There were those that said the inaugural ASA race at Phakisa would be a crash fest. They said it was a track with no rubber down, that there would be no grip, that there were too many inexperienced drivers and there was too big a difference in the times.
In a way the race may have disappointed those looking for grim results, for at the 1.5-mile oval there was no ambulance required. Official Larry Pond, did dispatch the ambulance after the race to make sure all the drivers were properly hydrated, but that is all it was needed for.
So what happened during the race?
Well, it started with Daytona 500 winner, Geoff Bodine on the pole. Marc Davis quickly took the lead from him and the two continued to swap the lead much to the delight of a very enthusiastic crowd. The crowd flowed from the grandstands to tents on the grassy knoll. Chris Wimmer got a chance at the lead as well before Gary Lewis took it over.
But Bodine quickly worked his way back up the front and recaptured the lead. He stayed for most of the remainder of the race on the point, until mechanical gremlins bit him with 2 laps to go. He dove into the pits turning over the lead to Toni McCray from California.
McCray's lead didn't last for long however, as the hard-charging Englishman, Jon Mickel driving Dick Midgley's NASCAR West/ASA car grabbed the lead and never looked back winning the inaugural Free State 500.
Second to the stripe was Toni McCray, super late model driver from Orange Show Speedway.
McCray said this was the first time she had the opportunity to go side by side in a race with dad, Orange Show Speedway promoter, Rick McCray..
Third place went to an emotional Marc Davis, whose father Harry passed away earlier this month. The race itself was dedicated to the memory of Davis' dad.