Mark Whitener earned $2,000 in the weekend opener at Ocala, Fla.
What won the race: Holding off a charging Kyle Bronson in a four-lap shootout, 13th-starting Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., won Thursday’s 40-lap Bubba Army Winter Nationals event at Bubba Raceway Park. Whitener took the lead from Bronson on lap 23 and led the remaining distance. After slipping back to third, Bronson of Brandon Fla., bounced back to finish second. Tenth-starting Walker Arthur of Forest, Va., finished third.
Quotable: “I knew Kyle was gonna be on the outside. I knew he wouldn’t sit there and follow me. I know I wouldn’t,” winner Mark Whitener said of Bronson’s last-lap charge.
Key notes: Whitener finished .334 of a second ahead of Bronson. He led by 4.311 seconds when the seventh and final caution came out. … Seventeen cars finished the race, with 15 completing all 40 laps. … Kyle Bronson said his car’s handling faded a bit, allowing Whitener to slip by. “I just got tight on that last restart and Mark got by me,” Bronson said. … The race was the third of the eight-race NeSmith RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series. … Leading the NeSmith Winter Shootout Series points entering the race, Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tenn., had to use a provisional to start the feature. … Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., piloted the car of Tyler Clem, son of track co-owner Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem. … Action continues Friday with another 40-lapper.
On the move: Race winner Mark Whitner of Middleburg, Fla., started 13th; Jimmy Elliot of Cleveland, Tenn. rallied to ninth after starting 24th.
Winner's sponsors: Whitener's brand new Barry Wright Race Car is backed by United Land Clearing, CWI Maintenance and Carter Trucking.
Car count: 51
Fast qualifier: Kyle Bronson
Time: 14.974 seconds
Polesitter: Kyle Bronson
Consolation race winners: Dennis Franklin, Don O'Neal, Mark Whitener, Riley Hickman
Provisional starters: Ronnie Johnson, Jimmy Elliott
Next series race: February 23, Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL) $2,000