After 3 months of no racing at Punta Gorda Speedway, at least mother nature gave a helping hand and spared the track of rain for a couple days so everything could dry out. The drivers, crews and fans where all ready to get back to the sport they love and support, and it showed as fans lined up waiting to get back to racing.
After qualifying, were the heat races, it took some time for everyone to get back in the swing of things, drivers were a little aggressive and had fans stay till the last featured checker flew.
First up were the Rookie Trucks, James Dellea III of Port Charlotte, sat on the pole and beat Chad Chastain to the line to lead the race. Chastain had a fast truck and by lap five brought out the first caution as he made contact with Dellea and was sent to the rear. Good hard racing by these Rookies while Dellea continued to lead and it was lap fourteen that Chastain made it by Dellea for one lap then broke, Dellea went on to win his first race in the Rookie class, Corey Bigley second and Travis Miller was third.
Perfect Pest Control Pro 4 came out for their twenty five lap feature and what a good close race that saw the 04 of Ryan Collver of N, Ft Myers and Paul Richards Jr of Naples swap back and fourth for the lead. First time out in his new car was Kris Bridges that won the heat and charged to the front to finish second while Richards came home first and Collver was third. Bridges was DQed in tech giving second and third to the Collver brother Ryan and Dan.
What can you say about the Cowboy Cadillac feature except if you were not there to witness the beating and banging and show they put on for the fans you missed it. Jeff Deeble of Port Charlotte took over the lead on lap 4 and held off the field behind him that had spins, wrecks and even cone racing. Mike Bialecki survived for second and John Pummell Jr was third and what was that 88 truck thinking while fans cheered for him to be sent to the pits.
Do Not miss next weeks race when they go 30 laps.
Pro Trucks qualified and it was Michael Burns of Port Charlotte that had fast time and was awarded 5 gallons of racing fuel from speedway owner Kevin Williams but would start second row outside. Sam Scott of Naples jumped out to an early lead with Burns right on his bumper, Burns took over the lead by lap three. It was Burns and Scott running first and second while trucks behind them were fighting for position till the first caution came out on lap eighteen. Kelli Burns made contact with the twenty six of Jessica Murphy and was sent to the rear, Sam Scott had to restart on the outside of Michael Burns while Travis Gossard was inside, Sam held on but Gossard got by Scott for second. You couldn’t tell those were girls in those trucks by the way they were driving, as Kellie Burns, Whitney Poole and Jessica Murphy were all fight for the same spot and bringing out the last caution on lap thirty one. Poole was not able to continue and came out on the worst end, after being spun coming out of turn four. Michael Burns went on to win, Travis Gossard was second Sam Scott third.
Super Late Models saw the twenty three car of Mike Smith from Auburndale, set fast time and the only driver to break into the fourteens but it was Wayne Anderson that started on the pole. Daryl Shelnut who knows how to get around the Punta Gorda Speedway, had some problems with his qualifying, giving him the starting position of last place in this 100 lap feature. Wayne Anderson of Wildwood jumped to the early lead as fast qualifier Mike Smith was on his bumper during the first fifty laps that were filled with cautions. Cars came and cars went and some just stopped running but it was still Anderson and Smith while several drivers took turns running in the third spot like Steve Gill, Richie Anderson who both broke and Bobby Shelton who was celebrating his birthday and looking for a win.
Halfway mark and Billy Bigley Jr made a run on the outside and this time couldn’t get it done while Daryl Shelnut was picking them off one by one and made a move on the outside of Smith and Anderson to take over the lead with twenty five laps to go. While Shelnut was moving into first, Smith saw and opportunity to pass Anderson to take over second and give Anderson the third spot.
Daryl Shelnut of Lake City had it on cruise control for the last twenty five caution free laps to bring home the win, Mike Smith second and Wayne Anderson third. Awarded twenty five dollar gift certificates from Race Car Engineering was 1st place, Daryl Shelnut, 5th place, Jeff Schofield, 10th place, Dylan Bigley and 15th place, Steve Weaver.
Open Wheel Modifieds ran thirty five laps that seemed like 100, these drivers gave the fans more than they expected and what a show. Johnny Allen from Lehigh led the first eight laps and Steve Arnold from Cape Coral took over the lead while Doug Moff was fighting Allen for that second spot. Good thing these cars do not have fenders because they would of all ended up with none at the end of this race. Arnold was the race leader while Allen, Moff, L.B. Skaggs and Eric Rudd were all fighting for second.
