Green-Flag Racing Propels Scofield to Victory by Steve Neely
Motor Problems, Accidents Finally Subside For Florida Veteran
It’s been a rough week for 2006 FASCAR Sunbelt Series Champion Jeff Scofield. In four previous nights of racing, he’s lost a motor, a clutch, and a car. He also tangled with Ted Christopher the first night. Each time, Scofield had run well but not been able to capitalize for the victory. However, in Wednesday night’s 30-lap feature race at The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, he got redemption.
Scofield held off another rising Florida star, 2006 Clyde Hart Memorial at New Smyrna winner Tim Russell, for the win in a race that only had one caution.
Jeff Scofield chats with track announcer Roland Via after winning Wednesday night's SLM race. (Jim DuPont photo)
“If we run longer, I’m better,” said Scofield. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow night’s 50-lapper, and the 100-lapper Saturday. This is, I think, the first time in five years in a 30-lap race that I’ve been at the end for.”
Scofield and Russell were working their way through the field when they had front-row seats for the night’s only incident, a wreck involving Christopher and race leader Ryan Sieg. Both leaders were held up by lapped cars at the time and Christopher and Sieg made contact, sending Sieg’s car hard into the turn-four wall and damaging the nose of Christopher’s car.
“Those guys were just driving way over their head,” said Scofield. “Me and Timmy Russell were running together coming through the pack, back and forth, and we didn’t take (racing the lapped cars) for granted. That’s what they should’ve done. They should’ve taken their time a little more and they both would’ve been there.”
The drivers were grateful for the green-flag run at the end of the race.
“That’s a good sign, everybody’s calmed down a lot,” said Russell. “They’ve been yelling at us in the driver’s meeting about tearing stuff up. It looked like it worked. It got everybody calmed down, let everybody race and we had more racing than caution flag laps so that’s good.”
Fifth-place finisher Mike Fritts agreed that the green-flag run was a good sign, even though it hurt his chances for a second victory at The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
“It was pretty good, except for starting in the back,” said Fritts. “We could’ve used a few more cautions to cool the tires down and get up through there a little better.”
Russell was able to catch up to Scofield’s back bumper in the last few laps of the event. Both cars maneuvered their way through lapped traffic, with Scofield weaving through the lapped cars more efficiently than Russell.
“I just ran out of time, you know, a couple more laps,” said Russell. “Hopefully we’ll have a couple wins before the week’s over.”
Following Scofield and Russell were Brian Scott and B.J. McLeod, with Fritts rounding out the top five.
SLM Notes – Day 6:
Fritts Charges Through The Field
Mike Fritts (left) is always willing to help people, but needed a little help on Wednesday.
Sunday night’s feature winner Mike Fritts and his team were missing in action on the track Wednesday afternoon, leading many to wonder where one of the strongest teams this Speedweeks had been. After discovering a motor problem during Tuesday night’s feature, it appeared that Fritts’ chances for the Speedweeks championship were over. This was not to be the case.
“Our motor builder just doesn’t quit,” said Fritts. “He went home and took the cylinder heads off his son’s car and put them on our car this afternoon. We got here way after qualifying.”
Having to start last in the event, Fritts charged through the field, passing cars high and low, en route to an unexpected top-five finish.
“We got up about halfway up through there, and think our tires got a little hot and greasy,” said Fritts. “We’re racers so we’re going to work real hard to keep racing.”
Sieg Fired Up Over Hard Wreck
Ryan Sieg was leading the race when he was boxed in by some lapped cars. While many would be angry over being held up, Sieg put the blame squarely on another driver, second-place runner Ted Christopher.
Ryan Sieg started on the pole, but didn't last there long. (DuPont photo)
“We were just going around a few lapped cars,” said Sieg. “They were trying to race each other, the leaders are coming and they’re trying to race. We went down into turn three over here and I think the 29 just deliberately took us out, it was Teddy Christopher. He just deliberately took us out. I don’t know what it is. I guess he just can’t drive.”
Sieg has been very pleased with his car and his team this week. He even made a vow to come back even stronger.
‘We’ll be back to get them,” said Sieg. “We’re going to win. We’re going to go back to Wayne’s shop to get it fixed up and be back out here. We’re the best car out here. I’d hate to see everybody else. They’re going to be crying when we come back.”
Drawdy’s Bad Luck Continues
After Justin Drawdy wrecked on Sunday, it appeared that his week would be over. However, his team fixed the car up and it was back on track Wednesday.
Drawdy’s bad luck appeared to be over, as he was moving up through the field, moving as high as third during Wednesday night’s event. That’s when the bad luck came back once again.
“We dropped a valve in the motor there,” said Drawdy. “We’ve had a long week. We finally got caught back up since we lost two days being back home fixing the front end of the car. We’re trying to round up another motor right now, probably for Friday and Saturday.”