Sunday, 11:45pm ET - That is it at the track for us, but we aren't going back to the Ocean Properties condo quite yet. Tonight we are going to go hang out with the racers, watch some of tonight's action on replay and eat some great food at Pub 44.
We will be back tomorrow for more Trackside Now coverage at New Smyrna Speedway.
Sunday, 11:30pm ET - Driver reaction:
Super Late Models – David Rogers (1st)
“Yeah It’s been a while since we have been to victory lane. It’s really been a while since we won here at this race track. I have really not been able to get a hold of this place since they repaved it. I have been slow; I have been steady, but I have been slow. Dana Ebersol built this racecar and I told the boys if I could learn how to drive it right we were going to be hard to beat. I am getting better, but I still have a ways to go.”
Late Models – AJ Currelli (1st)
“We won the pole on the first night and we broke a rotor before the race even started. Last night we were battling for second and got tangled up and we thought we destroyed the car. We fixed the whole suspension and we didn’t get here until 4pm; we only made three laps of practice and the car was awesome tonight. It’s been about two years since I won at Speedweeks. It feels great.”
FL Modifieds – Lee Collins (1st)
“I thought it was over when we spun around. I really didn’t know if they would give me the spot back. The car was very good tonight; it was pretty tight at the end last night. We just need to keep finishing in the top three and we could possibly win the championship.”
Winged Sprints – Dave Steele (1st)
“It really makes things interesting when they start us high points guys in the back. The car was fast tonight, so that made our job a little bit easier. This is one of my favorite tracks. I love racing here in Florida.”
Sunday, 11:06pm ET - One lap after the restart, Dave Steele took the lead from Mark Gimmler and never looked back as the winner of the Winged Sprint feature.
We are not done tonight. Stay tuned for more information, including complete results of all events, winner photos and driver reaction, coming soon.
Sunday, 11:00pm ET - A scary moment happened during the feature as Ben Fritz, who lead from the start but dropped back, spun and slammed the inside wall towards turn one. He was able to get out and walk back to his pits.
Mark Gimmler currently leads with 17 laps in the books.
Sunday, 10:40pm ET - GREEN FLAG: WINGED SPRINT FEATURE - Ben Fritz and Mark Gimmler lead the field of 27 racers, including Dave Steele (starting 12th), to the green flag.
Sunday, 10:30pm ET - For two nights now the track PA Announcer Mark Keeler has been telling fans to head to the concession stand and try some “smoked mullet dip.” As a native northeasterner, a mullet would typically be something you would see at an Iron Maiden concert. Don’t worry; they aren’t putting smoldering hair juice on a plate. A mullet is actually a fish. Our resident food connoisseur “MD” Matthew Dillner couldn’t resist taking the trip to the concession stand during intermission to see what the hype was about.
MD’s Review: “Smoked Mullet at New Smyrna Speedway isn’t as horrifying as it sounds. It’s a creamy dip that gets served with crackers. It’s rather tasty and goes best with a side of Bon-Jovi."
Sunday, 10:15pm ET - David Rogers has won the Super Late Model feature in what some might consider the best race of Speedweeks to date.
While Rogers negotiated traffic, behind him Jeff Choquette went high and went low, trying to find his way around Wayne Anderson. A few times it appeared he had him cleared for the second spot, but Anderson just was too strong as he seemed to pulled ahead each time. As they battled with each other and weaved their way around the lapped traffic, they were catching Rogers. With two laps to go, they were just a few carlengths behind him. Anderson slipped, causing them to lose ground to Rogers, who drove his way under the flagstand first. Behind him, Choquette touched the back bumper of Anderson, got him loose and the two drag raced back to the checkered flag. Just nipping Anderson at the line, Choquette got the runner-up spot.
We will have full results, the winner photo and reaction at the end of the night.
Next up is the Winged Sprints feature.
Sunday, 10:06pm ET - At the halfway mark, David Rogers still leads, but the battle has been for second as Jeff Choquette is all over the back of Wayne Anderson for the second position.
Sunday, 9:58pm ET - We are under yellow for a single-car wreck in turn two. Up front, David Rogers leads after taking the lead on the restart of the race. Wayne Anderson is second, followed by Jeff Choquette.
Sunday, 9:53pm ET - Coming down the front stretch to take the green flag, Jeff Choquette dove low to make it three wide on the start. That move appeared to have worked, until he got to turn one running low. He ended up slipping up into Johanna Long's car, sending her for a spin in turn one, making contact with the wall. The officials called a complete restart, but since Long had to pit to change a tire, she will restart in the back of the field.
