but Showers Jr. slid up the racetrack getting into Durbin sending Durbin around and Showers Jr. pit side for a flat right front tire. Durbin was awarded his spot as the leader back since Showers Jr. caused him to spin. On the restart Durbin would jump out to the lead once again with Showers Sr. now battling him for the lead. Showers Sr. would get around Durbin just past half way, but Durbin would stay right on his heels. The man on the move again was David Showers Jr. who passed nearly half the field in a handful of laps on his way to the front of the pack. With only two laps remaining Showers Jr. found himself next to Durbin once again with Showers Sr. just in front of them both. Either driver had anything for Showers Sr. however, as he would go on and win the race with Showers Jr. and Durbin banging door to door again at the strip this time as Durbin edged Showers Sr. for second. Brian Shrunk was fourth followed by Donnie Birdwell.
Racing action will be coming to a halt at VSP on July 30th as the track has closed to allow all of our drivers to compete in Summer Slam at North Florida Speedway. We will be back in action once again August 6th, however, with our new start time of 8:00pm to try and help with the summer heat in Florida. The new start time will be for August and September so mark your calendars.
We hope to see you all on Saturday August 6th as we have five divisions headlining racing activity!
Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprint Car Series - (12 Cars)
(Heat #1) Tony Agin, Anthony D'Alessio, AJ Maddox, Brett O'Donnell, Johnny Gilbertson, Brandon Denton, Aileen Collins-Love
(Heat #2) Matt Kurtz, Tyler Clemm, Dennis Misuraca, Mark Ruel Jr., Keith Butler, Johnny Alexander
(Feature/25 Laps) Maddox, Misuraca, D'Alessio, Agin, O'Donnell, Butler, Kurtz, Gilbertson (DNF), Ruel Jr. (DNF), Clemm (DNF), Alexander (DNF), Collins-Love (DNF)
Mercedes Benz of Daytona Beach Florida Limited Late Models - (8 Cars)
(Heat #1) Adam Bennett, Chuck Jackson, Paul Shead, Sonny Thompson, Steve Shead, Michael Ridgeway Jr., Lisa O'Conner, Josh Sanford, Mark Stuebe
(Feature/20 Laps) Bennett, Thompson, P. Shead, Stuebe, S. Shead, Ridgeway Jr., O'Conner, Jackson
Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks - (7 Cars)
(Heat #1) Bubba Christian, James McCague, Trevor Gamble, Joe Kump, Bubba Durbin, Robert Sirmons, Donnie Ashford
(Feature/20 Laps/$1,000 to Win) Christian, Gamble, Ashford, Kump, McCague, Sirmons, Durbin
Integrity Painting V8 Thunderstocks - (20 Cars)
(Heat #1) David Showers Jr., Jonathan Croson, Gerard Haley, James Parris, Paul Schloss, Randy Bennett, Javen Wells
(Heat #2) David Showers Sr., Bubba Durbin, Brian Schrunk, Ben Hutto, Ron Adams, David Cloer, Tim Hughes
(Heat #3) Craig Montesi Jr., Rusty Young, Donnie Birdwell, Michael Trotter, Matt Schloss, James Strehle
(Feature/20 Laps) Showers Sr., Durbin, Showers Jr., Schrunk, Birdwell, Hutto, Croson, Young, Haley, M Schloss, Adams, Hughes, Strehle, Bennett, P. Schloss, Cloer, Wells (DNF), Montesi Jr. (DNF), Parrish (DNF), Trotter (DNF)
Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Mini Stocks - (XX Cars)
(Heat #1) Billy Dukes, Brad Fender, Nick Kerr, Cecil Martin, Chris Thomas, Dalton Walker, Candi Schmit, Corey Heany, Robert Anderson
(Feature/20 Laps/$500 to Win) Dukes, Kerr, Fender, Schmit, Anderson, Heaney, Martin (DNF), Walker (DNF), Thomas (DNS)