Trackside Now: Smyrna Speedweeks - Wednesday, Feb. 13th
Jimmy Blewett Gets An Emotional Win On A Perfect Night
2008 Smyrna Speedweeks
Super Late Models
Tour-Type Mods
Much More
Feb. 8th-16th
New Smyrna Speedway
New Smyrna, Florida
Thursday 12:05am ET - A few nights ago, Kenny Horton was on this way to an SK Modified win.  But a late-race tangle with Jimmy Blewett sent him across the finish line backwards and in second-place.

So, on Wednesday night, his final night of racing at Speedweeks, Horton made sure he crossed the finish line the right way, and before anyone else, picking up his first SK win of Speedweeks.

He held off Josh Sylvester and a charging Blewett to take the win.

“That was a pleasure going across in the right direction this time,” said Horton.  “I still thought I won that race the other night, because I thought I passed him in reverse.  It was a great win for us nonetheless.  We needed this win.  My guys have worked their asses off the whole week.  This car has been fast every night.  We just needed that win.

“This is my last night here.  It has been great to be down here and enjoy this.  But, as my wife told me, I’m a part-time racer and a full-time dad.  So I’m going to spend some time with my family and take my kids to Disneyworld.  I tried to talk her into letting me come back here after being at Orlando during the day, because its only 45 minutes away if you drive about 100 mph, but we are just going to take the time and spend with the family.”

SK Modified Results
1  Kenny Horton 
2  Josh Sylvester 
3  Jimmy Blewett 
4   Glen Griswold
5  Eric Goodale 
6   Billy Anderson 
7  Jimmy Zacharrias 
8  Barry Callavini  
9   Russ Savoy  
10   David Cramner 
11   Mike Fiebelkoran, Jr 
12  Don King, Jr. 
13  Shelly Perry 
14  Butch Perry 
16  Brad Vanhouten
17  Chris Jensen 
18  Kevin Shea 
19  Jason Migonia 

Wednesday 11:35pm ET - Logan Ruffin has become a fan-favorite at New Smyrna.  The 13-year-old has the fans on his side each and every night.

Its something that he never expected.  Nor did he expect to come down to Florida and set the Crate Late Model class on fire.

That is exactly what he’s done, after earning his third win of Speedweeks on Wednesday night, once again dominating the competition. 

“It is really exciting,” said Ruffin.  “This is the happiest week of my life and it just keeps getting better.  I came down here for seat time and it has turned into so much more.  It’s been a great week for us.  This has been awesome. 

“We just need to keep drawing good for the inversion.  I know we will keep having a good car.  If we do that, then things will just fall into place.”

Crate Late Model Results
1Logan Ruffin
2David Wagner
3Jimmy Lang
4Steven Brooks
5Will Thomas
6Kyle Maynard
7Griffin McGrath
8Dave Russell
9Joey Pole
10Blake Koch
11James Weller III
12Casey Caudill
13Nick Glaze
14Thor Anderson
15Chazz Anderson
16Earl Beckner
17Brett Moffitt
18Joseph Gase
19Dustin Skinner
20Patrick Mennaga
21Eric Chase
22Gene Kirila III

Wednesday 10:35pm ET - Tank Tucker did on Wednesday night what he’s done this entire Speedweeks… dominate.

With his fourth win in five Florida Modified events, Tucker won his second-straight World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing title.  And he did it without much competition.  The only night he didn’t win, was the night that he was taken out after starting on the outside pole in an accident in the first turn. 

On Wednesday night, he led all 50 laps of the Florida Modified Speedweeks finale.

“Four wins, but one totaled out racecar, that was our Speedweeks,” said Tucker.  “Like I said in the PA interview, Wayne Graham Custom Fab does the motor and the chassis for us and does one great job.  I get the luxury of just sitting behind the wheel and running it.  I don’t know if we could have won all of them if we weren’t in that accident.  We know to never count your chicken before they are hatched.  We are not that type of team.   We just take what is given to us.”

This year, domination was given to them.

