The second week of preseason stock car racing provided mid-season-quality competition Saturday night in all five regular divisions at the Citrus County Speedway.
Drivers spent the evening sorting out chassis set-ups and fine-tuning their power plants in preparation for the opening round of the points season on April 2. Two more weeks of preseason action are scheduled for tuning and testing, but with full purses up for grabs. Dwarf Cars will be added to the program this Saturday, and the Street Stock/Bomber Figure 8s will go into action on March 12.
Last year's Bomber champion, Mike Bresnahan, now a Late Model rookie, showed the division that he will be a contender for the points title. Bresnahan, from Lecanto, set the pace in his heat before getting turned around in Turn 4, then came back for a hard-fought win in the 20-lap feature. Homosassa's Nevin Jenkins left some green paint on the 17-year-old Bresnahan's Camaro, but the rookie showed composure in only his second Late Model race. Jenkins settled for second, while Brooksville's Forrest Goff picked up third and the heat victory.
There are still 10 Late Model cars in shops for final touches before making their debuts, including those of defending points champion Fred Tuski Jr. of Crystal River and new contenders Dale Sanders and Alan Peckham, both of whom moved up this season from the Sportsman class.
Hernando's Ted Boles jumped to the point and won the 15-lap Sportsman feature. Defending points champion Herb Neumann Jr. of Inverness made an early charge at Boles on the outside. But after five laps of side-by-side racing, Neumann spent the final 10 laps contending with Hernando's Robbie Yoakum, who took second in a car that was still being put together in the pits during warm-ups. Neumann and Yoakum took the heat wins.
Inverness' Herb Neumann Sr. finally got the bugs out of his new short-block Mopar after two weeks of frustration. Despite some late pressure from Spring Hill's Paul Petrosky and Hernando's James Henick, Neumann Sr. took a wire-to-wire win in the 20-lap Street Stock feature that saw only two caution flags. Neumann and Brooksville's Robert Aaron won the heats.
Defending Mini Stock champion Richie Powers of Citrus Springs outdueled Brooksville's Frank Coleman for his first feature and heat wins of the year. Pole-sitter Randy Kinder of Inverness finished third. Heat wins went to Powers and Inverness' Mark Rozek.
Homosassa's Johnny Sanders led the Bomber charge for 19 laps until a lapped car blocked his move on Turn 3. Inverness' Travis Nichols took advantage and picked up the win just ahead of Sanders. Dunnellon's Allen Fort Jr. nailed down the third spot. Sanders, Inverness' David Dollar and Fort won the heats.
The speedway is located 2 miles south of Inverness on U.S. 41. Gates for this Saturday's races open at 5:30 p.m., and racing starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, $2 for children ages 6-12, and free to children under 6.