Choquette might have dove low due to someone else spinning tires in front of him.
Sunday, 9:50pm ET - GREEN FLAG: SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE
Sunday, 9:42pm ET - “Go Jo Jo” is what a lot of people might be cheering from the stands tonight. That is because young female Super Late Model driver Johanna Long put a whoopin’ on the boys during qualifying by taking fast time. She will line up the inside of row-two after the re-draw. To her right side will be Wayne Anderson’s #84. Remember, Anderson was not happy with Long after last night’s race so that could be an interesting row to watch. Matt Bowers, in his first night of competition in the Super Late Models at Speedweeks, will start the field from the pole. He will have cagy veteran David Rogers to his right when the Supers take the green for their 30-lap feature.
Sunday, 9:40pm ET - Lee Collins has won the Florida Modified feature.
After the restart, Collins jumped out ahead of the field and led them around the track until the checkered fla fell. Behind him, Robert Deal spun off turn two and was stopped backwards on the track as the entire field flew by him at speed. Thankfully no one hit him as they drove by. Jerry Symons finished second followed by Rodney Brooks.
The Super Late Model feature is next.
Sunday, 9:19pm ET - With just a couple laps remaining, the yellow flag has been displayed as three of the four leaders slowed or lost it on the track. Apparently there was fluid on the track, causing some slipping and sliding around the track.
Officials have decided to put all the drivers back to where they were before the fluids dumped on the track. Right now, the red flag is out to clean up the oil and find out who is leaking.
Sunday, 9:03pm ET - We are currently working the second caution since our last entry for a few incidents on the track. With 12 laps in the books, Lee Collins is still the leader.
Sunday, 8:55pm ET - The yellow is out on lap nine for Scott Bishop and David Hite going around in turn one. A few cars had to jam on the brakes to avoid the incident. Up front, Lee Collins still leads.
Last night, a lot of the delay with the Florida Modifieds were the racers not getting lined up in the right spot for the restarts. Hopefully that will go smoother tonight.
Sunday, 8:53pm ET - Good news. The Florida Modified racers made it past the first lap. In fact, we are at lap five and the green flag is still out. Up front, Lee Collins has the lead, followed by Jerry Symons.
Sunday, 8:51pm ET - GREEN FLAG: FLORIDA MODIFIED FEATURE
Sunday, 8:47pm ET - The Florida Mods have been a mess so far during Speedweeks. They lasted into turn-one during night-one before a massive pile-up brought out the yellow. On night two they didn’t even make it to the Green Flag before they were wrecking. Tonight, the IMCA-style mods hope to keep it green and not see as many caution lights blinking during their 25-lap main event. Lee Collins, Jr looks to repeat tonight but he will have his hands full as Jerry Symons has emerged as quite possibly is biggest challenger. The two drivers will duke it out from the front row tonight with Collins on the pole.
Sunday, 8:42pm ET - AJ Currelli has won the Late Model feature.
On the restart, Currelli jumped to the outside of Jessica Murphy, driving around her for the lead. She tried to rebound, but Currelli drove to the low side, cutting off her line, sending him to victory. Murphy held on for second, followed by Justin Larson and Alan Bruns.
We will have the full results, sound from the winner and a victory lane photo at the end of the night.
Up next is the Florida Modifieds.
Sunday, 8:38pm ET - Austin Pickens brought out the yellow flag with a spin on the backstretch with just six laps remaining. Jessica Murphy leads AJ Currelli.
Sunday, 8:36pm ET - Jessica Murphy made the move to the lead past her teammate Justin Larson at lap 11. Larson tried to hold second, but AJ Carelli worked his way by and is trying to chase down Murphy for the top spot.
Sunday, 8:33pm ET - Justin Larson still leads Jessica Murphy with nine laps completed. Murphy has been right on the back bumper of Larson for the last few laps. Will team orders play into anything here since Larson is driving her backup?
Sunday, 8:30pm ET - We called it. Just a lap after the restart, Justin Larson and Austin Pickens, racing side by side, both lost it coming off turn two. Pickens went around while Larson continued. Now it will be Larson and his teammate Jessica Murphy starting up front.