Florida Modified 50 Results
1Tank Tucker
2Kurt Jett
3Lee Collins
4John Gerstner
5Jerry Symons
6Robbie Cooper
7Alan Bruns
8Bobby Jo Woodley
9Gary Fountain, Sr
10Don Keithley
11Matt Wheeler
12Danny Bagwell
13Rick Moxley
14Jeff Coeburn
15AJ Winstead
16William Burba
17Art Kunzeman
18Woody Pitkat
19Ryan Preece
20Mickey Wright
21Gordon Moodie

Wednesday 9:45pm ET - Jack Landis has been here all week, but you would hardly know it.  He hasn’t been his normal self.  Instead, he’s been finishing in the back-half of the top-10, and not in contention to win.  He also got into a scrap with local driver BJ McLeod, something Landis normally distances himself from.

But on Wednesday night, he was back to his old self, taking a dominating car to the front, passing two-time Super Late Model winner Jeff Choquette en route to his first Speedweeks win of the 2008 season.

“We didn’t start out so good, but the longer we went, the better it got,” said Landis, a CRA Super Series regular and former ASA National Tour driver.  “I was going to try and get up on the outside of him on one of those late restarts, so I just had to wait and bide my time.  The car was working so good, I just put it on the bottom and went from there.  I just want to thank Jeff, because that was a nice clean race.”

Super Late Model Results
1Jack Landis
2Louis Mechalides
3Ryan Sieg
4Jeff Choquette
5Tim Russell
6Trevor Sanborn
7Jeff Scofield
8Justin Drawdy
9David Rogers
10Ricky Carmichael
11Kurt Jett
12Jerry Symons
13John Gerster
14Jeremy Gerster
15Darrell Midgley
16Kevin Bayless
17Nevin Gainey
18Derrick Wood
19John Coffman
20Russ Shaw
21Steve Weaver Jr.
22Jared Allison
23Frank Alberson
24Rusty Ebersole
25David Myer

Wednesday 9:25pm ET - It’s not too often that things just work out perfect.   Wednesday night at New Smyrna Speedway was one of those nights however. 

After officials with New Smyrna renamed the Wednesday night 50-lapper the John Blewett III Memorial, everyone knew the guy that should win it.

Brother Jimmy was going to try.

Try he did.  Accomplish he did.

Driving with everything he had in him, Jimmy turned in the fastest qualifying time during qualifications, started on the pole for the feature event, led every lap and held off a spirited charge that included plenty of bumping and banging right up to the checkered flag from one of the best Modified and short track racing has ever seen, Ted Christopher, to win the race named after his late-brother. 

“That win meant a lot of things,” said Blewett.  “First off, its really tough to be here without my brother.  It felt good to win a race in his memory.  Not only win it in his memory, but to hold off a guy like Teddy Christopher to do it.  That race truly was a race of what I learned over the years from my brother.  I wouldn’t be here without a lot of people, but mostly without my brother… all the things my brother has taught me and showed me and shared with me.  That is what put me here today.

“It feels good.  it is just weird to think that a year ago, we were sitting right here laughing and heeing and hollering and palling around with each other, going to the Pub (44) with each other.  Now, you are here by yourself"

He didn't let the pressure get to him at all.  It wasn't going to stop him on any night, but especially on this night.

“I don’t mind the pressure.  It makes me drive better.  He ran me clean.  He did what he had to do to try and rough me up and move me out of the way.  It ain’t nothing that I wouldn’t have done to him in the same spot.  He was on a mission.  My spotter said to me that he was harpooning people left and right.  He said to just be prepared."

Despite who has favorites, it was the perfect ending.  And it showed on Jimmy’s face, as the driver that everyone knows as a tough SOB climbed out of the car with tears in his eyes and very few words to say over the PA system, as he celebrated his family friends and team members.   

“Its good and I’m glad we got this win for all of us.  Everyone that is here today was good friends with my brother.  We were all pretty tight.  It means a lot to all of us.  My brother was really looking forward to me working with the Grasso Brothers this year.  He was happy for me.  He was proud of me.

"It is just a shame he isn’t here to see it.  But I know he is looking down from above."

