Lakeland, FL — Twenty-two drivers were on hand for the opening event of the 2018 Brandon Ford Wheel Man Sportsman Series 50-lap, $1,000-to-win feature event this past Saturday night at Citrus County Speedway.
Devin McLeod was fast right out of the box and after time trials were completed earned the QA1 Fast Qualifier Award in his No. 5 B&P Leasing, Ten Brink Underground Services Chevrolet. His initial excitement was somewhat short-lived after drawing a 16 pill for the invert.
“It’s the same for everyone” McLeod said. “We just have to be patient and take it one lap and one car at a time.”
Last year’s Rookie of the Year, No. 22 Colton Bramlett qualified second, but he too was relegated to a 15th place start. Bramlett drove a smart and steady race and was able to bring home his Ghost Firearms Chevrolet in fifth place. Devin McLeod did exactly what his pre-race plan was and took advantage of restarts and some smooth driving moves to cross the stripe in fourth. Brooke Storer battled a tight race car all night, and wrestled her No. 9 Shawn Carter Pool Care, Storer Express Chevrolet to a hard-fought third-place finish.
Veteran driver Joe Winchell was in attendance for the Brandon Ford Wheel Man Sportsman opening event, and his experience quickly allowed him to drive to the front, taking the lead by the seventh lap. Winchell would be tested several times throughout the event by Jesse Henley before finally giving up the lead on lap 46. Winchell was able to hang on for a second-place effort.
The focus and determination in the Henley race team was apparent and Jesse would not disappoint his hometown fans, supporters and new team sponsor. He quickly positioned his No. 3 Liberty Tax Service Chevrolet in second behind Winchell, and after a couple of attempts to gain the lead, was finally able to work his way underneath the leader with five to go and went on to win round one of the 16 race Series.
Winners of the Gagels Auto Parts Tire Giveaway were Brooke Storer, Craig Cuzzone, Bobby Mobley and Jason Bartram.
The next scheduled event for the Brandon Ford Wheel Man Series is Saturday, March 10 at Auburndale Speedway. For more information about the Brandon Ford Wheel Man Sportsman Series, find us on our Facebook page @WheelManSeries.
The Brandon Ford Wheel Man Sportsman Series Presented by Gagels Auto Parts would like to recognize their marketing partners for the 2018 season which include: Brandon Ford, Gagels Auto Parts, BA Chassis, Sweet Manufacturing, Driven Steering, Five Star Bodies, Finish Line Fabrication, Allstar Performance, ARbodies, Bassett Wheels, Bilstein Shocks, Chad Pierce Motorsports, Checkered Flag Graphics, Crooms Towing & Fleet Services, Finney Racing, Howe Racing Enterprises, Intercomp Racing, JOES Racing Products, Driven Oil, Longacre Racing, Maxima Racing Oils, QA1, Schoenfeld Headers, Simpson Race Products, Speed51.com, Tilton Engineering, Tiger Rear Ends, Ultra Shield Race Products, Wilwood Engineering, Phillips Racing Wire, Royal Tees, Sunoco Racing Fuel, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat System.
-Wheelman Sportsman Series Press Release & Photo