After forty five minuets of good old hard racing, that had fans on the edge of their seats, it was Arnold bringing home the win, L.B. “watch this” Skaggs second and a not so happy Doug Moff third.
Fans hung in there till the last race of the night which was the Road Warriors that only had one caution on lap six but a lot of action for twenty five laps that only took fifteen minuets, bringing the night to an end at 11:28. Phil “Ace” Ellis of Rotonda could see the finish line as he was crushing in first place for the first half of the feature but with no mirrors in the cars he couldn’t see Rick Reed on his bumper seeing the same thing. Halfway mark and Reed gave the chrome horn to Ellis coming out of four and took over the lead while Ellis did a good job to keep control and hang on for second. When the checkers flew it was Rick Reed of Port Charlotte in first, Phil Ellis second and Richard Nelson of Port Charlotte third.
Next week October 6th will be the Late Model Sportsman running for double points and 50 laps, Legends, Bandoleros, Street Stock for 50 laps, T.Q. Midgets, Mini Cups, Cowboy Cadillacs for 30 laps and Fan Participation. Pit gates open at 1:30 and front gates open at 5:00. visit our web site for all up to date information and great racing photos at www.puntagordaspeedway.com
PUNTA GORDA SPEEDWAY RESULTS
Super Late Model 100 Race #6
1. 7 Daryl Shelnut Lake City
2. 23 Michael Smith Auburndale fast time 14.933
3.. 84 Wayne Anderson Wildwood
4. 34 Bobby Shelton Delray Beach
5. 77 Jeff Schofield Plant City
6. 59 Dustin Dunn Jupiter
7. 28 Billy Bigley Jr. Naples
8. 5 Joe Boyd Riverview
9. 13 Mike Knotek La Belle
10. 28b Dylan Bigley Naples
11. 14 Mario Maresca Southwest Ranch
12. 12 David Green Fort Pierce
13. 5x Steve Gill Sarasota
14. 51 Richie Anderson N.Fort Myers
15. 112 Steve Weaver Plantation
16. 55r Zack Rudd N. Fort Myers
Open Wheel Modifieds
1. 19 Steve Arnold Cape Coral
2. 71 L.B.Skaggs N. Fort Myers
3. 46 Doug Moff Fort Myers
4. 12 Eric Rudd Naples
5. 2 John Rogers Naples
6. 8 Johnny Allen LeHigh
1. 14b Michael Burns Port Charlotte fast time
2. 47 Travis Gossard Naples
3. 14s Sam Scott Naples
4. 26 Jessica Murphy Groveland
5. 4 Kelli Burns Port Charlotte
6. 37 Nick Hernandez Palmetto
7. 22 Jim Cowley Valrico
8. 25 Darin McCurdy Port Charlotte
9. 32 Dylan Bigley Naples
10. 00 Whitney Poole Vero Beach
11. 75 Robert St. John Arcadia
12. 45 Erick Elsea Cape Coral
13. 36 Ralph Chastain Alva D.N.S.
1. 1 Rick Reed Punta Gorda
2. 29 Phil Ellis Rontonda
3. 80 Richard Nelson Port Charlotte
4. 10 Jason Miller LeHigh
5. 7 Cody Allen LeHigh
6. 22 Derrick Horton N. Fort Myers
7. 51 Jerrett Cornell N. Fort Myers
8. 5 Jeremy Daring LeHigh
9. 8 Jeff Deeble Port Charlotte
10. 97 Chris Scott Nikomis
11. 14 Randy Kile LeHigh
12. 77 James Dellea Port Charlotte
13. 90 Chris Stockton Hollywood
14. 33 Chris Looney Naples
1. 61 Paul Richards Jr. Naples
2. 04 Ryan Collver N. Fort Myers
3. 00 Dan Collver N. Fort Myers
4. 91 Jessica Ostrovskis St. Pete
5. 28 Corey Bigley Naples
6. 87 Skyler Null N. Fort Myers
7. 56 Steve Babcock Punta Gorda
8. 13 Justin Teston Lehigh
9. 63 Kris Bridges Venice D.Q.
1. 8 Jeff Deeble Port Charlotte
2. 92 Mike Bialecki Arcadia
3. 86 John Pummell Jr. Arcadia
4. 99 Stuart Vandevender N. Fort Myers
5. 26 Mike True Port Charlotte
6. 88 Trey Almond Port Charlotte
7. 63 James Wright Naples
1. 77 James Dellea III Port Charlotte
2. 00 Corey Bigley Naples
3. 36m Travis Miller N. Fort Myers
4. 32 Justin Bond Vero Beach
5. 36 Chad Chastain Alva