OCALA, Fla. – The Twisted Tea Top Gun Sprint Cars took the wings off and the RaceCar Engineering Late Models went topless Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park.
First up were Hobby Stocks and under the pace laps Bubba put it to Trevor Gamble and Rodney Wright: “Come from the back (and win) and I’ll give you an extra $100.”
Both accepted the offer. Those two starting outside the top 15 allowed pole sitter Devin Walker to lead lap one. On lap nine Glenn Baum lost a wheel which would set the restart up like this- Walker, Wright, Gamble. Walt Kahrs set up a G-W-C after he spun out of turn four but the order was still the same.
Devin Walker held on to play championship spoiler with Gamble bettering his rival Wright. Marty Smith finished 4th with Mark Maresca rounding out the top five. JD with City Electric Supply put up $200 for the winner and Bubba split the $100 and gave Wright and Gamble each $50 for putting on a wonderful show.
Bo Allen would lead from pole as the RaceCar Engineering Late Models went lids off before Mark Whitener passed him on lap 6. The field slowed on lap 10 when Austin Dowling spun out of turn four; Whitener, Allen, and Christian Augspurger made up the top-three.
Whitener would not relinquish that lead as he took home a big win over Christian Augspurger in a 1-2 for Barry Wright chassis. Bo Allen and J.O. Nobles would finish 3rd and 4th, respectively, with the Bubba Army Performance Engines, and Bryan Bernhardt rounded out the top five.
The race in the middle was the wingless Twisted Tea Top Gun Sprint Car Series feature. Danny Martin, Jr. shot to the lead from pole position but lost it when the No. 82 broke down on lap four.
Shawn Murray inherited the lead with Matt Kurtz and Dave Slawiak in tow. On lap 6 Murray spun and collected Kurtz but further back Mark Ruel, Jr. went for a wild ride as he tried to avoid the wreck. Ruel would be okay after the incident. Dave Slawiak would inherit the lead after Murray was put to the tail and Kurtz retired. As they fought for the lead, Tim Grubaugh misjudged the gap to Slawiak- they made contact and both flipped their machines wildly.
Both climbed out under their own power. Murray would go back to the lead with 5-to-go and Brandon Grubaugh behind him. Murray would win with Tony Agin second and Brandon Grubaugh third. Rich Alexander finished 4th and Dan Statter rounded out the top five.
The 1-800-ASK GARY Thunder Stocks started like they seem to always end- with Shane Nichols leading. Cautions ate up much of the first few laps but Gamble and Nichols stretched their legs and put on a fantastic battle to the end.
Nichols would hold Gamble off even as they had to pick their way through traffic towards the end. Gamble finished a relieving second with James Sullivan, III third. Brandon Elwood and Joey Durbin jumped up into the top five after Brian Mullins and James Erickson crashed themselves out of good top five finishes.
Rent-N-Roll Gladiators rounded up the night with Steve Johnson, Tony LaPorta, and Brandon Haseleu leading in a real championship decider. Johnson would retire on lap two, however, when the right front broke off and left him stranded.
LaPorta would miss a shift on the restart and that allowed Haseleu, Mike Patton, and Stephen Frankland around him. He would quickly retake the lead and never give it up. Haseleu finished second with Patton, Jordan McMillon, and Frankland the top five. In tech, LaPorta was disqualified for not allowing his car to be claimed by the track which gave Haseleu the win over Patton, McMillon, Frankland, and Tonya Keene.