Welcome back to PGS… you will be amazed at the changes. Its so beautiful… Unfortunately I cant be there as i purchased tickets to go to a play with the kids. I am heartbroken as I really would love to see all of you again. I bought these tickets before I knew you were coming. ;-(
So… i wish you all a safe race and hope you have fun! I hope you will return again!
Doug… Hug for you!
God bless and keep you all safe.
Carol Wicks :auto003:

20 plus cars are expected…then the next week, up the road at Desoto! :ernaehrung004:


but i am so disappointed i cant be there. ;-( but the crowd at PGS will be so excited! they love the sprints. who are you groundpounder? ? :wink:

A tradtional open wheel affectionado…:slight_smile:

I just noticed that at least two drivers earned their first-ever wins with the TBARA at Punta Gorda Speedway.

One was Kevin Cahill May 13, 2000, after a yellow flag on the last lap resulted in confusion by the top two.

Kevin Cahill TBARA winner at Charlotte by Robin Meiser

Punta Gorda, Florida The ever-popular Tampa Bay Area Racing Association (TBARA) Sprint Cars returned to Charlotte County Speedway on May 13. Along came Mother Nature and Spring Showers to try to put a damper on the evening but with the perseverance of drivers, officials and fans the track was dried off and racing was able to continue with three heats of the Winged Wonders. Heat winners were Brad Davis (Clermont), Ernie Teed (Sarasota) and Sport Allen (Pinellas Park). Allen started in the pole position alongside Davis for the feature race but cars were spinning at both ends of the racetrack and the race had to be restarted. Davis took an early lead, running out front despite several cautions while Florida racing legend Dave Pletcher (Clearwater) patiently waited in second place for a chance to pass. Unfortunately for both drivers a car spun on the last lap and the leaders did not watch the flagman as he threw the yellow flag instead of the checkered flag and they went into the pits. The TBARA officials ruled that the cars that went to the pits were to be penalized to the rear of the field causing an uproar from the crowd. This put Kevin Cahill (Land O’ Lakes) in the lead, taking the win, with Keith Butler (Tampa) and Allen rounding out the Top 3.

The other first-time winner I saw happened the following year, on November 11, 2001


This was the season ending event on the 2001 Tampa Bay Area Racing Association Winged Sprint Series tour. The points battles in the Driver, Owner, and Rookie of the Year were all very tight, and this would be the night to decide the season champions.

Three fast heat races were won by Matt Mercer, Kevin Cahill, and 1999 TBARA Champ Dude Teate. This made these three drivers eligible for the Barfield Clean Sweep Bonus Award, which was up to $800.00 on this night. The feature lined up with Matt Mercer on the pole with veteran Sonny Hartley on the outside. Before the start of the feature, the field ran a “missing man” formation in memory of Dick Friedley, long time TBARA PR Director and Photographer, who passed away on October 31. When the green flag flew, Mercer jumped into the lead with Hartley in hot pursuit.

As the first lap was completed, 1999 TBARA Champ Dude Teate had something break on his #0, bringing out the first of three cautions during the event. The restart had Mercer leading Sonny Hartley, Bo Hartley, and Stan Butler. On lap four the yellow flew again as Wendy Mathis spun in turn four. The restart once again had Mercer leading. Bo Hartley passed father Sonny on lap seven to take the second position. Lap nine saw the caution flag fly for the third and final time for Wendy Mathis spin.

The Lap nine restart order was Mercer on the point with Bo Hartley in second,Stan Butler, Wayne Reutimann and Sonny Hartley in fifth. The race stayed green to the finish with great battles all over the speedway. When the checkered flew, Mercer won his first ever TBARA Feature, The Barfield Clean Sweep Bonus, and clinched the Rookie of the Year award. A jubilant Mercer was greeted in Victory Lane by his family and crew. This was the first race for Matt since his devastating crash and fire at DeSoto Speedway a few weeks back.