Sunday, 8:25pm ET - Last night, Drew Brannon was thrown to the back of the field after officials had to restart the race for him and the other front-row starter botching the start of the race twice. Tonight, his bad luck continued as he appeared to get loose (or have help) in turn three while running second, spinning in front of the field down the front stretch. Also collected in the incident was Sam Watts and J.R. McMichael.
The new front row will be Justin Larson and Austin Pickens when they go back to green. Jessica Murphy is third, so it should be an interesting restart (since Pickens and Murphy had the post-checkered incident yesterday.
Sunday, 8:17pm ET - GREEN FLAG: LATE MODEL FEATURE - Justin Larson and Drew Brannon lead them out of turn four and to the flagstand to start tonight's feature races.
Sunday, 8:12pm ET - Last night’s Late Model event was a barn-burner for all the fans in attendance. Jessica Murphy took a win that will go down in history, having to have her car towed into victory lane for pictures. “I guess he didn’t want to be beat by a girl,” Murphy said about wrecking with Austin Pickens across the finish line. Drew Brannon, who won night-one, is poised to rebound and challenge after a tough night-two. Brannon starts the 25-lapper on the outside of the front row alongside pole-sitter Justin Larson. Larson is driving a #26x, a back-up car of last night’s winner Murphy.
Sunday, 8:07pm ET - Ben Fritz won the third Winged Sprint heat race. He was followed by Joey Aguilar and Steve Heisler.
The Late Model feature is next.
Sunday, 7:58pm ET - From the eighth starting spot, Troy DeCaire raced to the front and won the second heat race for the Winged Sprints. Bobby Rose and Shane Butler were second and third.
Heat race number three is next.
Sunday, 7:47pm ET - Mark Gimmler has won the first of the three heat races for the Winged Sprints. He was followed by Dave Steele and Blaze Martin.
The second heat race is next.
Sunday, 7:30pm ET - The National Anthems have been sung, so we are about ready to fire it up and get the action going tonight. First up is three heat races for the Winged Sprints. There are 28 cars here, and we understand they will start everyone that arrived here today in the feature later tonight.
Sunday, 7:22pm ET - While the SPEED cameras have been here shooting pieces featuring Short Track action at Smyrna Speedweeks, other tv-media is here as well. A new local-television program, called “Lights, Camera, Traction,” is here shooting. The show will feature Short Track racing from the Florida region. They are getting general shots as well as doing interviews with Florida Super Late Model stars Jeremy Colangelo and Tim Russell. "Lights, Camera, Traction" debuts on February 15th on the Brighhouse Network (in the Orlando and Tampa markets) and will be a weekly show.
Sunday, 7:10pm ET - There has been a ton of buzz here at the track on just about everything going on during Speedweeks 2009, but one of the biggest things being discussed from the drivers to the teams, officials, fans and even the local vendors is SPEED TV's visit to the track. Reporter Bob Dillner and producer Sara Jane Hunt showed up to New Smyrna Speedway on Friday to record a feature that was played on SPEED TV during Saturday afternoon's NASCAR coverage at Daytona International Speedway. All day today everyone has been talking about the feature, saying how much they appreciated SPEED TV making the trip down the road from the big track to show some love for the short track world.
Dillner, co-owner of Speed51.com with his brother Matthew, said they will be back on Tuesday for another piece.
Sunday, 6:40pm ET - Doug Elliott has one of the most unique schemes in the Super Late Model division. It’s a black car with a “Punisher” paint scheme. Funny thing is, Elliott didn’t even know what the Punisher was. “The guy that letters my car asked if he could do something from a comic book,” said Elliott. “When I saw it, I didn’t even know what it was.” He admits, the car gets a lot of looks though.
Sunday, 6:30pm ET - Most people at New Smyrna wouldn’t know the man who we just saw in the parking lot here at Smyrna. Being Short Track enthusiasts, we know Allen E. Brown very well. He is the man behind the National Speedway Directory. Brown is in town to see racing at Volusia and Smyrna as well as attend a promoters meeting. His book “America’s Speedways: Past and Present” is a favorite of Speed51.com.
Sunday, 6:20pm ET - Justin Larson’s rig has just pulled off State Road-44 and into New Smyrna Speedway. Look for the young Florida driver to compete later this week, leading up to the Pete Orr Memorial race on the final night of action.
Sunday, 5:00pm ET - We are going to take a break from the computer, head on over to Pub 44 once again for some great food and be back for the start of tonight's action, just before 7:30pm.
Sunday, 4:58pm ET - 16-year-old Johanna Long has set fast time in the Super Late Model qualifying session.
