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Mike Spatola wins Night 2 at Ocala Speedway!

By CJ Cavin – As the UMP Modifieds made their way onto Ocala Speedway for their feature race, a new face in the crowd was there to challenge the supremacy of repeated Ocala track champion, Jeff Mathews. Devin Dixon had never raced at Ocala, and the Apollo Beach racer had something for the Tampa area’s “Repo Man”. And Dixon wasted no time in showing it, as he jumped in front of Matthews and the two of them battled lap after lap while Kyle Bronson and Illinois’ Mike Spatola had their own tussle over third and fourth places.

Late in the race it was Mathews who took a big shot at getting past Dixon as they exited turn two, and contact between the two racers resulted in a caution flag. Dixon nearly spun into one of the tractor tires on the infield at the bottom of the track, and came to a stop just off of the backstretch as Mathews continued around the circuit. Under caution the race officials determined that both racers were at fault, and under UMP rules sent both to the rear of the field, which did not set well with either one. Both made their exit to the pit area, and the race continued with Mike Spatola leading Kyle Bronson and Jason Miller.

Mike Spatola
Mike Spatola

Spatola had made the statement early in his 10 day stint in Florida that he was not going home to Illinois without a win, and with just a one lap dash to the checkers he knew that this was his best shot at not becoming yet another permanently transplanted midwesterner in the Sunshine State. And with Kyle Bronson all over him for the lead, Spatola blasted his machine through turns one and two, leaving Bronson behind and claiming his first Florida win. Tampa’s Kyle Bronson would settle for second place while Jason Miller finished third. Kentucky’s David McWilliams and Panama City’s Todd Neiheiser were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Saturday night marks the absolute last chance for race fans to see the USAC non winged sprint cars this year at the famed Ocala Speedway, and the UMP Modifieds will be back for another round of action as well, this time with a couple of axes to grind over Friday’s controversial final laps. The grandstand gates will open at 4PM, hot laps are scheduled at 6:15 with qualifying to follow, and heats will begin at 7:30. For directions to America’s Dirt Track, or more information on the final night of the 2011 Winternationals, please visit www.OcalaSpeedway.com, or phone the track at 352-622-9400.

Ocala Speedway Results for 2/18/11
UMP Modifieds, Night 2
1- 89 Mike Spatola
2- 40B Kyle Bronson
3- 12 Jason Miller
4- 18 David McWilliams
5- 72 Todd Neiheiser
6- 67 Garret Stewart
7- 56 Dave Barber Jr.
8- 07 Jeff Thomas
9- 1S Keith Smith
10- 05 David Wietholder
11- D4 Dave Jamison
12- 2 Devin Dixon
13- 33 Jeff Mathews
14- 11 Chuck Gustafson Jr.
15- 99 Jim Passino
16- 12M David Moheng
17- 21 Gary Brooks
18- 13 Cory Hupp