Keith Nosbisch
Keith Nosbisch at Ocala Speedway. (Rick Warren)
Surprises Abound At Ocala Speedway Opener; Local Vet Nosbisch Prevails After Lloyd DQ

by B.J. Cavin
OCALA, Fla. - March 6. Race fans and racers braved a frosty Florida night as they gathered to reopen the historic Ocala Speedway for another season of racing, and Florida's oldest speedway did not disappoint.  The Sunoco United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series was also kicking off its season as a part of the festivities at Ocala, but the win wouldn't be awarded to veteran Keith Nosbisch until well after the main event.

Much of the attention went to the UDLMS as the new and improved version of the racing series debuted.  The Ocala race officially was part of the new Southern division of the UDLMCS, but racers from the north also participated.  Also garnering plenty of attention was a newly formed team that included
Bedenbaugh - Ivey
After a spin sent him to the rear of the pack, Tyler Ivey races inside of Adam Bedenbaugh on his way back to third place at the finish of the UDLMS event at Ocala Speedway. Bedenbaugh finished sixth. (Rick Warren)
Ocala's own Ivedent Lloyd and Darrell Padgett.  That attention to this Roush-Yates powered team would last from Lloyd's fast time of 16.275 on his second solo lap, to well into the early morning hours after Lloyd's winning car failed a post-race inspection.
Four heat races and a B-main set the field for the feature,, with Nosbisch on the point for the 50 lapper.  After Nosbisch took control, trouble came on lap six as Jeff Mathews and Philip Cobb tangled.  That incident was only the beginning of what proved to be a very frustrating night for Mathews, who found himself mired in heavy traffic.  It also sent the 26 of Dillon Wood to the pits for a quick fix and put him on the rear of the field for the restart.
Also dealing with traffic was two-time and defending series champion, Johnny Collins.  Collins started the race behind the front rows, and was picking his way
Bo Allen (71) mixes it up with Christian Augspurger back at midfield during UDLMS action at Ocala. (Rick Warren)
forward when Mathews' rough night got a little rougher in turn four.  Jeff Mathews' spin caused the caution to wave again, and when the green returned, Nosbisch was being chased by Brandon Dewitt, Bo Allen, Tyler Ivey, and Mark Whitener.

Another fracas would erupt on lap 19, leading to a five car mess and the end of the night for Jeff Mathews and, Darrell Padgett to the pits for the evening as well.  That caution seemed to be a signal for the front runners to make bold moves, and those moves began as soon as the green waved again. Lurking just behind the front five for most of the race was a very confident Lloyd, who had gradually picked off the front runners until he was behind Nosbisch, with Tyler Ivey running in the third spot.  Ivey made a bold move on Lloyd's #21 machine, but ended up in a spin instead, relegating Ivey to the rear. 

By lap 30 it became evident that Ivedent was again on the move, as he pulled up on Keith Nosbisch and cranked up the heat on the race leader.  Lloyd took advantage on lap 32 and jumped out front, then began to pull away to lead the field to the checkers.  Nosbisch followed Lloyd at the finish, as Dillon Wood, who returned back toward the front of the pack after his earlier misfortunes, managed to climb into the top three.  He was followed by Brandon Cameron and Ivey, who also had to make quick work of the remaining racers to power back to the front.

Lloyd had displayed a cool confidence all night at Ocala, and that confidence went with him and his crew from the front stretch celebration to the Ocala Speedway tech shed.  UDLMS tech officials poured over the top three machines as crews and some hearty fans watched, and sometime before 2 a.m. the cool confidence of the 21 team began to change as their car failed to pass.

The order to disassemble the power plant in the 101 of Keith Nosbisch signaled that there would be a different winner than the one whot took the checkers first, as the 21 crew dejectedly pushed their car back to their hauler.  The 101 was inspected and declared the winner, which moved Wood to second place and Cameron to third.

The fans and racers also collected over $260 to pass along to the founder and operator of and Real Racin' USA, Jack Smith.  Smith has recently been undergoing extensive surgery and was diagnosed with cancer.
David Pollen, Jr. chases #35 Christian Augspuger before having to make an unfortunate early exit at Ocala.  (Rick Warren)

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