North Florida Speedway
Collins leads 40 laps for North Florida victory
LAKE CITY, Fla. (March 12) — Johnny Collins of Jacksonville, Fla., captured Saturday's season opener on the Hedman Hedders National Late Model Series at North Florida Speedway, earning $3,000 in a race temporarily halted by an altercation in the pits.
Brandon Dewitt of Morven, Ga., finished second in the 40-lapper followed by polesitter Kyle Bridges of Moultrie, Ga. Fast qualifier Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., and reigning track champion Adam Bedenbaugh of Lake City rounded out the top five.
Collins led all the way, but he did face a close call on the 31st lap when he was nearly caught up in an accident as Stanton Mills slowed to go the pits.
Two laps later, Hunter Peacock was trying to go to the pits to change a tire when a confrontation forced track officials to halt the race. NLMS competitors were sent to the infield and the track started the feature for the limited modifieds, but several cautions forced officials to return to the Late Model race. When the race resumed, Collins led the final seven laps.
Among cautions slowing the action was a lap-31 tangle between Clay Bedenbaugh and Keith Nosbisch in turn four.
NLMS @ North Florida: (1) Johnny Collins, (2) Brandon Dewitt, (3) Kyle Bridges, (4) Mark Whitener, (5) Adam Bedenbaugh, (6) Dillon Wood, (7) Bo Allen, (8) Jay Johnson, (9) J.R. Moseley, (10) Travis Carter, (11) Christian Augspurger, (12) Evan Becton, (13) Shan Smith, (14) Jack Nosbisch Jr., (15) Dusty Cone, (16) Allen Rowlan, (17) Carlton Allen, (18) Hunter Peacock, (19) Richard Ferry, (20) Ryan Van Sickle, (21) Austin Kirkpatrick, (22) Keith Nosbisch, (23) Clay Bedenbaugh, (24) Joe Kump, (25) Stanton Mills, (26) Shane Beck. Fast qualifier (among 31 cars): Whitener.