By Rob Lee
LAKE CITY, Fla. (Oct. 22) – As Donnie Chappell’s car roared to life at the green flag, Late Model fans knew the other competitors had a challenge on their hands.
Chappell’s SCS Electrical Contractors/Spivey and Sons Trucking/Chappell Heating and Air machine sped from the pole and won the 20-lap Late Model feature Saturday evening at North Florida Speedway.
“We knew we had something special tonight,” Chappell, of Jacksonville, said in Victory Lane. “Track was a little rough, but still able to get some great racing. Car ran good and we were able to use the top some and stay out front.”
Rich Pratt had to start at the rear after a mechanical issue in his heat. He methodically worked his way to the second spot. Nevin Gainey had an up and down ride, but charged to third by the end. Stanton Mills, driving Jason Fitzgerald’s car and Bo Allen rounded out the top five.
Allen, a fan favorite and former NFS track champion, challenged Chappell early before fading a few spots and brought home the top five.
Georgia pilot Jay Johnson won his heat and was involved in an early altercation in the feature. He recovered for sixth.
Multiple cautions slowed the race, but Chappell broke away on each green flag to top the 18-car field.
“It was good to be out in the clean air and that helped the race car. I can’t thank everyone enough that helps. We found what we needed.”
Gainey did double duty in the R.O.T. Construction/Schaeffer Oil/Snow Brothers Race Cars house car for Late Models and Florida Outlaw EMod Series.
In the latter, he took advantage of the top line around the 3/8-mile clay oval to run to the front of the FOES pack. He moved by Shane Taylor about halfway through the 15-lap event and then checked out from the field even on multiple restarts.
Devin Walker recovered from a restart at the tail to speed to the runner up spot. David Markam, Dale Graham and Jason Garver completed the top five.
Graham continues to top Garver in the series points.
Gainey’s dad, veteran Eddie Gainey, swept the Thunder Stocks show. After winning his heat he paced all 15 laps of the feature and waited out several cautions and one red flag.
Bryar Zimmerman, John Thorpe, Ethan Butts and Darrell Roberts came next. Thorpe charged from the ninth starting spot. Roberts recovered from a Lap 1 flat tire.
The race was stopped on Lap 6. Both Brad Nixon and Trey Isgette ended up on their roofs after connecting and then clipping the front stretch wall. Both drivers climbed out uninjured.
Point leader Seth Caudill, Jr. claimed another Box Stock finale and led each of the 10 laps.
Ivan Valverde Ruiz, Larry Joslyn, Joey Maffo and Kenny Turner followed.
NFS is next in action Nov. 5 with the return of the Open Wheel Modifieds, a class without a repeat winner so far in 2016 at NFS. EMods, 3/4 Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Thunder Stocks and Box Stocks also hit the 3/8-mile clay oval.
For more information, call 386-754-8800 or log on to northfloridaspeedway.com.
Following are results from stock car racing Saturday evening Oct. 22 at North Florida Speedway in Lake City, Fla.
NFS Late Models
Feature (20 laps) – 1. 25 Donnie Chappell 2. 0 Rich Pratt 3. 17 Nevin Gainey 4. 7 Stanton Mills 4. 71 Bo Allen 6. J1 Jay Johnson 7. 59 Brandon Catto 8. 37 Gary Palmer 9. 21 Jamie Dayhaw 10. 14 Allen Cribbs 11. 141 Steve Brendle 12. 10X Dave Ponton 13. 51 Larry Anderson 14. 83 Shawn Taylor 15. 75 Sonny Thompson 16. 26 Adam Bedenbaugh 17. 28 Riley Cason 18. 66 Kyle Chappell (Did Not Start – 11M Megan Rae)
1st Heat (8 laps) – 1. D. Chappell 2. Gainey 3. Taylor 4. Ponton
2nd Heat (8 laps) – 1. Johnson 2. Anderson 3. Stanton 4. Palmer
3rd Heat (8 laps) – 1. Allen 2. Bedenbaugh 3. Thompson 4. Cason
Florida Outlaw EMod Series
Feature (15 laps) – 1. 17 Nevin Gainey 2. 55JR Devin Walker 3. 50 David Markham 4. 14 Dale Graham 5. 27 Jason Garver 6. 14S Brian Scott 7. 23 Jerol Stepp 8. 24 Joey Parks 9. 4RD Paul Webb 10. 87 Chad Dishman 11. 19 Tony Cripps 12. 82 Shane Taylor 13. 31 Ryan Gainey 14. 41 Adam Hitt 15. 98 Eric Baker (Did Not Start – 5 Dylan Crews, 18R Dalton Rathel, 2 Billy Rathel).
1st Heat (6 laps) -1 . N. Gainey 2. R. Gainey 3. Markham 4. Parks
2nd Heat (6 laps) – 1. Walker 2. Taylor 3. Hitt 4. Cripps
3rd Heat (6 laps) – 1. Garver 2. Graham 3. Scott 4. Baker
Feature (15 laps) – 1. 16 Eddie Gainey 2. 00Z Bryar Zimmerman 3. 114 John Thorpe 4. B27 Ethan Butts 5. 1X Darrell Roberts 6. 34 Shane Guessford 7. 98C Doran Cheney 8. 23 Chris Rowe 9. G0 Dale Graham 10. 18 Jerry Fortner 11. 5B Jeff Barnes 12. 5H Cory Howard 13. 22I Trey Isgette 14. 19B Brad Nixon 15. 82 Shane Taylor 16. 30
Kris Salyards 17. 58 Justin Wilson (Did Not Start – 2 Dennis Peterson, 13 Andy Olson).
1st Heat (6 laps) – 1. Howard 2. Taylor 3. Fortner 4. Butts
2nd Heat (6 laps) – 1. Zimmerman 2. Graham 3. Roberts 4. Guessford
3rd Heat (6 laps) – 1. Gainey 2. Nixon 3. Thorpe 4. Salyards
Feature (10 laps) – 1. C2 Seth Caudill 2. 65V Ivan Valverde Ruiz 3. 97 Larry Joslyn 4. 7 Joey Maffo 5. 9T Kenny Turner 6. 07C Jeffrey Creamer 7. 35 Amy Creamer 8. 07L Shannon Lang (Did Not Start – 41 Kenny McBride, 65W John Windham).
1st Heat (4 laps) – 1. Caudill 2. Joslyn 3. Valverde Ruiz 4. Maffo