Photo from Jessie Fitzgerald
Jason Fitzgerald celebrates after he pockets $3,000 at Volusia
First up on the evening saw the Daytona Sportswear Modifieds take the main stage as it was the Kyle Bronson show from start to finish. Garrett Stewart would make several attempts to close in on "The Killer", but a mid race mechanical failure cost him any shot at making a run. Larry Burkins would continue his strong runs as of late and come home in second place, or so he thought. During post race inspection it was found that Bronson had made an illegal modification to the Hoosier Race Tire he had on and was DQ'ed. This would hand the win over to Larry Burkins and the $3,000 check as well. Todd Neiheiser would be moved to the runner up spot with Dillon Buhr third, Tyler Clem fourth and NASCAR standout David Reutimann fifth.
The Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks saw seventeen cars check in a sign in and everyone would be gunning for the master of VSP in that division, Donnie Ashford. Ashford would start in the second row to his backup car, driven by Craig Montessi Jr. Montessi would lead the first several circuits, but Ashford would find his way around the team car on the outside and proceed to dominate the rest of the main event. Montessi would do battle with DJ Nobles for the runner up spot before Nobles would take it for good with just ten laps to go. Montessi would settle for third, Scotty Kay Jr. crossed the stripe in fourth, and Bubba Christian came from the last row to finish fifth as the nights hard charger. During victory lane celebrations Ashford had Cole North, son of the late Dennis Cole, come down to victory lane and awarded him with the trophy and the check as souvenirs.
The Advanced Medical Labs Late Models highlighted the evening and it was June's driver of the month Mark Whitener who would jump out to an early lead attempting to win back to back to back wins at the half mile. Jason Fitzgerald would fall into the second spot with Kyle Bronson, pulling double duty, in third. Bronson would fall outside the top five at one point as Dillon Wood mounted a charge to the front in the races early stages. As the race wore on, lapped traffic became somewhat of an issue for the leaders as Whitener saw his straightaway lead dwindle away to Fitzgerald setting up a battle for the lead. Just past the halfway point disaster struck for Whitener as a mechanical failure send the Longhorn #5 pit side handing the lead over to Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald would lead the race to the final lap when Bronson began to make a last ditch effort to get around the GRT #7. Bronson would try a bonzi move in turn four, but couldn't not complete the pass cleanly as Fitzgerald went on to win his second race at VSP in 2016, this one paying $3,000 to win. Bronson was second followed by, Wood, Joe Kump, and Scott Gray.
The final race of the evening saw the Dennis Cole Memorial Race for the V8 Thunderstocks sponosored by Integrity Painting paying $1500 to the winner. David Showers Sr. would start on the pole by virtue of the inversion of the heats with Dustin Turnage Sr. along side him. Showers Sr. would jump out to the early lead, but a late race restart would send the #8 spinning on the front stretch in front of the entire pack after contact with Turnage. Showers Sr. would keep his machine going after not making contact with anyone, but would fall all the way back to 15th in the running order. The hottest driver at VSP, David Showers Jr., would use this little bunch up to start to pick cars off one at a time on his way to the front. Turnage would lead with just ten laps to go, but Showers Jr. would get by him and proceed to dominate the remaining laps. Showers has now not lost a race since April when Bubba Durbin was able to beat him. Showers Sr. was able to rebound from the spin early on and come home in second for the third week in a row.
Saturday night will mark the return of the Iron Man Series sponsored by Youngs Enterprises for the V8 Thunderstocks. The event has an entry fee of $20 and will pay $1,200 to the winner. Scotty Kay Jr. currently leads the points in this six race mini series as he won the events first race earlier on in the year. Kay is one of two drivers to beat Shower Jr. in 2016. Also running on July 9th will be the Mercedes Benz Limited Late Models, Daytona Sportswear Modifieds, and the Gary Yeoman's Parts Department Gladiators.
The Pit Gate and Drive Thru Gate open at 4:00pm, Grandstands open at 5:00pm with racing scheduled for 7:30pm. Please note the forecast temperature is at or above 100 degrees, so please make sure you stay hydrated!
We hope to see you all this weekend!