John Blewett III Memorial 50 Results
1 Jimmy Blewett
2 Ted Christopher 
3 Bobby Grigas III 
4 Ronny Silk 7
5 Chuck Hossfeld 
6 Eric Beers 
7 Kevin Goodale 
8 Jon McKennedy 
9 Charlie Pasteryak
10 James Civali 
11 Justin Bonsignore
12 Billy Pauch, Jr  
13 Buck Catalino 
14 JR Bertuccio  
15 Ryan Preece
16 Butch Perry
17 Kenny Horton
18 Billy Pauch, Sr
19 Rowan Pennick 
20 Andy Seuss 
21 Billy Anderson
22 George Bierce 
23 Marisa Neidermeyer

Wednesday 8:35pm ET - Derrick Kelley grabbed his second-straight Limited Late Model feature win on Wednesday night, holding off a spirited charge from Drew Brannon and surviving multiple caution flags.

“We had a pretty good car tonight,” said Kelley.  “It wasn’t as good as we had the other night.  It was a little loose tonight.  I think the Modifieds lay a lot of rubber down and the rain washed it all away.  And I need to thank all of my competitors too.  They all raced me really clean.”

Limited Late Model Results
1Derrick Kelley
2Drew Brannon
3AJ Curreli
4Kirk Hooker
5Kevin Ingram
6Joe Winchell
7JR McMichael
8Tom Malloy
9Greg Skyta
10Ben Bargnesi
11Rob Knox
12Charlie Vest
13Thomas Horner
14Tracey Ouellete
15Chad Akins
16CJ Faison
17Richard Douglas
18Daniel Maddox
19Kirk Hooker

Wednesday 8:05pm ET - Pete Jarvis (Modifieds) and Budd Griffin (Stock Cars) won their features in the Antique class.  The Limited Late Models are on the track now.

Wednesday 7:45pm ET - Right on cue, the lights are back on and the Autique feature event is set to take the green flag. 

Wednesday 7:30pm ET - Things are currently quiet here...  because things are dark.  As of right now, all of the lights along the backstretch, along with a couple of the lights along the front stretch, are out. 

They are working on the problem.  Thinking is that things will be fixed within 10-15 minutes. 

Wednesday 6:30pm ET - We finally got the results for the Crate Late Models and for the Florida Modifieds from Monday night.  We've got them posted on the Trackside Now page from Monday.  If you want to check it out, click here.

Wednesday 6:15pm ET - One of the neatest stories coming from New Smyrna Speedway is that of Gordon Moodie.  Moodie is racing in the Florida Modified division.  And if you don’t know his name at all, there is probably a pretty good reason why.

Moodie actually hails from Windy Gates, Fife, Scotland.  He’s is over here racing in the states just for some “fun.”

Moodie has quite the impressive resume.  He’s a five-time defending Scottish National Champion in BriSCA Formula 2 competition.   He also became the first UK driver to win the Dutch World Cup.  

His number of wins is impressive enough.   In 2003, he earned 54 national wins.  In 2004, he earned 59.  In 2005, he earned an astonishing 116 wins, and followed that up a year later with 98 wins. 

His run at Speedweeks hasn’t been the best yet.  On Friday night, he finished 11th.  On Saturday night, he was 15th.  His last two finishes have been top-10s, both coming home as ninth-place runs.

Wednesday 5:10pm ET - Officials with the track have decided to scrap qualifying for the Super Late Models and Florida Modifieds.  Even though the rain didn't last a long time, the track got very wet and will need to be dried.

The track will now be quiet until racing begins at 7:30pm.

Wednesday 5:05pm ET - Super Late Model qualifying is currently under a rain delay right now. Rain started falling after just two drivers have taken time.  The two drivers that have already run will get to requalify.

Wednesday 4:55pm ET - Fittingly enough, Jimmy Blewett won the pole for tonight’s 50-lap Modified feature, named after his late-brother, the John Blewett III Memorial 50

JB III was killed last year at Thompson International Speedway in an accident during the Whelen Modified Tour event there.  Fittingly as well, JB III was racing with brother Jimmy for the lead when he lost his life.

Blewett was .001 seconds faster than Ted Christopher.  Blewett ran a 16.926, while TC ran a 16.927..

