The ultimate cure for Cabin Fever in our region is opening night at Florence Speedway, as the 2015 season point championships officially kicked off. 64 competitors jammed the pits to compete for their spot in Florence Speedway’s Victory lane. Promoters Jerry, Mona & Josh King welcomed warmer temperatures (finally) for a thrilling night of competition to compete on “The South’s Fastest ½ mile High-Banked Dirt Oval” and home of the “North/South 100” and “National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame”.
In the 30 lap Late Model feature event, “The Wildthang” Greg Johnson of Bedford, Indiana made the most out of Dustin Linville’s misfortune to take the Season opening late model feature event. Linville, who had started 4th on the grid, quickly took the lead from early race leader Johnson on lap (4), and checked out on the field during the (24) laps of caution free racing. But to his dismay the caution was for Linville as his rocket ship came to a stop in turn two with a driveshaft failure ending his impressive run. Meanwhile Johnson had held his own by holding down the 2nd running spot prior to the caution. With less than (5) laps remaining in the event a single file restart was in order. The line-up for the (4) lap dash to the finish would have Johnson out front and Robby Hensley 2nd, Josh Rice 3rd, James Rice 4th, and Gerald Tripp 5th. Johnson proceeded to lead the final tours but the action behind him was furious as Josh Rice while making his first ever late model appearance past Hensley for 2nd and Tripp Gerald and Bill Blair, Jr. would get by James Rice to finish 4th and 5th.
The 47 year young Johnson was driving the Gary Engle owned Revelution/Dargie/Corvette and sponsored by Carthage Auto Parts, Moreland’s One Stop Race Shop, Jay Construction, Genesis Shocks, Franklin Rear Ends and Allstar Performance.
Finishing 2nd was Josh Rice, 3rd Hensley, 4th Tripp and 5th Blair, Jr. The “Hard Charger” of the race was the #84 of Bill Blair, Jr. of Amelia, Ohio who started 10th and hustled his way up to 5th.
In the Modified 20 lap feature Ryan Morton of Middletown, OH hounded race long leader Billy Vaughan for (18) laps as he was able to finally clear him for the lead on lap (19) and the eventual victory. Vaughan and Brandon Ramsey took the green flag with Morton and Pete Holt in row two. Vaughan would take the lead on lap (1) with Morton, Holt, Jeremy Hayes and Ramsey in tow. The first caution of the race would fall for the stopped #87 Scott James who was substituting for Larry Moreland, Jr. during the caution both Ramsey and Hayes retired from the event and James rejoined the field. The order for restart had Vaughan out front with Morton, Holt, Jason Mischke and Colin Green rounding out the top 5. Three laps later the 2nd caution waved for the stopped Jay Shell right after Holt got by Morton for 2nd. Shell would take his mount pit side for the event. The rest of the top five did not change. The next segment of green flag action was amazing as Holt and Morton looked like a heavyweight fight as the two traded punches as they swapped the 2nd running spot numerous times not only at the line but all over the track. The next and would be final yellow waved as the 4th running James would spin on his own and would disqualify himself with his second yellow flag of the event. The final restart would have Vaughan leading the way with Morton, Holt, Mischke and Green in tow. The following lap Holt would get by Morton, and then Morton would regain the spot on the next. Morton would then set his sights on race long leader Vaughan. Lap (17) 4th running Mischke would slow and exit the race without bringing out a caution and Green would take the 4th spot moving Rick Gibson into the top 5 with (4) laps to go. Morton would finally get by Vaughan before taking the white flag and hold on to take his first ever “A” Main here at Florence Speedway.
Ryan Morton was piloting the Bill Ashley owned Pierce/Cropper sporting the sponsorship of Cohen Recycling & Autoparts and Ashley Motorsports.
Finishing 2nd was Vaughan, 3rd Holt, 4th Green and 5th Gibson. The “Hard Charger” of the race was #15 Rick Gibson of Walton, KY who started 9th and powered his way to 5th.
In 2014 Florence Speedway introduced our newest division of competition with introduction of the Crate Late Model class, 2015 would be their sophomore season. Tom Collini would lead lap (1) followed by Grant Garrison, Stan Freeman, Sean Thomas, and Jeff Alsip running in the top 5. Before lap (2) would be scored the #6 of Greg Bauer would spin bring out the caution flag. During the caution Collini would come to a stop in the bottom of turn one with some sort of mechanical issue and would relinquish the lead to Garrison. Bauer would retire from the event and Collini would rejoin the field from the rear. Lap (2) was scored with Garrison leading and Freeman, Alsip, Thomas and Ed Eschmann, Jr. moving into the top 5. The rest of the race would go caution free. With the Garrison comfortably in the lead, Collini was the one to watch as he would charge through the field, 10th on lap (2), 9th on lap (3), 8th on lap (4), 7th on lap (5), 6th on lap (8), 4th on lap (9). Garrison would maintain his sizable lead over Alsip over the remaining laps, but Collini would get by Freeman coming to the checkered flag. Garrison would capture his 1st of 2015 and 3rd career feature win at Florence Speedway.
Garrison was driving the Mark Garrison own Club 29/Chevy Camaro, sponsored by Darrell Lanigan Racing, Gotta-Go Rentals and Septic Services, Slick Rollers and Nickerson & Trantor Appraisal Services
Finishing 2nd was Alsip, 3rd Collini, 4th Stan Freeman and 5th Eschmann. The “Hard Charger” of the race was the #21 of Shawn Snelling who started 11th and finished 6th.
In the Pure Stock 15 lap feature, 2014 Pure Stock Champion Brandon Gibson of Dry Ridge, KY took the lead at the drop of the green flag over pole sitter Roy Beach, Jr. Gibson led flag to flag to capture his first “A” main of 2015 and with it the early season led in the year long battle for the track championship. With this win Brandon notched his 50th career “A” main win in the Pure Stock since 2003.
Gibson was wheeling the Busse Racing owned Chevy Monte Carlo sponsored by Florence Winnelson, Burch Sheet Metal, Kim’s Pilot Car Service, D & Z Plumbing, Brewer Autobody, Webb’s Excavating, Bill’s Auto Service and Pine’s Mobile Home Park.
Finishing 2nd was Beach. Jr., 3rd Ronnie Helton, 4th Jerry Helton and 5th David Osterman. The “Hard Charger” of the race was the #67h of Ronnie Helton of Florence, KY who started 7th and battled his way to 3rd.
Florence Speedway’s kicked off the 4th season of our rendition of the up and coming 4 Cylinder front wheel drive class, that we call the Hornets. Two time and defending champion TJ Dalton of Burlington, KY raced to his 1st “A” main of the season here at Florence Speedway in 2015. Dalton took the lead from inside pole sitter Ryan Eversole on lap (4) restart and held off his a hard charging brother Justin for the win. It was TJ’s 5th career win at the speedway.
Dalton was driving the Dalton Gang Motorsports owned Chevy Cavalier, sponsored by KaDak Survival, Northern KY Pop Warner, Slicker Graphics, TJ’s Mobile Computer Services, Dirt Star, Jack’s Glass, and The DRC.
Finishing 2nd was Justin Dalton, 3rd Kevin Penick, 4th Carson Freeman and 5th Brandon Gibson, Jr. The “Hard Charger” of the race was the #5 of Penick of Villa Hills, KY who started 6th and fought his way to 3rd.
Official Summary of Results
Armed Forces Night
April 11th, 2015