Keith Butler Wins at Citrus County Team Brings Home 1st and 5th Place Finishes

From KJ Motorsports

After a long summer of weather canceled races and tracks rescheduling events, the KJ Motorsports Team was very happy to be back at the track to continue their asphalt season by competing in a Checkered Flag Sprint Series sanctioned race at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, FL.

The day at Citrus County was a hot day that had overcast skies. It could have been worse it was only a little muggy and humid feeling. Without the cloud cover, the day could have been overbearing.

During practice Keith’s car was too tight. After practice Keith put on 3 tires and adjusted the stagger for the heat race. Amanda was loose during the first practice. She said it was like being “on ice”. Before the second practice, the team put on new tires and the car was a little easier to drive, but now on the tight side. Before the heats the team took a ½ round of cross-weight out of Amanda’s car to loosen it back up.

A total of 20 cars showed up for the Checkered Flag Sprint Series event. The 20 cars were broken up into 3 heat races. Keith was in the second heat and started 3rd. Keith’s car, after being tight in practice, was running strong in the heat race. Keith was able to make his passes instantly in the heat race and was leading by turn 1 of the first lap. Keith easily won the heat race.

Amanda was in the third heat. Amanda started the heat from the third position. By turn 2, Amanda was able to get out front and lead some laps. She led up until lap 5 when David Slawiak got round her. On the last lap, Troy DeCaire was able to get under Amanda in 3 and beat her to the line, as she was still fighting a tight condition. Amanda finished 3rd in her heat.

Between the heat and the feature, the KJ Motorsports crew worked on both cars to get them ready for the feature. Keith’s car only needed a ¼” of stagger change. Amanda’s car needed some stagger and another ½ round of cross-weight. The changes were made and cars were rolled out to start the feature.

Eighteen of the 20 cars made it out for the 30 lap feature race. As the cars were scheduled to take the green flag, Darrin Miller and Frankie Hurst made up the front row. Keith lined up in the 5th starting position, Amanda started 4th. Keith was able to take the lead on lap 4 and never looked back. Early in the race, the inside line was held up and this stalled Amanda’s progress in the early laps. She was stuck behind another car and even bumped that car when that driver had checked-up early in one corner. This forced Amanda back to 13th position at one point. Once she was able to find an opening, Amanda got down and started working her way forward. Amanda was able to follow another car forward and worked her way back to 5th place.

On lap 17, the only caution of the night came out when Shane Butler and Bo Hartley came together. When the accident was cleaned up and field was re-aligned and set to take the green. With the field coming to the green, Gary Gimmler had and engine problem and pulled into the infield. Gary pulling off caused a jumble in the filed and 2 cars were caught for passing before the “do not pass” cone and were penalized after the race. At this point Keith was out front and stretching his lead over the field. Amanda was still a little tight but was holding her position in 5th place. In the final few laps Amanda was up to the back bumper of David Slawiak in 4th but was not able to make the move to pass him. Keith was easily able to take the victory.

In the final standings, Keith won the event followed by Mark Gimmler, Troy DeCaire, David Slawiak and Amanda Ferguson finished 5th.

Current series points will come out later this week, but team calculations place Keith 2nd in series points and Amanda in 5th in series points.

By winning both the heat and the feature race, Keith won the Barfield’s Clean Sweep award. This is Keith’s first Clean Sweep of the year.

The next event for the KJ Motorsports team is at the East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL on September 4th.

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