SPRY, THOMSON, AND PISTONE AMONG WINNERS ON A
WILD NIGHT ONE
OF INEX RACING
WINTERNATIONALS AT ORLANDO SPEEDWORLD
It was just "one of those nights" at Orlando Speedworld Tuesday that
stretched into the early morning hours of Wednesday as the second week
of the2005 Winternationals got under way and, needless to say, the fans that
droppedjust ten bucks to see the show got enough action to last a week.
108 Raceceiver RE/MAX Legends cars signed in for competition from all
across the United States and Canada with twelve heat races needed as well as
B-main to set the starting line-ups for each Legends Car division.
Five heats were needed in Semi-Pro with wins going to Brandon
Thomson, RyanMeldrum, Matt DiBenedetto, Kory Abbott, and Jake Crum.
Jordan Anderson led five other drivers into the
feature by winning the 15-lap B-main.
Due to a mix-up involving scoring and some duplicate numbers, INEX
andSpeedworld officials decided to make all parties happy and increased
thestarting field in the 25 lap feature from 26 to 31 cars.
Brandon Thomson, who just turned 15 years old
and is just entering
his second year in Legends after winning back to back State Bandelero
championships. had the pole and grabbed the early lead. Thomson could
never get in a true rhythm as caution flags were the norm in this race with
many of the drivers still trying to adjust to the Speedworld layout.
Fortunately noneof the incidents were serious although one changed the
of the race.
Jake Crum was pressuring Thomson for the lead when third place Chris
Buescher tried to make an inside move on Crum at the same time going
into turn one. Crum and Buescher ended up sideways on the track,
the caution and sending both to the rear of the field for the restart with
justover five laps to go.
Thomson held off Kory Abbott the rest of the way as Stuart Dutton
moved up to third late in the race to make it a 1-2-3 finish for Florida
drivers. Georgia's Travis Pennington was fourth while Matt DiBenedetto of
Hickory, NC was fifth. Brennan Poole, Zane Hedrick, Chris Wilson, Ryan
Alec Carll rounded out the top ten.
Thomson's dad is Russ Thomson, who is a former Speedworld Late
and Modified driver and now operates the parts trailer at the track and is
the INEX sales and parts representative for the State of Florida, couldn't
wipe the smile off his face. "He's only been driving these cars
for less than a year and to come out here and win over this great field of
cars..., well, I just can't describe how proud I am. Let's hope we can
this up for the rest of the week," said the elder Thomson.
The Raceceiver RE/MAX Legends Masters division saw heat race wins
going to Ronald Poland, Sr., Cotton Spry and Cy Harvey while the B-main was
scratched when only five cars could make the restart after an opening lap
that saw Mitch Veerhaagh tag the wall hard on the back stretch.
trying to avoid Verhaagh, crashed into the pit entrance/exit divider water
barrels. Both drivers were unhurt but their cars were not so lucky.
carswere being taken out of the race to go into the A-main, and only five
were left, those five automatically transferred and the race was called
complete after just a half lap.
The 25 lap feature wouldn't get any smoother but the opening laps
were wild for the lead. Poland led the first two laps with Harvey
three. Mark Sullivan took over on lap four and was leading when the first of
rash of caution flags came out for a multi-car tangle that eliminated Herve
On the restart, something broke on Allen Rogers' car and he spun in
turn three and had to be towed from the track Again the field tried to
get back under way but leader Sulivan got loose coming off turn four, ran up
and over second place Cotton Spry's car and did two flips down the front
stretch. Sullivan climbed out of his bent racer unhurt, but he gave
the fans and flagman Butch Carr, Jr. quite a
Spry's car was not seriously damaged and he restarted in the lead
only twosee the red flag back out again one lap later. One car dumped
fluid on the track and twelve cars went spinning in turn one. Bobby
Carlos "Mercury" Moore and Bob "Wild Willie" Wilson were eliminated in this
Spry now had Clay Hair knocking on his "back door" but the caution
flagwasn't going to be put away yet. Van Sykes, Poland, and Ray
got tangled up on lap ten. Two laps later, something broke on
third-running Cy Harvey's car and the Nova Scotia driver came to a halt at
the top of
turn four ending his good run.
