OCALA, Fla. – The final month of points racing at Bubba Raceway Park got started with a bang Saturday night.
First up were the Buddy’s Home Furnishings Limited Late Models who saw David Showers lead lap one from pole. J.O. Nobles, however, would take the lead on lap five as the leaders maneuvered through lapped traffic.
On lap 10 Jason Pope made contact with Matt Johnson (Johnson was being lapped) and it sent Johnson straight into the front stretch wall. Driver No. 96 was okay after the impact.
A melee started when Cory Hupp spun in front of Billy Holmes, Shane Koperda, Cox, C.J. Waldron, Carter Stokes, and Blaise Hetznecker in turn four on the restart. All would continue as Nobles led Showers and Forrest Gough up front. Nobles got caught in traffic but held on by a car length or so for his 11th win of 2012.
David Showers finished second with Ronnie Soltis third. Tyler Clem took a career best fourth as he ran top five all day and beat Christian McGillivray, who is four years his older.
The Barfield Law Group Mini Stocks went out second and Nick Kerr was able to put on a fight with his good friend Buddy Pope. Kerr would lead from pole with Pope and Reid Christensen in tow. As the race progressed the gap fluctuated but in the end Nick Kerr took home the big win, his third of 2012. Pope finished a strong second while Christensen finished 3rd.
1-800-ASK GARY Thunder Stocks entertained as the middle class and they did not disappoint. On lap two Brian Mullins lost his right rear tire while running in third position. Shane Nichols would lead with James Sullivan, III and Jason Gamble behind him. On lap 12 Jason Gamble overtook Shane Nichols for the lead as Nichols went for history.
The race went checkers on lap 17 with Jason Gamble and Shane Nichols tied at the line. Bubba made the decision to do a two-lap fight between the two for the win.
Gamble shot to the front and ended Nichols’ run of wins as he won by a car length over Nichols. Joe Boyd finished a forgotten third with Mike Valdes and Rick Kilbury the top five.
RaceCar Engineering Late Models went out fourth and with some of the heavy hitters missing it was a fresh face in Coors Light Winner’s Circle. Grand Marshal Jason told them to fire the motors for 25 high-flying laps.
Bryan Bernhardt would lead lap one in the caution free event. As the race progressed David Gentry closed in and made the winning pass on lap 16. Bernhardt’s misfortune was not over as Richard Ferry got around for 2nd. Gentry went on to win with Ferry, Christian Augspurger, Bernhardt, and Bo Allen the top five. In tech, however, Gentry was disqualified for illegal tires moving Ferry to first and Joe Kump to the top 5.
The final regular division to run was the Rent-N-Roll Gladiator division and what a show it was. Paul Ashford led lap one but quickly gave it to Shane Guessford for two laps.
Steve Johnson would take it on lap 4 and held it through a lap 9 restart. The caution had come out when Guessford’s 8B caught on fire; Guessford was okay. On lap 12 Reid Christensen overtook Johnson for the lead just as Johnson’s right front wheel broke off. Christensen would take the win over Brandon Haseleu. Paul Ashford finished 3rd with David Pate and Jordan McMillon the top five.
The night ended with the Bubba Army Figure-8 Event. Carl McPete would start with the lead before a lap two caution for Charles Herne. Michael Cherry would take the lead on the restart.
“The Modern Day Mishap” began on lap three as Jonathan Appleby fell off pace with the lead group. The field slowed on lap seven when Neil Herne stopped in the infield section. After about four laps the ‘X’ became a “Dust Bowl 2000” as the cars continued around the track. Michael Cherry held on to win ahead of teammate Carl McPete. Mason Love, Charles Herne, and William Stansbury rounded out the top five.