Cope Goes Two-for-Two, Scores Pete Orr/Orange Blossom Win
1-18-14 - By New Smyrna Speedway Staff
After setting the second fastest time in Time Trials, and surviving the top ten redraw to retain his outside front row starting spot, Weeki Wachee’s Travis Cope #26 let 92 laps en route to his second win, in as many starts, in 2014.
The race that honors the late Pete Orr has special meaning to all of the 29 drivers that took the green flag Saturday night. In particular, for Cope, who exclaimed in Victory Lane how proud he was of his friendship with Orr’s son Bobby, who is instrumental in putting together this event each year.
Rounding out the podium for Saturday was second place Spencer Davis #129. The youngster out of Dawsonville, Georgia made several starts at NSS throughout 2013 and was arguably one of the busiest short-track drivers, competing in more than 65 races all over the Country. Davis drew on the experience he gained throughout last year’s races at the half-mile, crediting February’s World Series with providing the biggest learning experience and valuable seat time as he transitioned from Pro Lates to Supers.
One of the hard-chargers from Saturday’s event was Pensacola veteran Mike Garvey who picked up 8 spots to round out the top three. As with the majority of the drivers in attendance, Garvey expressed how good of a friend Orr was and how important it was to him personally to make it to this race. Although still very active throughout the Southeast, it had been more than a half-dozen years since Garvey turned laps at Smyrna. “This place is real racey now” said Garvey with a smile after methodically working through traffic to take third.
Davis and Garvey were running fourth and fifth as the White Flag flew. In front of them, the story, by far, was teenaged Tyler Dippel #1 out of Wallkill, New York. Dippel was making just his second asphalt start and was seeing New Smyrna Speedway for the first time. He would start twelfth and early on looked to follow Garvey through traffic. It only took one bobble by Garvey about mid-way through the race for Dippel to take advantage and continue his run to the front. Dippel eventually caught Bobby Good #27, who had a solid top three car throughout the entire race. The battle for the runner-up spot was nose-to-tail with two laps to go. As they took the white flag, Dippel got a run to the inside of Good in turns one and two before the two got together on the backstretch. Good’s car received the worst of the damage as he would not take the checkers, while Dippel went on to finish fourth with a heavily banged up machine.