Volusia Sprints Race Report – 05.14.11
After reading a Facebook rumor that our Factory Driver “Flyin” Ryan Partin might be substituting for “The Hammer” Danny Martin Jr. in the Doug Shaw #24 car, I quickly loaded up and headed to Volusia Speedway Park for confirmation. Beside that, this would mean I have the FSCF.com Employee of the Year Award wrapped up before Memorial Day!
DATE: May 14,2011
SERIES: Volusia Speedway Sprints
TRACK: Volusia Speedway Park
ADMISSION PRICE: $25 for the pit pass.
FOOD ORDERED: I ordered both a Hamburger and a Hot Dog.
FOOD GRADE: B. On this night, the hot dog was the better of the two choices, but the hamburger wasn’t all that bad.
DRINKS ORDERED: I went with Powerade and a Sweet Tea.
DRINKS GRADE: A. The tea was sweet and the Powerade came in three flavor choices. For non-alcoholic choices, this was good.
CROWD GRADE: D-. May have been the worst crowd I had ever witnessed at Volusia. Most likely Mother Nature’s fault.
SERIES GRADE: C. The car count was a little lower than previous shows, but I’m guessing the weather kept many away.
TRACK GRADE: A. This sucker was tacky fast. Just the way I like to see them!
NUMBER OF SPRINT CARS: 23.
WHO WON: Danny “The Hammer” Martin Jr.
FSCF.COM DRIVER OF THE RACE: I’m giving this to 16th place starter and 2nd place finisher Terry Witherspoon. He came from a long way back to finish a solid second. It was looking like Ryan Partin, Sport Allen, Matt Kurtz or Tim O’Donnell were might get the award. But various problems beset them.
FSCF.COM HARD LUCK AWARD: Where to begin? I can’t pick just one. So we will go with the four mentioned in the previous section. Ryan Partin was a serious challenger for the lead when he pulled in the pits under caution because his belts had come loose. He was forced to start at the tail and charged all the way back to a third place finish. However, Ryan was sprayed in his lap with fuel the final few laps as the car ran out of fuel on the final lap. It was amazing and heartbreaking. Sport Allen was the next to challenge Martin in second position before the engine began to lay down with about five to go, forcing Allen to pull in with about two to go. Matt Kurtz was a runaway winner in his heat race and was my pick to win the feature. However, Matt rolled to a stop on the front stretch while running fourth in the feature. Finally, Tim O’Donnell got out front and lead the first five laps of the feature before being overtaken by Martin. Tim was holding a strong third when he was forced to the pits with a right rear that was going flat.
* I’m going to get this out of the way at the beginning. While it had stopped rainning, the pits were a mess and it was almost 9 o’clock before a grader or any equipment hit the track. This made for a very long night!
* Heat race wins went to Dennis Misuraca, Hal Wilson and Matt Kurtz. Good to see some new names winning heat races. Way to go guys!
* Had the opportunity to talk with track announcer Joe Lineberrier. He is now the proud owner of a FloridaSprintCarFans.com bumper sticker. We here at FSCF.com want to thank Joe for his support. Saturday was Joe’s last night as track announcer at Volusia. He is taking his talents to Bubba Raceway Park… I’m just glad Joe was able to find a young Geddy Lee (the band Rush) look alike.
* It’s always good talking to two of my favorite wrenches Joe Guzzi (Tim O’Donnell crew chief) and Ricky Burnett (Sport Allen crew). I always learn something from talking to those two guys. And two nicer guys you will not meet.
* Brian Maddox car’s had a rough night. But Brian assured me they will be the first to beat Danny Martin Jr. at Volusia. His son A.J. Maddox ran a strong second the previous time out and Sport Allen has been right there.
* Speaking of Danny Martin Jr. When will the track post a bounty for the first driver to beat the currently undefeated Martin? I’m just sayin’…
* There was one red flag for an incident between Wes Scrape and heat race winner Hal Wilson. Scrape had spun in the middle of three and four when Wilson t-boned him at high speed. Both drivers walked away but the cars weren’t so lucky.
RACE REPORTER: “The Hot Foot” Brian Penrose