Tour Mod Qualifying
1Jimmy Blewett16.926
2Ted Christopher16.927
3Ryan Preece16.999
4Andy Seuss17.001
5James Civali17.027
6Eric Beers17.032
7Ronnie Silk17.043
8Chuck Hossfeld17.045
9Buck Catalano17.047
10Charlie Pasteryak17.078
11Bobby Grigas III17.092
12Jon McKennedy17.105
13Billy Pauch Jr17.130
14Rowan Pennick17.165
15Kevin Goodale17.247
16JR Bertuccio17.302
17Kenny Horton17.341
18Justin Bonsignone17.422
19Butch PerryDNS

Wednesday 4:20pm ET - Josh Sylvester used a late qualifying draw to win the pole for the SK Modified feature.  Sylvester knocked off the defending SK Modified race winner Eric Goodale off the pole.

SK Modified Qualifying
1Josh Sylvester17.704
2Eric Goodale17.808
3Kenny Horton17.813
4Glen Griswold17.881
5Jimmy Blewett17.914
6Billy Anderson17.966
7Brad VanHouten18.160
8Butch Perry18.240
9Shelly Perry18.318
10Jimmy Zacharrias18.338
11David Cramner18.339
12Chris Jenson18.357
13Russ Savoy18.546
14Barry Callavini18.957
15Mike Fiebelicorn Jr18.977
16Kevin Shea18.997
17Don King Jr.19.503
18Jason Migonia21.270
19Phil WehrkiemDNS

Wednesday 4:00pm ET - The SK Modifieds will be the first up to qualify, starting at 4pm.

Wednesday 3:20pm ET - The SK Modifieds also had a pretty big hit in practice.  Phil Wehrkiem came out of turn four in the midst of a four-car pack right at the beginning of practice, got into the loose stuff up top and slammed iinto the outside wall hard. 

A brief fire broke out in the car, but it was quickly contained by officials and tracfk workers. 

Wednesday 3:00pm ET - Pretty much the biggest news to come out of early practice today was that of Tim Russell.  Russell, the winner of the first night of Super Late Model competition and a two-time quick qualifier already, wrecked his #36 late in Super Late Model practice.

“Something just broke when I jumped back on the gas,” said Russell, who hit the wall in the middle of turns three and four. 

Russell said that they have a backup car that the crew had already unloaded before his other car was even towed back to the pits.

The backup car was practiced on Thursday but veteran short tracker Mike Garvey.  Garvey has been helping Russell out the last few races and was here on Friday night when he took the feature win.

Russell said the backup car was even quicker.

Wednesday 2:45pm ET - Some of the most under-appreciated people at the track here are the New Smyrna Speedway officials.   The track brings in people that don’t normally work the regular shows to help out during the nine-nights of action.

General Manager Terry Roberts and track-owner Robert and Jane Hart put together a fine crew.

Rusty Crews, who is also an official with the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series as well, helps keep the pits in order.  He is also rather comical on the radio at times, as well as watching his interaction with drivers, teams and other officials.  Needless to say, he is one of the most animated officials we’ve ever seen.

Scott Jackman helps run the show from the tower and serves as the race director.  Becky Jackman helps score the event.  Kim Brown helps get the official results out and up.  Butch Pierce helps keep things organized down below and Mark Keeler keeps the fans entertained on the mic. 

Wednesday 2:25pm ET - did confirm that Travis Kittleson practiced today in Justin Drawdy’s backup car.  It wasn’t the first time this week that he’s done it.   Kittleson is not planning to driver Drawdy’s backup car tonight. 

However, he is hoping to possibly run the car during Saturday’s Pete Orr Memorial 100 for Super Late Models.

Wednesday 2:20pm ET - Marisa Niederauer has taken some laps in the Tour-Type Modifieds during the week here, driving her boyfriend’s car, the #2 of JR Burtuccio. 

Niederauer took a bunch of laps in practice today and got the #2 up to speed quickly and looks to run the event tonight.

Wednesday 1:50pm ET - Joe Winchell, who races early in the week in the Super Late Model Division, has his Limited Late Model here today.

Wednesday 1:50pm ET - For the first time in a couple of days, the sun is coming out here are New Smyrna Speedway, with the clouds breaking up and it looks like the rain is out of here.  However, the wind is wipping around and strong today.   Racing will continue on tonight at New Smyrna.

