THREE "GIFTED" WINNERS SATURDAY NIGHT AT NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY
8-25-2014 New Smyrna Speedway
It was Christmas in August at New Smyrna Speedway Saturday night as three of
the five winning drivers had their victories "gift wrapped" for them.
Zach Jarrell had the pole position for the Pro Late Model feature and he used
that to his advantage as he built up a huge lead while a wholesale battle took
place behind him. Ricky Anderson did his best to hold off an onslaught of
other drivers for second spot but eventually Rich Clouser, Brad May and point
leader Will Carroll were able to slip by but found themselves with
considerable ground to make up to leader Jarrell.
Most fans figured that it would take little time for Clouser and May to catch
the leader since the duo had won the last four PLM races contested here, but
as the laps began to wind down it became apparent Jarrell had his car on rails
and looked to be on his way to his second win of the year. Suddenly Jarrell's
car slowed heading into turn two on lap 16 victim of a broken distributor and
he dejectedly coasted to pit road.
Clouser took over at that point and was looking strong but May closed quickly
in the late laps to put the pressure on him. May's charge fell just short at
the checker as Clouser claimed his fourth win of the season over May and
Carroll. Anderson held on for fourth trailed by Daniel Miller, Noah Cornman
It was deja vu in the Sportsman feature.
Ron Gustafson grabbed the early lead but had to contend with heat winner
Patrick Thomas by lap five. One lap later the pair got together heading into
turn one with Gustafson going for a spin. Thomas was said to be at fault so
he restarted from the tail of the field while Gustafson retained his lead
On the restart Austin Carr blew by the leader and began to open up a big
advantage and appeared easily headed to victory. But just like Jarrell in the
Pro Lates, Carr had his car shut off on him coming off turn two on lap 13 and
he too coasted to the pits. By that time Thomas had worked his way up to
second and he inherited the front position and eventual win as the race ran
the rest of the distance under green. Thomas picked up his first win of the
season after some recent tough luck. Point leader Donny Williams took the
runner-up spot with Chris Brannon third over D. J. Farr and newcomer George
Alexander, the only cars still running. Carr was credited with sixth and
Gustafson, who also dropped out, seventh.
The result was the same in the Mini Stock feature only with different
circumstances. As seems to be the case recently, the feature run for the
four-cylinders would be crazy, yet entertaining for the fans.
Reid Christiensen snared the early lead but saw caution fly for the first time
as Jamie Dixson got loose coming off turn two collecting both Ted Vulpius and
Christiensen continued to run up front but one lap after the restart Wayne
Wells and Mark Broat crashed coming off turn two eliminating both from
competition. Hard luck Broat was OK but has car took a heavy hit into the
wall, his third major wreck of the year. Christiensen pitted during the
caution with a flat left front tire.
On the restart it was David Russell surging to the point only to be passed by
Tyler Simpson who led lap nine before Russell took over the lead again.
Russell, driving his "short track" car, held the point but it was Dixson on
the charge and the two raced hard for several laps. On the final circuit the
leaders tangled coming off turn two and slid low on the track out of harms
way. The race ran to completion with a surpised Tyler Simpson taking the
checker in first place for his third win of the year.
Point leader Pat Wells took second then was the first to congratulate the
young driver in victory lane putting aside some recent "hard feelings" between
the two teams. Christiensen rebounded for a third place effort followed by
Brad Blanton. Dixson and Russell got the cars restarted and crossed the
stripe in fifth and sixth spots with Michael Hanna, Wayne Weels, Broat,
Vulpius and Haught completing the finishers. Levi Hammond and Daniel Brown
were unable to start.
Point leader Shannon Kelly grabbed the early lead in the Super Stock 25-lap
headliner only to see a quick caution on lap three when the left front tire went
down on Justin Spears' car. His pit crew weren't exactly the Wood Brothers
but the got him back out for the restart.
Kelly continued to set the pace but the yellow flag was back out on lap 13 as
an axle broke on Preston Hunt's car sending him spinning in a shower of sparks
in turn one. On the restart, heat winner Danny Frye got the jump on the field
while Kelly and Mike Amato locked hornes and tangled sending Kelly's car into
the front stretch wall. With both Kelly and Amato out of the running, Frye
had an easy run to the checker for his first win of the season. Joe Gerard
was back after a bit of a layoff and posted his best finish of the year in
second while Spears came back to nab third spot only to be set down in the
tech shed for a weight infraction. That moved Becca Samsoe up to a third
place finish and she was followed by Mike Dahm, Mack McDonald, Kelly, Amato
and Hunt. Jeff Colburn did not start.een the two teams.
Zachary Curtis continued his domination of the Strictly Stocks taking both the
heat race his fourth win in a row driving his potent Saturn after a good
battle with Charles King who settled for second ahead of Shane Sutorus.
Warren Howie was fourth followed by Aaron Overman and Jimmy Barron. Point
leader Barron had the transmission let go in his regular ride during practice
but fellow competitor Sutorus went back to his house a brought his other car,
a Saturn station wagon, for Barron to drive.