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Stocks: Cope Two for Two in Florida Pro Series Action

1 June 1998

By Gene Crane

Lakeland, FL -- Jimmy Cope sprinted to his second consecutive win in the Budweiser 150 for the Florida Pro Series Late Models on Saturday night at USA International Speedway. Cope was able to overcome difficulties encountered on the opening lap when the nose of his McDonough Plumbing Chevrolet was damaged in an accident involving David Russell and Rick Carlton. Copes crew was able to complete repairs to the nose and front air box before the green was finally waved to the 32 car starting field. Due to pitting for repairs to his mount, Cope started from the rear and quickly began making his way to the front.

After drawing the pole for the start, Ocala's James Powell III jumped out front to lead the early laps before giving way to fast qualifier Scott Bramlett of St. Cloud on lap 22. Bramlett's Parts General, Ace Septic Monte Carlo remained out front until pit stops on lap 67 while under caution for a spin by Bowser in the 50 car.

Dave Pletcher would set the pace until Cope who had been working his way though the field planted his number 61 out front. Bramlett's ride would be strong enough to move him to a comfortable second but unable to close on Cope. With the top two spots dominated by Cope and Bramlett the battled then focused on the third spot.

In the closing laps 1994 NASCAR Winston Racing Series national champion David Roger slipped his way by Ronnie Burkett and then Billy Bigley Jr to take third place money back to Orlando. Bigley was scored fourth and Burkett fifth.

The next event for the Florida Pro Series is June 13th at Sunshine Speedway in St. Pete. Racing action continues on the high banked 3/4 mile oval at the USA International Speedway on Friday night July the 3rd when the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series will be in action in the Jackaroo Sauces 250. This highly competitive short track series features the 3400 pound, steel bodied Busch Grand National type cars with some of short track racing's most popular names at the controls including Michael Ritch, Mario Gosselin, Scott Wimmer, Chad Chaffin, Johnny Rumley, Marty Ward, Sammy Potashnik and Justin Labonte. For more information or advanced reserve tickets contact the USA International Speedway at 1-800-984-7223.