KORPI TOPS E-MOD 50 - LIRA WINS IN PRO LATES AT NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY
4-21-2014 New Smyrna Speedway
It was a nice and breezy Easter Eve at New Smyrna Speedway Saturday night and along with a big Easter Egg hunt for the kids, there was plenty of great Stock Car Racing action for both young and old alike.
The big event of the evening was a 50-lap showdown for the E-Modifieds and it was defending track champion Jarrett Korpi of Deltona making it known early on that his would be the car to beat as he topped the rest of the competitors in qualifying with a lap of 19.367 seconds with Earl "Junior" Beckner his closest challenger at 19.542.
The pill draw was a two that meant Korpi and Beckner would simply swap starting spots on the front row for the feature. At the drop of the green, Korpi wasted little time taking the top spot while Beckner was forced to come
from the back of the starting grid because he was late to line up on pit road. Korpi continued to set a hot pace but Cody Blair was not far behind in second until his car shut off on lap seven and he coasted to a stop. Blair made it back to the pits where his crew quickly diagnosed the problem and he returned to the race.
Korpi maintained his advantage following the restart but Beckner was now up to second and beginning to apply some pressure. Roger Benton spun in turn two on lap 16 to bring out the yellow once again. On the restart, Beckner powered to the front and began to pull away. On lap 35, Beckner got loose and spun coming off turn two but managed not to hit anything or be collected by anyone else. Beckner restarted from the rear of the field leaving Korpi in charge once again. From that point, Korpi pretty much had it in cruise control as he claimed his third win of the new season over Blair and Matthew Green. Beckner, battling an extremely loose race car, held on to take fourth just ahead of Robert Glover. Benton, Jim Higginbotham, Mike Dahm, Jon Compagnone
and George Dahm rounded out the finishing field.
Michael Lira made it three winners in three races for the Pro Late Model division as he led every lap to score a popular win. The first few laps of the event were pretty eventful as only one lap could be completed before Michael Williams spun coming off turn four. Williams kept from hitting the inside wall and returned to action none the worse for wear. Ricky Anderson slowed to a stop during the fourth lap and was pushed to the pits where his crew frantically went to work to figure out what the problem was. The green flag flew with the young driver still sitting still on pit road but luck was with the team as Williams spun a second time to keep the caution out with noextra laps completed. By the time the field took the one to go signal fromstarted Ralph Miller, Anderson's car was re-fired and he rejoined the fray only to spin out himself on lap five to bring out the final caution of the race.
Lira had no problem leading the remaining 20 circuits to the checker as the field stayed close, but strung out, behind him. Tyler Audie had yet another good showing, taking second after scoring his big 50-lap win on opening night a few weeks back. Third went to Alan Bruns but he was later DQ'd in tech for a weight issue moving Will Carroll up to the show position. Cody Blair was fourth and Chris Brannon, running in his third different class this year, fifth. Completing the finishers were Daniel Miller, Zach Jarrell, Anderson, Williams, Raul Orlandini and the ageless John Kennedy.
The Mini Stock 25-lap feature marked the return of "Mr. Mini Stock," veteran Ted Vulpius of Mims and he led every lap after drawing the pole for the feature. Vulpius survived three slow-downs, two for minor spins and then a red flag on lap 13 for a violent crash in turn one that saw the cars of Mark Broat and Pat Wells hard into the wall but fortunately without injury to either driver. Tyler Simpson was also involved but was able to continue. Vulpius had no problems at all during the event easily crossing the checker in front of David Russell and Jamie Dixson. Jeff White was fourth ahead of Simpson who rebounded for fifth spot. Rounding out the field were Levi Hammond, Brad Blanton, Reid Christiensen, Wells, Broat and Jason Reynolds. The Super Stock 25-lapper was a fairly tame affair that saw just one lengthy caution flag period when Mike Dahm blew an engine on lap seven and oiled the track down in turn one. Other than that, the race belonged to young Garrett Hill. Hill, who has moved up to run the Sportsman class this season, dusted off his Super Stock and dominated the race, leading all the way. Shannon Kelly came from his tenth starting spot to finish second but had nothing for the fleet Hill. Mike Amato claimed third over Joe Gerard and Charles King who had just moved up to the class from the Strictly Stocks. Sixth spot went to J. T. Tippins trailed by Jeff Cuddy, Preston Hunt, Becca Samsoe, Michael Bedient and Dahm.
Jimmy Barron out-ran Joshua Stilwell to win the Strictly Stock feature. This coming Saturday night it's Fan Appreciation Night featuring 50-lap races for both the full-bore Modifieds and the Super Stocks. Mini Stocks and Strictly Stocks will also be in action and Spectator Races are also on the schedule along with a kids/parents tire race. All adult tickets for this Saturday's action are just $10 with kids aged 11 and under admitted free of charge.