Advanced Medical Labs Late Models - (18 Cars)
(Fast Qualifier) Kyle Bronson - 17.021
(Heat #1) Kyle Bronson, Mark Whitener, Doug Horton, Dillon Wood, Scott Gray, Mark Steube (DNS)
(Heat #2) Joe Kump, Howard Stalls, Nevin Gianey, David Clegg, Davey Cline, Jeremy Knoll
(Heat #3) Donnie Chappell, Rich Pratt, Jason Fitzgerald, Carter Stokes, Kyle Chappell, Blake Spencer (DNS)
(Feature/40 Laps/$3,000 to Win) Fitzgerald, Bronson, Wood, Kump, Gray, Horton, Stalls, Gainey, Cline, Stokes, Spencer, Pratt (DNF), D. Chappell (DNF), Clegg (DNF), Stuebe (DNF), Whitener (DNF), Knoll (DNF), K. Chappell (DNF)
Daytona Sportswear Modifieds - (17 Cars)
(Fast Qualifier) Garrett Stewart - 19.923
(Heat #1) David Reutimann, Larry Burkins, Dillon Buhr, Garrett Lloyd, Paul Shead, Randy Gainey
(Heat #2) Todd Neiheiser, Kyle Bronson, Buzzy Reutimann, Hunter Gustafson, Ronnie Chance, Rich Pratt
(Heat #3) Garrett Stewart, Chase Collins, Tyler Clemm, Matt Johnson, Jim Passino (DNS)
(Feature/30 Laps/$3,000 to Win) Burkins, Neiheiser, Buhr, Clem, D. Reutimann, Collins, Gustafson, B. Reutimann, Johnson, Gainey, Lloyd, Stewart (DNF), Chance (DNF), Shead (DNF), Bronson (DQ), Pratt (DNS), Passino (DNS)
Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks - (17 Cars)
(Heat #1) Craig Montessi, DJ Nobles, Bubba Durbin, Scotty Kay Jr., Trevor Gamble, Robert Hicks
(Heat #2) Marc Maresca, Robert Sirmons, Michael Whipple, Shawn Taylor, Joseph Yakaboski, James McCague
(Heat #3) Donnie Ashford, Grady Christian, Tiny Cline, Bubba Durbin, Tyler Sistrunk
(Feature/30 Laps/$2,500 to Win) Ashford, Nobles, Montessi Jr., Kay, B. Christian, Sirmons, Durbin, Hicks, Sistrunk, Maresca, Whipple, Taylor, Yakaboski (DNF), McCague (DNF), Gamble (DNF), G. Christian (DNF), Cline (DNF)
Integrity Painting V8 Thunders Stocks / Cole North Memorial - (37 Cars)
(Heat #1/Top 5 Transfer) David Showers Jr., Dustin Turnage Sr., Brian Shrunk, Donnie Birdwell, John Thorpe, Dustin Turnage Jr., Chris Lawrence, Barry Sheffield, Ron Adams (DNF), James Parrish (DNF)
(Heat #2/Top 5 Transfer) Bobby McCormick, Robbie Hagger, Jonathan Croson, Wally Schneider, Mike Eubanks, Bubba Clark, Heinz Haas, Rusty Young, Javen Wells
(Heat #3/Top 5 Transfer) Alan Peacock, Kent Corbin, Bubba Durbin, Craig Montessi Jr., Roger Wren, Mike Valdes, James Smith, James Strehle, Darryl Erb (DNF)
(Heat #4/Top 5 Transfer) Ronnie Ponce, David Showers Jr., Mike Tovet, Trevor Gamble, Tim Hughes, Dean Jarvis, Ben Hutto (DNF), Aaron Cryer (DNF)
(B-Main #1/Top 3 Transfer) Dustin Turnage Jr., Dean Jarvis, Mike Valdes, Barry Sheffield, James Smith, Chris Lawrence, Rusty Young, Ben Hutto (DNF), Darryl Erb (DNF)
(B-Main #2/Top 5 Transfer) Tim Hughes, Bubba Clark, Javen Wells, Aaron Cryer, Ashley Rhodes, James Strehle, Ron Adams (DNF), James Parrish (DNS), Heinz Haas (DNS)
(Feature/25 Laps/$1,500 to Win) Showers Jr., Showers Sr., Turnage Sr., B. Durbin, Corbin, Gamble, Peacock, Montessi Jr., Jarvis, Turnage Jr., Ponce, Hughes, Eubanks, Birdwell, Croson, Thorpe, Schneider, Valdes, Tovet (DNF), Hager (DNF), Wren (DNF), McCormick (DNF), Wells (DNF), Clark (DNF), Morgan (DNF), Schrunk (DNS)