Nineteen Super Late Model cars entered the Citrus County Speedway (FL) garages on Saturday night for the first time since the racetrack reopened its gates earlier this year. But they weren’t alone, each class from Street Stocks, to Florida Modifieds, and Pro Trucks were full fields reminiscent of the strength of the Florida short track scene from the late 90’s.
The stands were full as well, for the third straight weekend the track had standing room only with a crowd of over 4,000 according to general manager Cameron Ray. They all came out to see Wayne Anderson come out of retirement to put on a clinic for the rest of the field on the fresh asphalt.
Anderson, who won the pole in qualifying started sixth on the invert. The Anderson team cars of Ricky Anderson and Jake Perkins started on the front row with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Chris Fontaine starting third.
Mike Bresnahan, who started fourth, took over the lead on lap 4, but it was short lived as Wayne Anderson took the lead from him 14 laps later and never looked back.
“I’m getting towards the end of my career, I own a powder coat business here in town. I came out here to support our local track and local businesses. All in all, I’m just tickled I ran all 75 laps tonight,” Anderson stated in victory lane.
“I haven’t raced in a year and a half, to turn around, come back, and come out with the fast time, and win, hell I think I even broke the track record. The car was really good early but when we had the red flag I lost all the brakes, so after the restarts I couldn’t slow the car down, it was really slick. But then it took five or six laps to get back going and then it was really good. I’m just tickled to get back in the car.”
Chris Fontaine ended up putting on a show in an epic battle for second with Jake Perkins with 11 laps to go.
“We got a lucky, a little bit, the car was off. It was loose in and tight in the middle,” Fontaine said. “We got lucky on a couple of cautions and we ended up having to drive real hard there at the end and were able to hold them off for second but we have a lot of work to do. Wayne (Anderson) was about four-tenths faster than us, he was about a half a lap ahead of us. We’ll come back, try it again, and see what we do.”
Jake Perkins held on to finish third after a scary incident with Michael Atwell on lap 28.
“I haven’t been in a pavement car in over a year and a half. Wayne Anderson and his family gave me an opportunity to drive one of their cars and I had an absolute ball this weekend. If you would have told me we would have set on the pole and finished in the top three I would be excited. Unfortunately what happened with Atwell on the front straight, I’m more than happy that we’re okay you know? I don’t know what caused it, we were both racing really hard because it’s only a 75 lap race. With that being said, I can’t thank the Anderson family enough and my guys who worked their tails off to make this happen.”
After an action packed night of racing the real winners were the fans that attended. Citrus County Speedway put on a heck of a show with promises for more improvements as the season goes on.
“We plan on keeping improving turn one and two. The guy from Daytona that put in the safer barriers is going to come out and redo that wall for us and put a fence up so we don’t have any cars go flying over,” General Manager Carmron Ray told Speed51.com. “We plan on improving there, we plan on improving our safety teams, and all around we plan on improving the show for everybody.
“Tonight went pretty good. All three nights that we’ve had we’ve sold the place out and tonight was another standing room only night. The pits were slapped full as well. Especially in the state of Florida you don’t often get to see stuff like that,” Ray continued.
“It’s definitely exciting to see how many people show up and come support us and see how much they love racing. Even though it’s only five bucks a person, when they get bored they can leave, but they stay the whole time.”
The next race weekend at Citrus County Speedway is September 10. The lineup will include Open-Wheel Modifieds, Sprint Cars and Sportsman. Admission is five dollars at the door and kids six and under are free.
Super Late Model Unofficial Results
Citrus County Speedway – Inverness, Florida
August 27, 2016
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com