We're going to head down to the pits, snap some pictures and see what is going on.

Wednesday 1:30pm ET - The rain has stopped and the SK Modifieds are out on the track.  The half-mile never quite got wet enough to not continue practice. 

Wednesday 1:25pm ET - Tonight will be a busy night of racing here at New Smyrna Speedway, with eight feature events.

With yesterday’s rain out, the Antique cars are back for their two 20-lap features tonight, which will start off the program at 7:30pm. 

Following the Antiques, the Limited Late Models will run a 25-lap feature, followed by the highlight of the evening, the John Blewett III Memorial 50-lap event for the Tour-Modifieds. 

Following that will be a 30-lap feature for the Super Late Models, a 50-lapper for the Florida Modifieds, a 25-lap event for the Crate Late Models and the night will round out with a 20-lap SK Modified event.

The Super Late Models, Florida Modifieds, Tour Modifieds and SK Modifieds will all qualify today. 

Wednesday 1:15pm ET - The skies have opened up again and we are once again under a hold patter here at the track.   While it isn't raining hard, it is raining just hard enough to keep the cars off of the racetrack.

Wednesday 1:05pm ET - Even with a sprinkle still coming down on the track, practice is underway here at New Smyrna.  The Florida Modifieds are on the track now.

Wednesday 1:00pm ET - Well, for the second day in a row, we are battling weather here at New Smyrna Speedway.  There has already been one rain shower move through the area.  There is another shower that is getting ready to move through the area as well, with an approaching cold front.

However, once that final set of showers moves through, there should be clear skies behind it.  It will just depend on how long the rain takes to move through.

Currently, the Super Late Models are out on the track.  There don’t appear to be many new ones here as of right now.  Both of Justin Drawdy’s cars are out practicing now, with we believe Travis Kittleson in the backup car.    BJ McLeod is back with his #78 after repairing it from Sunday night’s accident.

The Tour Modified’s practice was cut short by the first rain shower.

We’ll let you know how the day is going to unfold, so stick here. 


Click Here For Speedweeks Point Standings
Rain will still be a factor today at New Smyrna, but it looks like racing will go on.
John Blewett III won a couple of Modified races last year at Speedweeks for car owner Joe Brady (left).  Tonight, the Modifieds will race in JB III's memory.
John Blewett III (#00) will be remembered tonight.
Tim Russell wrecked his car in the final SLM practice.  Before he was even towed back, his team was unloading a backup car.
Phil Wehrkiem hit the wall hard in his #23 SK Mod.
Justin Drawdy had two cars practicing... the other being driven by Travis Kittleson.
Marisa Niederauer (#2) at speed.
Rusty Crews (right) is just one of many hard-working New Smyrna Speedway officials.  Here, Rusty talks calmly with Ted Christopher (left)
Jimmy Blewett (#19) won the pole for the John Blewett III Memorial 50.  He was quicker than Ted Christopher (#00).
The Gordon Moodie team and Gordon himself (center, blue suit) has a lot of people watching him.
Things are dark right now at New Smyrna Speedway on the backstretch.
Kenny Horton thanked his team for his first SK Modified win.  (Jim DuPont photo)
Kenny Horton (#19) grabs the lead from Josh Sylvester (#18).   (Jim DuPont photo)
Logan Ruffin has become quite the fan favorite at New Smyrna Speedway.
Once again, the Crate Late Models weren't without their fair share of cautions.  (Jim DuPont photo)
Tank Tucker might just be taking home more hardware than anyone after his Speedweeks championship.
Tank Tucker was never really challenged during the entire Speedweeks.  (Jim DuPont photo)
Jimmy Blewett celebrates his win with all of John's closest family and friends.
An emotional Jimmy Blewett climbs out of his car after winning the race named for his late brother John.
Jimmy Blewett (#19) takes the checkers in front of Ted Christopher (#00).  (Jim DuPont photo)
Andy Seuss watches as his #70 gets hooked off the track early in the Modified event. (Jim DuPont photo)
Derrick Kelley won another Limited Late Model event.