From that point, the second half of the race was a battle between the
twoveteran North Carolina drivers but Spry was not to be out-foxed on this
nightas he took the win ahead of Hair. Plano, TX driver Bob Merino
steady race to claim third while fellow Texan Gene Conley did the passing
of the night coming from 21st on the starting grid to finish fourth.
Austin of McDonough, GA took fifth. Completing the top ten were Jesse
Mike Verhaagh, Richard Losh, James Rodriguez, and Tom Hutson. Only 14
the 26 starters finished the race.
Four heats were needed for the Raceceiver RE/MAX Legends Pro division
with wins going to Derek Schumaker, Nick Pistone, Danny Jackson and C.E.
The B-Main was won by Scott Knox.
This race would also be pretty wild at the beginning as Jackson
snared the early lead with Pistone on his bumper. Chris Bakaj brought
firstcaution with a harmless spin at the end of lap one.
Lap three saw Jason Reisman and Scott Knox get together coming off
turn four with Knox's car doing a full roll over. Knox climbed from
without a scratch but the damage put both his and Reisman's cars in the pits
Jackson continued to set the pace until the final caution came out on
lap seven. C.E. Falk III spun in turn three and was hit hard by Beau
Slocumb. Falk was done for the evening while Slocumb returned just in time
stay on the lead lap.
From that point it was all green flag racing as Jackson was able to
hold off the high-flying Pistone until the North Carolina driver sped past
lap 15. From that point there was no catching Pistone, who won the Regional
Qualifier for the Las Vegas Nationals at Speedworld last year.
Micheal VanWingerden was like a rocket over the final half of the
race blasting into second late in the going but too far behind Pistone to
mount a challenge as Pistone claimed the win over fellow NC drivers
VanWingerden and Josh Waring. Fourth went to Ohio driver Jackson while
fifth was Jason
Miller of Berryville, VA. Rounding out the top ten were Brent Seeley
24th at the start), Craig Haack, James Robertson, A.J. Fulgenzi, and Kayne
Hickman. Lakeland, FL driver Gerald White, Jr. lapped the field
in winning the
Bandelero Bandit feature. Donovan Ponder was second followed by Roger
Benton, Jr. making it a sweep of the top three spots for the Florida
Ryan Rust had a big night as the the Port St. Lucie, FL driver not
only won his first Bandelero Young Gun feature, but also lapped the field in
process. Tony Calabrese of West Palm Beach, FL was second while Joey
Bales of Buckeye Lake, OH was third.
Kara Clarke completed a sweep of Bandelero action for the Florida
contingent as she sped to a big win in the Bandelero Outlaw main.
Trailing the 16
year old from Palm Beach Gardens were Marcus Limehouse of Charleston, SC and
Rockford IL's Dwight Dunlap.
The Thunder Roadster feature was postponed to the following night due
to the lateness of the hour. Earlier, Tennessee's Craig Haack had
heat race win over Michael VanWingerden and Kyle Beattie.
Action continues Tuesday eveing with the Raceceiver RE/MAX Legends
Cars, Bandelero and Thunder Roadsters, who will run a double feature.
time is 8PM.
RACECEIVER RE/MAX LEGENDS CAR RESULTS for 2/15/04:
SEMI-PRO DIVISION (25 Laps):
1) Brandon Thomson, St. Cloud, FL #54
2) Kory Abbott, Apopka, FL #5
3) Stuart Dutton, Tallahassee, FL #32
4) Travis Pennington, Douglasville, GA #01
5) Matt DiBenedetto, Hickory, NC #44
6) Brennan Poole, The Woodlands, TX #17P
7) Zane Hedrick, Thomasville, NC #4Z
8) Chris Wilson, Crossville, TN #10
9) Ryan Meldrum, Livonia, MI #17M
10) Alec Carll, Grand Rapids, MI #31
11) Jake Crum, Statesville, SC #1C
12) Darin Coker, Palm Beach Gardens, FL #00
13) Todd Campbell, Tallahassee, FL #C01
14) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon, CT #52
15) Matthew Williams, Tuscon, AZ #1
16) Kyle Hall, Leonardtown, MD #69
17) Wesley McLeod, Mt. Dora, FL #22
18) Beau Browning, Collierville, TN #89
19) Jay Cloud, Griffin, GA #26
20) D.J. Vanderley, Mobile, AL #2
21) Neal McCarty, College Park, MD #54X
22) Matt Bowers, Mt. Dora, FL #84
23) Paddy Rodenbeck, Odessa, FL #29
24) Michael Bilderback, South Beloit, IL #2X
25) Chris Buescher, Prosper, TX #67
26) Addison Rogers, Winchester, VA #17
27) Patrick McVay, Kannapolis, NC #33
28) Keith Breasbois, Gainesville, GA #41
29) Jordan Anderson, Columbia, SC #19
DNS John Memmer, Evansville, IN #24
DNS Dan Snyder, Mooresville, NC #1S
Did not qualify: Trey Collins, Malcolm Campbell, Jr., Steven Meador,
Webb, Jr., Brian Murphy, Collier Jones, Scott MacLean, Brandon Temple,
Deggeller, Tyler Slayden.
