Florida Hotshot Has A Head Start Heading Into Speedfest
The wind was howling, the air was just plain cold, but a few diehard race fans and racers made their way to New Smyrna Speedway for the Riverfest 250. With temperatures down in the 30's, it was one of those hot coffee, hot chocolate nights in Florida.
checkered followed by Greg Boone, B.J. McLeod, Mac Johnson, and Chris Fontaine. Pratt, Fritts, and Finney have already entered into SpeedFest at USA International in Lakeland later on this month. If Saturday night's action is any indication for that event, the Florida boys will be just fine.
In other action It was A.J. Curreli who took the Late Model win after a pile-up on the green and one more during the race. Following Curreli to the checkered was Alan Bruns, Jason Cochran (in his first Late Model race), Josh Wronkowski and Darren Brown. Rich Clouser was unable to race after having problems with his motor during hot laps.
Jim "Hoot" Flynn topped the Open Wheel Modified field with a win over Alan McCafferty, Jerry Symons, Corey Freed, and Columbia Motorsports driver Jason Garver.
Mike Fritts won the Governor's Cup at New Smyrna Speedway to end 2005. He won the first race at New Smyrna top open 2006 this year.
Although Matt Martin was not the first car to cross the checkered, Matt was given the first Sportsman win of the year and his first win in his new Sportsman. Ron Lufcy, who crossed the checkered first, was disqualified in tech with the win going to Young Martin. Following Martin across the checkered was Dale Howard, Mike Soukup, Donny Williams (after suffering two flat tires), and Jason Mosley, also another Columbia Motorsports Park driver.
Dalton Zehr topped the Pro Truck field followed by Chad Akins, Ron Dubeau, A.J. Factor (his first truck race after
David Rogers (#11) set the fast time at Riverfest.
David Rogers of Orlando set fast time with a 17.782 followed by Brian Finney of Merritt Island with a 17.944, Rich Pratt of Anthony with a 17.933, Mike Fritts of Debary with a 18.000, and B.J. McLeod of Wachula with a 18.003. Rogers pulled the 5 pill putting B.J. McLeod on the pole for the green.
Fritts quickly took the point on the green with Finney, Pratt, McLeod and Louisville, Kentucky racers Greg Boone chasing after Fritts. Boone would get just to Fritts's backdoor and then Fritts would put away. Finney, while running in the top five, had mechanical problems and was the first to go into the pits.
A few engines were lost, whether it was the cold weather or what, and the race was red flagged to clean the track after the dune buggy broke down and was no help. Fritts never failed on a restart and held the point to take the
switching from the Super Late Model division), and Bill Morris. The trucks will compete next at USA International during Speedfest.
James Fresbie took his first Super Stock win of the 2006 season and is assured from his wife that he can race this year. Last year Fresbie was told that he had to win a race or give it up. He proceeded to win the race and plans on running for the Super Stock Championship this year at New Smyrna. Following Fresbie across the checkered was Ed Barber, J.T. Tippins, Mike Hendrix, and Dave Rowe.
Pedie Allison won the final Mini Stock race of 2005 at New Smyrna and started off the 2006 year with yet another win. Allison, who ran Orlando SpeedWorld mostly in 2005 was second in points at SpeedWorld. Following Allison across the checkered was Steven Simpson, Rex Christensen, Chad Carpenter, and newcomer Duane Gilfus.
It was new driver Matt Towell that topped the Strictly Stock field Saturday night. Following Towell to the checkered was Tim Logue, Kerry Payne, Bud Logue, and Terry Chartrand.
The next racing event at New Smyrna Speedway will be the 40th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing from February 10 thru 18.