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Daily Dirt 11/29/2023 22:29:03

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January 28
Bubba Raceway Park,
Ocala, FL
Sanction: Crate Racin’ USA (Rock Auto.com Bubba Army Winter Nationals) - $2,000
Information provided by: Roby Helm (last updated January 29, 2:15 pm)
Whitener captures $2,000 NeSmith opener
Rock Auto.com Bubba Army Winter Nationals
  1. Mark Whitener
  2. Jacob Hawkins
  3. Max Blair
  4. Walker Arthur
  5. Ryan King
  6. Tyler Clem
  7. Johnny Stokes
  8. Cody Martin
  9. Ryan Crane
  10. Cale Conley
  11. Joe Mike III
  12. Ronnie Johnson
  13. Frank Wilson
  14. Justin McRee
  15. Cla Knight
  16. Bronson Berry
  17. Michael Lake
  18. Jeff Mathews
  19. Marcus Minga
  20. Jake Knowles
  21. Brent Lewis
  22. Cody Dawson
  23. Rick Singleton
  24. Logan Roberson
presented by
Trace Crisp/photosbytrace.com
Mark Whitener races to a victory in the NeSmith opener at Ocala.
What won the race: Surviving adverse conditions on a rain-soaked surface, third-starting Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., overtook fast qualifier Michael Lake on the 14th lap and kept outside front-row starter Jacob Hawkins in check the rest of the way for a 40-lap victory in the first of four straight Ocala races in Crate Late Model action. A deepening rut in turn four made racing difficult late in the race, but Whitener won by 1.415 seconds.
Quotable: “After I bounced through the hole in turn four a couple of times, I tried to go around it on the high side,” Whitener said. “When I did that, the car didn’t feel as fast as it did when I was driving through the hole. After the car landed coming out of the hole, the car felt like it got better forward bite. We’ll have to look at the tape and see which way was faster.”
Key notes: Nine drivers finished on the lead lap and 15 of 24 were running at the finish. ... Polesitter Michael Lake, 13, the youngest driver to set fast time in the tour's 11-year history, led 13 laps but retired on lap 17. ... Whitener and other drivers will have to check on their cars to be sure they're ready for the next three nights after the rugged conditions. “I know (track co-owner) Bubba (Clem), his crew, and this racetrack pretty well. I believe we will have a much better race track tomorrow night and the rest of the week.”
On the move: Johnny Stokes charged from the 15th to finish seventh; Ryan Crane rallied from 22nd to ninth.
Winner's sponsors: Whitener's Big Frog Motorsports Barry Wright Race Car is sponsored by Dave's Towing, B&B Produce, Miller Lite and Keyser Mfg.
Points chase: Whitener's victory in the opener puts him in the NeSmith points lead.
Car count: 36
Fast qualifier: Michael Lake
Time: 15.755 seconds
Polesitter: Michael Lake
Consolation race winners: Johnny Stokes, Rick Singleton
Provisional starters: Marcus Minga, Brent Lewis
Next series race: January 29, Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL) $2,500
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