CLOUSER PICKS UP PLM VICTORY #3 - WOOD TAKES SPORTSMAN TO BE THIRD FAMILY MEMBER TO WIN AT NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY
8-11-2014 New Smyrna Speedway
Fans were treated to more exciting NASCAR Whelan All-American Series racing
action Saturday night as the full moon produced some wild wrecks, new winners
and some disqualifications.
Rich Clouser was back behind the wheel of the familiar Bobby Sears Racing #9
Pro Late Model sponsored by Sanford Auto Dealers Exchange and he posted his
third win in the last four races in the class.
Clouser started third and trailed early leader Zach Jarrell for three laps
before blasting into the lead. Lap eight saw point leaders Will Carroll and
Ricky Anderson tangle in turn four. Carroll tapped the wall but kept going
with just minor damage while Anderson had to pit to change a flat left rear
On the restart, Clouser simply drove away from the field as the remaining 17
laps of the 25-lap affair went caution free. Oklahoma driver Tyler Thomas
came from seventh on the starting grid to take second behind Clouser driving
the Tim Russell Driver Development machine. Anthony Cataldi had a solid run
for third while Anderson and Carroll rebounded to take fourth and fifth ahead
of Jarrell and Noah Cornman. Veteran Brad May was back in the TM Ranch car
for the night and started on the front row but slowed immediately after the
start when something broke and he was the only driver not able to finish.
Orlando's Derrick Wood became the third generation of his family to grace
victory lane at New Smyrna Speedway when he led every lap in scoring the
Sportsman win. Derrick's grandfather Frank Wood was a multi-time winner here
in the 1970s-80s mostly in the Thunder Car class. His dad Ricky Wood has
posted numerous wins here in a number of cars, mostly Modifieds but this was
the younger Woods' first trip to the winners circle.
Woods' run to the checker was interrupted just once but it was for a scary
crash involving Steve Barnes who lost his brakes going into turn one. Barnes
pounded the wall and rode it almost into turn two but he emerged from his
battered car unscathed.
Trailing Wood to the finish were Junior Beckner and Scott Bramlett. Bramlett,
who just returned to racing after a few years of inactivity, saw his effort
put down in the tech shed for a variety of issues including transmission,
brake calipers and center link. That elevated current point leader and heat
race winner Donny Williams to third spot followed by Austin Carr and Ron
Gustafson. D. J. Farr was the only car still running at the finish and he was
sixth while Patrick Thomas ended up seventh after challenging Wood early in
the event but a wheel broke on his machine. Barnes was credited with eighth
spot ahead of Bramlett while Daniel Conlin, Jr. did not start after having
problems in the heat race.
The "full moon" event of the night went to the E-Modifieds that took over 45
minutes to complete their 25-lap contest. The race actually got off to a
decent start as young Matthew Green took over the point and held on until the
first caution on lap 13 for fluid from the car of Justin Reynolds. Just one
lap after the restart, David LeBeau went for a spin courtesy of Jarrett Korpi.
Bruce Bennett, Sr., driving Junior Beckner's #111 for the night, was on the
charge and challenged Green for the lead but the two got together just after
completing lap 15 with Green's car grazing the wall. Track officials ruled
Green to be at fault and he was sent to the rear of the field for the restart
while Korpi, the heat race winner, pitted for some adjustments and returned to
Bennett now had the lead and was looking strong but lap 16 saw the worst crash
of the night as the throttle stuck on Le Beau's car and he smashed into the
turn three wall at full speed to bring out the red flag. LeBeau's car was a
mess and the force of the impact ruptured the fuel pump but fortunately there
was no fire. Le Beau was shaken up but unhurt other than for his feelings as
he was making just his first start of the year.
After track crews burned off the fuel spilled from LeBeau's car the race
resumed and Bennett led the rest of the way for what appeared to be a big win.
It would all be for naught as the car was found to have too much left side
weight and Bennett was disqualified. Green had worked his way back up to
second and inherited the victory, the second of the season for the 14-year-old
driver from Orlando. Korpi took the runner-up spot followed by Diamond Jim
Higginbotham who battled a deflating tire to the checker. Mike Dahm ended up
fourth and was the only other car still running at the checker as Jon
Compagnone fell out late but was still credited with fifth spot over LeBeau,
Reynolds and Bennett.
Jeff Colburn of Port Orange scored his first Super Stock win of the year in
wire to wire fashion slowed only by a lap nine yellow flag for a tangle
between Justin Spears and J. T. Tippins. Trailing Colburn to the finish were
point leader Shannon Kelly (from ninth on the grid), Mike Amato, Danny Frye
and Preston Hunt. Rounding out the top ten were Gino Tumminello, Spears,
Becca Samsoe, Tippins and Mike Dahm. Colburn also won the heat race.
Zachary Curtis won his second Strictly Stock race in a row driving his very
fast four-cylinder Saturn. William Hindman, driving a big late-1970s-style
V-8 Chevy Monte Carlo, gave Curtis a run for the money but came up a few car
lengths short. Jimmy "Spaceman" Barron celebrated his 47th birthday with a
podium finish while Charles King, Michael Hanna and Shane Sutorus rounded out
the finishers. Curtis also took the heat race win.