(photo from David Reutimann)
Article by Track Staff
(8-6-16) Barberville, Fl Volusia Speedway Park is midway through one of the best racing seasons to date. The racing action has been getting more competitive each week along with big car counts and full stands. This past weekend was no different as the race of the night was the Daytona Sportswear Modifieds with David Reutimann and Larry Burkins putting on a show that will go down as one of the best finishes in the history of the track.
The first feature of the night saw the Florida Late Model Series take center stage. The newly found series featured some of the best Limited Late Model drivers in the state with racing action from start to finish. When the green flag dropped it was Austin Sanders taking the early lead over pole sitter Sonny Thompson. Thompson would slip back to third on the races third lap as Sanders' car owner, Bryan Bernhart was able to move up from his fourth place starting spot. The two would then do battle up until the race reached the final closing laps. With just a handful of circuits remaining, Bernhart would have a mechanical failure leaving Sanders to go un touched the rest of the way for his first win of 2016 at VSP. Jimmy Waldrop, who charged his way from 12th, finished runner up, with Shan Smith third, Tyler Clem fourth, and Johnny Allen rounding out the top five.
The second feature event of the night saw the Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks put on a great battle for the win between Trevor Gamble and Donnie Ashford. The two are no strangers to the M&K Used Autoparts Victory Lane and both know how to race close and clean. Gamble would lead the races first several laps before Ashford would sneak by just past the races midway point. Ashford would not get away to a huge lead, however, as Gamble could stay close with the #66 in turns three and four. Gamble tried to make a good run on the last two laps, but would get crossed up in one and two and would have to watch Ashford go on to win his fifth feature event of 2016. Gamble would stay in second, followed by, Robert Sirmons, James McCague, and David Showers Jr. who pulled double duty on the night running in the Thunderstock class as well.
The third event of the evening was the Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Mini Stock division it was Brad Fender and Billy Dukes b battling for the lead from the front row. Dukes would get the advantage, but Fender would stay close as the race went non stop until the half way point. The races loan caution would come when Candi Schmit would loose an engine bunching the field back up. Fender would take a look under Dukes more than once on the ensuing restart, but was unable to get the job done as Dukes would go on to win two in a row in the class. Fender would come home second followed closely by Todd Haught, Reid Christensen, and Dalton Walker rounded out the top five.
The race of the night went to the Daytona Sportswear Modified division. Hunter Gustafson and Roger Crouse brought the field to green with Gustafson jumping out to the early lead dominating the first several circuits of the feature event. Tyler Clem would fall into second with Dustin Thayer in third. David Reutimann, making his second start of 2016, would drive to the fourth spot with Larry Burkins and Garret Stewart in tow. Reutimann would get a little crossed up while trying to overtake the third spot and fall all the way back just outside the top five as Burkins charged his way to the front of the field taking the lead away from Gustafson with only eight laps to go. Gustafson would fall into second, but Reutimann would charge his way back to fourth as a caution flew with just a handful of laps to go. Reutimann would get around Gustafson and move into second and run down Burkins in a epic battle to the finish as he would take the lead away with just two laps to go on the high side and go onto win the event. Burkins was second, Tyler Clem was third followed by, Roger Crouse and Buzzie Reutimann.
The final feature of the night saw a battle between father and son as David Showers Sr. and David Showers Jr. did battle in the Integrity Painting V8 Thunderstocks. The two were once again the class of the field as Jr. lead flag to flag, but Sr. kept applying pressure throughout the entire night. At one point, Sr. would actually get around his son, but Jr. was just too strong taking home his 10th win of the year (Points races) as his increased his points lead in the 2016 campaign. Sr. was second and the surprise of the night was third place finisher Ben Hutto. Hutto has had an up and down year compared to his front running teammates, but finally put it all together on Saturday night with a strong front finish. Dalton Strehle returned to Bobby McCormicks' #104D and came home fourth with Travis Staats rounding out the top five as the #9AR made its first start at VSP since the Iron Man 100 in April.
The racing action continues this coming Saturday as the Mercedes Benz of Daytona Beach Limited Late Models do battle for a top prize of $1,000 along with the Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks, Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Gladiators and the Youngs Enterprises Iron Man Series Race #3 which will pay $1,200 to the winner.
The Drive Thru and Pit Gate open at 4:30pm and the Main-gate at 5:30pm. Racing will start at 8:00pm sharp and will continue to until after September to help with the Florida Heat waive.
Florida Late Model Series - (23 Cars)
(Heat #1) Bryan Bernhart, Sonny Thompson, Jason Pope, Taylor Gant, Johnny Allen, Tom Smith, Steve Shead, Paul Shead
(Heat #2) Trevor Taylor, John Westbrook, Bill Adkins, Spud Lockwood, Louis Ledlow, Mark Steube, Chuck Jackson, Lisa O'Connor
(Heat #3) Austin Sanders, Tyler Clem, Shan Smith, Jimmy Waldrop, Roger Crouse, Donald Sniff, Josh Sanford
(Feature/20 Laps) Sanders, Waldrop, Smith, Clem , Allen, Thompson, Wesbrook, Crouse, Sniff, S. Shead, Jackson, O'Connor, Pope, Bernhart, Lockwood, Ledlow, Gant, Smith, P Shead, Taylor, Adkins, Stuebe, Sanford (DNS)
Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks - (6 Cars)
(Heat #1) Trevor Gamble, Donnie Ashford, Robert Sirmons, David Showers Jr., James McCgague, Mark Maresca
(Feature/20 Laps) Ashford, Gamble, Sirmons, McCague, Showers Jr., Maresca
Daytona Sportswear Modifieds - (19 Cars)
(Heat #1) Garret Stewart, Dustin Thayer, Hunter Gustafson, Jamie Carter, Kyle Maynard, Jonathan Thomas, Mike Phillips, Greg Skyta, DJ Farr
(Heat #2) David Reutimann, Tyler Clem, Roger Crouse, Buzzie Reutimann, Larry Burkins, Dillon Buhr, Paul Shead, Larry Mott, Matt Johnson, Set Geary
(Feature/20 Laps) D. Reutimann, Burkins, Clem, Stewart, Gustafson, Buhr, B. Reutimann, Carter, P. Shead, Crouse, Thayer, Maynard, Geary, Thomas, Farr, Skyta, Mott, Johnson, Phillips
Integrity Painting V8 Thunderstocks - (20 Cars)
(Heat #1) Ben Hutto, David Showers Jr., Dean Jarvis, Chris Lawrence, Matt Schloss, David Cloer, Samual Barstow
(Heat #2) David Showers Sr., Dalton Strehle, Travis Staats, Alan Peacock, Javen Wells, Donnie Birdwell (DNS)
(Heat #3) Ron Adams, Hayden McCormick, James Parish, Tim Hughes, Paul Schloss, Brian Schrunk (DNF)
(Feature/20 Laps) Showers Jr., Showers Sr., Hutto, Strehle, Staats, McCormick, Jarvis, Adams, Hughes, Parrish, M. Schloss, P. Schloss, Cloer, Wells, Barstow, Peacock, Lawrence, Schrunk (DNS), Birdwell (DNS)
Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Mini Stocks - (11 Cars)
(Heat #1) Billy Dukes, Brad Fender, Todd Haught, Candi Schmit, Chris Thomas, Dalton Walker, Reid Christensen, Josh Walker, James Strehle, Danny Brown (DNF)
(Feature/20 Laps) Dukes, Fender, Haught, Christensen, Walker, Strehle, Anderson