Kyle Schram comes from the back to win big in the LLM/OWM $600 to win 30 Lap Feature!
Kevin Cassaday wins another Trophy Dash.
Gary Champion adds to his Street Stock win total.
Larry Thacker Jr wins in biggest Mini Stock field this year.
Ken Campbell ends John Bledsoe’s Tire race win streak.
Tommy Styer ends the Tommy Hill win streak in a very hard fought V-8 Thunder Stock feature.
Beautiful Florida weather on Saturday could not hide the weeks weather on the Everglades Clay, despite enormous effort the track was the biggest competitor for every race car out there. A recipe of wet rough track combined with powerful race cars and even more powerful egos proved to be a night of passionate discussion, lots of name calling and some questionable sportsmanship. Would we racers have it any other way? The fans loved it, most racers didn’t.
After an extended intermission to work the track the Thunder Stock Trophy Dash was won by Kevin Cassaday who has been on a roll lately, Kevin in the #80 held off a strong run by Derik Rose who finished second. Next up was the Street Stock class for their 20 lap feature, the front row was the heat race winners Tim Arnold and David McCormack. Charles Christian in his good looking 04 car quickly made his way to second behind the #98N of Tim Arnold but no one had anything for the #23 of Gary Champion, Tommy Hill followed Gary to the checkered flag followed by Tim Arnold and Rick Osteen.
It was time for the big race of the night as the Open Wheel Modifieds and the Limited Late Models lined up together to do battle. Bob Regula and Kyle Schram brought the field to the green. Jason Intoppa and John Wilson were right behind in the second row. It was the Kyle Schram show as the 2S dominated the first 20 laps while John Wilson and Bob Regula battled for second place, the track proved to be too tough for the right rear tire on the 2S car and Bob and John in the 5 and 64 cars dodged the crippled Schram. After changing a tire the 2S car re-entered the race in the back of the field and then put on a clinic of how to pass race cars on a tough track and took the lead away from the #64 of John Wilson of Wilson Race Cars by lap 27, the fans got quite a show as Kyle held on for the win and a nice payday in the Schram Family Racing prepared and Unlimited Turbo’s sponsored Limited Late Model.
The V-8 Thunder Stocks lined up next and even those who anticipated a wild race were not prepared for what was about to take place on the rough Everglades Clay. Ken Campbell in the #72 brought them to the green flag as guest drivers Jesse Brown (the 2012 HCMP Track Champion) in the 75+ normally driven by Tom Alley and Tommy Styer in the #9 normally driven by J.R. Fitch had their eyes on breaking the Tommy Hill win streak. It was a huge compliment to Tommy Hill and the Randy’s Garage/ Everglades Farm Equipment Team that it would take this level of guest talent to challenge his streak, but Tommy wasn’t feeling very complimented. The three cars of Tommy, Tommy and Jesse ran almost every lap two wide in the space for about one car, let alone three talented drivers on a mission on a rough track. Tempers flared, sheet metal got mangled and bumpers were used for communication instead of protection. Tommy Hill felt boxed in as Jesse Brown held off Tommy Styer who stayed committed to the high line for most of the race. After some “communication” with Jesse Brown, Tommy Hill headed to the pits for a new rear tire. Tommy Styer stayed all over Jesse and only was able to lead one lap, lucky for Tommy Styer it was the important lap as the #9 car found its way to victory lane and the Tommy Hill win streak came to an end. Lots of post race discussion kept the emotion of the wild race going. Kevin Cassaday and Ken Campbell finished third and fourth with Tommy Hill and Jeff Smith fifth and sixth.
The Modified Mini Stocks took to the track for their feature race next and most of the fans were still standing from the previous race, Larry Thacker Jr. in the #00 Toyota found the smoother top lane to be the place to race and he was right, after a little fender bending with a charging Mark Thompson in his #28 Ford Pinto the little Toyota never looked back.
Ken Campbell and John Bledsoe were the only undamaged cars left wanting to run the popular Tire Race. A large tire was placed on the front staightaway and after a standing start the cars had to circle around the tire and continue on to complete the lap, for eight laps, pretty interesting stuff and a few “hold your breathe” moments. John has never left without a win in the tire race but tonight Ken saw the checkers first. Nice job Ken.
Next week, May 11th, the screaming Florida Mini Sprints are in town and always put on a great show and the V-8 Thunder Stocks race for $600 to win (as if those guys need incentive to race hard).
See you there, and bring a friend