MASTERS DIVISION (25 Laps):
1) Cotton Spry, Salisbury NS #16NC
2) Clay Hair, Mt. Pleasant, NC #29
3) Bob Merino, Plano, TX #42
4) Gene Conley, Lewisville, TX #27
5) Guy Austin, McDonough, GA #1
6) Jesse Carter, Nashville, TN #20C
7) Mike Verhaagh, Ft. Myers, FL #7
8) Richard Losh, Joppa, MD #00
9) James Rodriguez, West Palm Beach, FL #19
10) Tom Hutson, Wilmington, NC #54
11) Tommy Jordan, Hartsville, SC #1SC
12) Frank Johnston, Kemptville, ON #20
13) Larry Friddle, Greenville, SC #8
14) Ronald Poland, Sr., Gainesville, GA
15) Cy Harvey, Halifax, NS #37NS
16) Ray Paprota, Birmingham, AL #01
17) Van Sykes, Stevensville, MD #82
18) C.D. Candler, Knoxville, TN #51
19) Jim Mayrand, Jr., S. Deerfield, MA #15
20) Bobby Byars, Palm Bay, FL #12
21) Bob Wilson, Beverly Hills, FL #27W
22) Brian Weimer, Cumming, GA #40
23) Carlos Moore, Kannapolis, NC #9
24) Mark Sullivan, Greenwood, IN #22
25) Allen Rogers, Winchester, VA #37
26) Herve Thibodeau, Sr., Saco, ME #12ME
Did not qualify: Tom Clarke, Mitch Verhaagh, Gary Bursey.
PRO DIVISION (25 Laps):
1) Nick Pistone, Mooresville, NC #99
2) Michael VanWingerden, Huntersville, NC
3) Josh Warning, Concord, NC
4) Danny Jackson, Loveland, OH
5) Jason Miller, Berryville, VA
6) Brent Seeley, Plano, TX #5
7) Craig Haack, Lewisburg, TN #8Ball
8) James Robertson, Indianapolis, IN #42
9) A.J. Fulgenzi, Jacksonville, FL #33
10) Kayne Hickman, Soddy Daisy, TN #H3
11) Jeremy Colangelo, Sanford, FL #05
12) Chris Bakaj, Farmington, CT #32
13) Kyle Hendershott, Fairfax, VA #51
14) Ricky Losh, Joppa, MD #24L
15) Tom Sherman, Farmingdale, NY #27
16) Ronnie Dunstan, Harleysville, PA #7R
17) Beau Slocumb, Juliette, GA #18
18) Ricky Gonzales, Toms River, NJ
19) G.E. Chapman, Concord, NC
20) C.E. Falk III, Virginia Beach, VA #40
21) Hoyt Richter, Denton, TX #F5
22) Herve Thibodeau, Jr,, Saco, ME #2
23) Scott Knox, Cornelius, NC #86
24) Jason Reisman, Concord, NC #25
DNS Derek Shumaker, Conroe, TX #8
DNS Keeton Hanks, Auburn, KY #90
Did not qualify: Randy Brunelle, Adam McCraw, Jason Rochelle, Ben
Stancill,Doug Stevens, Frank Polimeda, Daniel Sossorman, Chris Rogers, Craig
Goess, Jeffery Rush, Larry Fitzsimmons, Kenny Forth.