Big Wreck Early Takes Out Several Cars
Just like the way many of the 2005 Speedweeks NASCAR Tour-Type Mods played out, one driver jumped to the lead and led from flag-to-flag, avoiding trouble in the meantime.

Ted Christopher did it a lot in 2005.
Chuck Hossfeld. (51 Photo)
This year, Chuck Hossfeld would like to be that guy.  And he did just that on Friday night, opening up his 2006 Speedweeks in style.

Hossfeld was the night’s seventh quick qualifier, but jumped to the lead right at the start from his second-place starting spot.  Hossfeld was never touched from there on out and cruised to the victory.

Behind Hossfeld, all hell was breaking loose just a few laps into the event.  Jimmy Blewett, driving the #12, bounced off the outside wall and shot down across the track, taking out several other drivers in the resulting melee.
But Hossfeld didn’t have to worry as he was in front of it all.  Eric Beers, the night’s quickest qualifier for the Modifieds, was coming, but he ran out of laps and Hossfeld cruised to the win.

“Last year, we came down here and it was the first time we ran down here full-time with a competitive car,” said Hossfeld after the race.  “I learned a lot about Speedweeks then.  I learned it was important to get a good redraw.  It is important to qualify well, but redraw well too.  Track position is what I’m trying to say is important.”

The skill and luck of qualifying well and redrawing well is what helped Hossfeld on Friday night.
It also didn’t hurt that he brought out a new car to race as well.

“I want to thank everyone here.  This is a new car and we just got done building it.   This is the car that we built in my garage at home and I’m pretty proud of the way it just ran.  

“It is quite a task to come down here, money wise and people wise, but this is pretty gratifying to start it this way.”
Hossfeld takes the checkers.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
One thing sticks out about Hossfeld’s 2006 Speedweeks ride though.  It has a little bit of pink on it.

“I don’t care what people think of the pink. I like it.”



Just a few laps into the opening night of Speedweeks, a multi-car accident took out several different drivers. 

It all started when Jimmy Blewett got into the outside wall.  He came back across the track and collected several other cars, including those of Ted Christopher, Chris Pasteryak,  Mike Ewainitsko, Bobby Grugas and Dave Sapienza.
“I lost it coming off of two over here,” said a subdued Blewett after the accident.  “I just lost it.  I’m sorry for anyone that I wrecked their car.”

Ewainitsko’s #36 seemed to get the worst of it.

“I saw a whole lot of smoke and not much else,” said Ewainitsko.  “My spotter told me to go low.  I saw a couple of guys get up into the fence so I shot low.  A couple of the guys came back down the track and we got into them and spun around.  We backed into the inside wall after that.   I pretty much just bounced around like a ping-pong ball. 
Mike Ewainitsko's #36 took the brunt of the accident at New Smyrna.  (51 Photo)
“The car looks alright. It looked worse than it was.  We’ll straighten her out and give it a run tomorrow.”

He was also limping around, but reiterated that he was ok.

“I just banged my foot on the brake pedal or clutch pedal.”


Kevin Goodale’s 2006 Speedweeks started off much better than in 2005.  Last year, he was on the wrecker.  This year, he was in third at the end of the night.

But he said it was a little wild out there.

“They always give us a talking to in the meeting not to do too much in the first night,” said Goodale.  “No one ever listens though.  It was a good night.  Good way to start it off.  It was tight racing.  Everyone had close cars and no one really dominated.  I guess they wrecked eight cars on the backstretch.  We’ll be better tomorrow. “

Goodale was able to stay in front of the accident early. 

“They’ll have plenty of that.  We wrecked out car on the first night down here.  We worked all week on it after that.  That is just Smyrna.  It is always the first night when anything happens.  Everyone is giddy to get up in the car for the first time of the year.”

Last year, Ted Christopher was the man to beat on any given night in both the Super Late Models and Modifieds.

This year, he is running both again, but struggled in both on opening night.

He finished just midpack in the Supers, while he was taken out in the early accident in the Modifieds.

“You have to break your tires in this year,” said TC of the Super Late Models.  “We never did that Friday.  You need to scuff them.   It hurt in time trials.  It looks like this year, you will get a couple of people and then everyone gets single file and it goes on.  It seems like it’s horrible.

“It ain’t bad though.  When we get the time trail back, we’ll figure it out.  It will be better tomorrow.”

As for the Mod feature, TC was a little pissed.

“Lap four or five, Blewett got into the wall there and cleaned everyone out.  I seen him coming across the track. I thought he was going to miss me but he got me in the right rear and cleaned the right rear out.  That is all I saw.
TC struggled in both the Super Late Model and Modified on Friday.  (Jim DuPont Photos)
“It was probably inexperience at New Smyrna.  Or maybe an 18-second car with a 18.5-second driver.”

TC, who is driving for the Bear Motorsports #14 this year at Smyrna, brought the car behind the wall as the team tried to fix it during the red flag.

“You try to win the championship always,” added TC.  “At that point, we were being told there weren’t a lot of cars on the track.  With this deal down here, you can finish eighth or tenth because everyone had a bad night.  You don’t’ give up.  If you get a decent finish, you are going to take it.  Then it broke an axle because the rear end was hurt too bad.”