THERE IS NO STOPPING CHOQUETTE AT NEW SMYRNA by Jane Smith
Youngster Wins Fourth-In-A-Row During Pete Orr Memorial
The night air was cold and brisk as the third Annual Pete Orr Memorial Orange Blossom 100 took place at New Smyrna Speedway. Only 13 cars showed up for what has been one of the biggest races of the year for Super Late Models. With the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing starting in less than a week, alot of the cars were still getting ready which lower the car count alot.
Justin Drawdy set fast time for the 100 lap race but pulled the 7 pill which inverted the top seven putting Chris Fontaine on the pole.
Before the race began, karnac.com and owner Jack Smith presented Lee Collins with the Pete Orr Sportsmanship Award. Collins, who is well known for being a gentleman, was the 2004 Pro Mod Champion and also won the Championship for FL/IMCA Mods at the World Series in 2004.
With the pre-race ceromonies concluded, it was time to go racin. Jack Landis, here from the cold, cold north for last week's Speedfest and the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, jumped to the early lead over Fontaine, Daryl Shelnut, Mike Garvey and Travis Kittleson.
Kittleson wasted no time moving into third then second as Kittleson was on a mission to honor his late Crew Chief.
Mac Johnson brought out the caution on lap 6 as he spun on the backstretch but was able to get going fairly fast. Landis holds the point on the restart followed by Kittleson, Garvey, Shelnut and Fontaine.
Now it is Justin Drawdy who is on the move with the same goal in mind as Kittleson, to honor his late Crew Chief and friend Pete. Drawdy moves into the top five just as the second caution comes out for Chris Fontaine who has spun on the frontstretch.
Drawdy, who set fast time, once again found the "monkey on his back" as he had to withdraw from the race on lap 36 with mechanical problems. Daryl Shelnut brought out the third caution as he spun in turns 1 and 2. The race was then red flagged to check all the cars for leaking as there was fluid on the track. It was determined that Shelnut was leaking as he retired from the race disappointed. Shelnut has not run at New Smyrna
Jeff Choquette has now won four-straight races at New Smyrna after winning Saturday night's Pete Orr Memorial. (51 Photo)
Speedway for some time and it was great having him back again. Hopefully we will see more of him in 2005.
After leading for the first fifty laps, Landis sees Travis Kittleson take over as Garvey goes into second and Landis third. It looks like Kittleson will finally get his biggest desire but 49 more laps are left still to race.
Lap 64 Mac Johnson and Jay Middleton get together on the backstretch. Both are fine and return to the race in the rear of the field. Kittleson holds the point on the restart but Garvey finds himself going side-by-side with Jeff Choquette, winner of the last three races at New Smyrna. Choquette shows "he's the man" and takes over second.
Lap 79 sees Daniel Webster get a flat coming off turn 3 and goes into the turn 4 wall. Webster is fine but his car is not as he retires into the pits for the night. Kittleson holds the point on the restart followed by Choquette, Garvey, Landis and James Powell III.
Lap 92 Mac Johnson brings out the caution as he spins in turns 3 and 4. The race goes back green with Kittleson in the lead but Choquette is on the move. Kittleson is fighting hard to retain the lead but gets alittle loose and Choquette takes advantage and passes Kittleson with four laps to go. Garvey follows on the tail of Choquette taking over second as Kittleson settles into third. Choquette takes his fourth win in a row at New Smyrna followed by Mike Garvey, Travis Kittleson, Jack Landis and James Powell III. Although Choquette never knew Pete Orr, he understood the importance of this win to Kittleson and Drawdy.
PETE ORR MEMORIAL ORANGE BLOSSOM 100
1. #70 Jeff Choquette
2. #17x Mike Garvey
3. #30 Travis Kittleson
4. #101 Jack Landis
5. #17 James Powell III
6. #47 Chris Fontaine
7. #74 Jay Middleton
8. #16 Tracy Pearson
9. #88 David Pollen Jr.
10. #6 Mac Johnson
11. #1x Daniel Webster
12. #7 Daryl Shelnut
13. #12 Justin Drawdy
Justin Drawdy was on the pole, but his bad luck continued at New Smyrna Speedway.