Pompano Beach, FL---The $20,000 Driver’s Invitational Challenge got underway on Sunday night (Feb. 9) at Pompano Park, with Rick Plano defeating David Ingraham in the opening round matchup.
Although it was Ingraham who edged past Plano at the wire in the first of four ‘Challenge’ races to take an early 10 – 7 lead in the points standings, he was unable to parlay the early momentum over the last three events, only managing to pick up four additional points from that point forward with fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-place finishes.
Plano followed up his second-place finish in the first ‘Challenge’ race, by finishing second in the two races that followed, before finishing sixth in the fourth and final event. After the dust had settled, Plano garnered 21 points to Ingraham’s 14.
Points are awarded as follows:
1st – 10 points
2nd – 7 points
3rd – 5 points
4th – 3 points
5th – 1 point
Rick Plano, who currently sits second in the South Florida driver standings with 73 wins on the season, becomes the first driver to advance to the second round. He will take on the winner of the John MacDonald/Bruce Ranger matchup which takes place in races 3, 4, 7, and 9 on the Monday night card.
The $20,000 Driver’s Invitational ‘March Madness’ style tournament continues on Sunday and Monday nights until mid-March.
Berry Honored in Winner’s Circle Ceremony
Members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club were on hand Sunday night to honor Pompano Park’s own John Berry for his tremendous promotion of all of the charitable work done by the Florida Amateur Driving Club. Berry was presented with a plaque trackside, surrounded by the group of amateur drivers whom he regularly promotes for their activities and achievements both on and off the track.
In addition to the plaque for their appreciation, the Florida Amateur Driving Club also opted to give a $1,000 donation to the charity of John Berry’s choice, the Aime Choquette Benevolent Fund. As part of the Florida Chapter of USHWA, the fund is set up to provide help to those who have suffered a severe tragedy.
|Pompano Park Photo|
|Members of the Florida Amateur Drivers Club gathered in the winner's circle to honor John Berry for his work in publicizing the club's charitible efforts.|
Berry said that he was elated to be recognized by the Club, but quickly pointed out that they were the true heroes, donating more than $125,000 to various charities over the last several years.
Berry, who has worn many different hats throughout his career, currently fills various roles at Pompano including trackside reporter, author of ‘Berry Pickins’ handicapping analysis, publicity, and back-up announcer. He is a member of the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
Pick-4 Returns $13,100.10 for a Dollar
Sunday night saw a trio of solid prices to begin the Pick-4 sequence, which left only one live ticket remaining heading into the decisive eighth race which was on the 2-5 favorite, Up Tempo.
Up Tempo (Rick Plano) made a break at the start, causing him to get away last in the field of 9. Despite trailing by more than 10 lengths past the half-mile marker, the heavy favorite came all the way back to score a decisive 3-¾ length win. One lucky fan took down the entire Pick-4 pool which returned $13,100.10 for the $1 combination.
The 50-Cent Pick-5 went unsolved on Sunday night, creating a carryover of more than $1,700 into the Monday night card.
Live racing continues at the Isle Casino at Pompano Park every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evening with a first post of 7:05 p.m.