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Bubba Raceway Park

Red-hot Hollingsworth makes it 3-for-4 at Ocala

February 2, 2013, 5:05 am
By Roby Helm
NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series
Ronny Lee Hollingsworth waves from victory lane. (photosbytrace.com)
Ronny Lee Hollingsworth waves from victory lane. (photosbytrace.com)

OCALA, Fla. (Feb. 1) — Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., returned to familiar ground on Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park as he pulled his Sparks Motorsports Special into victory lane for the third time in four nights of Crate Late Model action. Hollingsworth netted $2,000 in winning the fourth round of the Rock Auto.com Speedweeks presented by Racecar Engineering on the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. | Video | Slideshow

Hollingsworth started fifth and worked his way to the front of the pack to take the lead on the sixth lap. “Right Foot” Ronny then held off a late-race challenge from 10th-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., to take the $2,000 victory.

“We’ve been good here since we unloaded for practice on Monday, and tonight we just tried to stay out of trouble in the early laps,” said Hollingsworth, whose only loss of the week came after a collision while battling for the lead. “Once we took the lead we were committed to the bottom of the racetrack. I got into Davenport one time, and I apologize for that, but I guess that’s just part of racing trying to hold your ground.”

Davenport took second for his best finish of the week while Hall of Famer Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tenn., was third for the second straight night. Tait Davenport of Benton, Ky., and 18th-starting Ivedent Lloyd Jr. of Ocala rounded out the top five.

The 40-lapper’s start was wild and action-packed with two first-lap, multicar tangles eliminating two cars apiece before polesitter Mike Pegher Jr. took command on the third try with Tait Davenport, Joey Coulter and Hollingsworth giving chase.

Two more quick cautions appeared, including a scramble on a restart that forced two time champ and series points leader David Gentry to the pits for lengthy repairs.

On a lap-six restart, Hollingsworth took second from Tait Davenport heading into turn one, then overtook Pegher to take the lead exiting turn four.

Johnson was up to second a lap later while Jonathan Davenport was on the move, too, moving into the top five and taking third from Pegher on lap 17. Johnson and Jonathan Davenport battled for the second spot with Davenport taking it on lap 22.

By lap 29, Davenport was on Hollingsworth’s rear deck, and when he tried to get under the lead in turn one, Hollingsworth shut the door, forcing Davenport to slam on the brakes as Hollingsworth edged away.

After a lap-33 yellow when Pegher and Mack McCarter tangled on the frontstretch battling for sixth, Ryan Montgomery spun running six on the restart.

That set up a dash to the finish with Hollingsworth keeping his pursuers at bay over the final laps.

The Rock Auto.com Speedweeks wrap up Saturday with a 50-lapper paying $3,000-to-win. A week-long points fund will dispense $10,000 among the top 30 drivers.

Rock Auto.com Speedweeks (Feb. 1): (1) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (2) Jonathan Davenport, (3) Ronnie Johnson, (4) Tait Davenport, (5) Ivedent Lloyd Jr., (6) Joey Coulter, (7) John Over, (8) Justin McRee, (9) Michael Blount, (10) Kyle Bronson, (11) Ryan Montgomery, (12) Mack McCarter, (13) Matthew Turner, (14) Jeff Mathews, (15) Jake Teague, (16) Larry Harrod, (17) Brent Barrett, (18) David Gentry, (19) Mike Pegher Jr., (20) Chase Edge, (21) Austin Kirkpatrick, (22) Greg Robertson, (23) Shan Smith, (24) Jason Fitzgerald, (25) Josh Adkins, (26) Walker Arthur, (27) Jeff Smith. Fast qualifier (among 57 cars): Coulter, 14.774 seconds. Heat race winners: Pegher, Adkins, Coulter, Hollingsworth, T. Davenport, Johnson. Consolation winners: Teague, McCarter, Bronson. Last-chance winner: Robertson. Provisional starters: Turner, Edge.

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