Super Late Model Qualifying Results
7#05Jeremy Colangelo17.804 11#23Rusty Ebersole18.234 15#7xPerry Lovelady18.993 17#112Stephen Weaver 19.167
Sunday, 4:30pm ET - Away from New Smyrna Speedway, many fans, family and sponsors are watching Trackside Now for live updates on what happens here, but at the track, there are drivers and crew members watching as well. One driver that has been trying to enjoy the coverage is Florida Modified driver Robert Deal. Unfortunately, Deal has been a bit frustrated. It seems that on the first night of racing action, we mentioned the #15 of Tank Tucker instead of Deal's #15X in our Trackside Now coverage.
We apologize for the error and thank Deal for paying attention to our coverage here at the track. We have a few Speed51.com stickers that we will try to deliver to him in the pits. Hopefully he will run them on his Modified after our oops.
Sunday, 4:25pm ET - Practice has concluded here at New Smyrna. Next up is Super Late Model qualifying. The other divisions will line up by points, except the Winged Sprints, which will run heat races.
Sunday, 3:25pm ET - Car owner Joe Brady is an “old school” type of guy and we like that at Speed51.com. Brady had his #00, driven by Ted Christopher, on a flatbed this morning. Inquisitively, we asked why? Brady pointed to the scales that the car was on and said “That’s my surface plate” An interesting platform the scale the car while not getting the crew dirty.
Sunday, 3:10pm ET - Sam Watts told Speed51.com that he plans on running some CRA Super Series South shows in 2009 as well as select PASS South events. The young driver also plans to run a Limited Late Model at New Smyrna Speedway.
Sunday, 3:00pm ET - Modified veteran Ken Bouchard is with Ryan Preece’s team helping them throughout Speedweeks.
Sunday, 2:50pm ET - The Billy “Bear” Calicchio owned #14 still sits on the jackstands in the pit area. Bear says they will put a new engine in the car after blowing theirs in practice. He is in no rush though. “I’m waiting for the calvary,” said Bear, who is waiting for his crew guys to arrive and help with the swap.
Sunday, 2:40pm ET - JR Bertuccio needs some new Nike’s. He’s been running back and forth between his Kawasaki green #2 Tour-type Modified and the Yankee Chuck Garage Sale Special #00 Florida Mod. Bertuccio’s team has the valve covers off and are trying to remedy an engine problem.
Sunday, 2:30pm ET - Dick Anderson’s car has been at Smyrna all weekend but it hasn’t hit the track. Matt Bowers is tabbed as his driver for now. Bowers will take to the track for the next few nights in his own #84X Super Late Model. Dick told Speed51 that Bowers didn’t have enough funds to run all of the nights so they will run Bower’s car first and then most likely Dick’s legendary #92 the final few nights. Anderson told us that Cale Gale was supposed to run his car, but he is not sure if that deal is a go. One thing is for certain; right now Dick is not 100-percent certain who will be in the car come the end of the week. For now it sits under a tarped-in tent in the infield.
When asked why he doesn’t hop in the car, Anderson replied, “I’m going to lose a little weight and am looking to get back in a car later this year, maybe in August.”
Sunday, 2:18pm ET - Virginia's AJ Winstead spun on the front stretch during practice. Tank Tucker couldn't get slowed down in time and shellacked Winstead's #99. Both cars are heavily damaged but the drivers are all ok.
Sunday, 2:10pm ET - Sean Fitmaurice blew an engine during the first Mod practice session. The “Bear” Calicchio Shark Lounge #14 is on jackstands in the pit area and nobody is working on it. Looks like their Speedweeks could be finished. We will follow up on it soon.
Sunday, 1:50pm ET - Michael Pilla has his beautiful white, yellow red and black number-four car on the track for the first time.
Sunday, 1:45pm ET - Some drivers like to speak their minds. Some like to speak their minds but choose not to attach their names to the quote. One very personable driver this morning told Speed51.com what he really feels about a driver racing in his division.
“I am here to race and race for a living. If you are here to be on vacation… go to Disney World,” said the anonymous driver.
Regardless of who said it, it’s a classic quote.
Sunday, 1:30pm ET - While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may have more laps at Smyrna over the last month, the real “Sprint Cars” have arrived. The Winged Sprints are unloaded and ready for action tonight. If you haven’t seen an asphalt Sprint Car race at New Smyrna, well, there is only one way to describe it: “Bad fast.”
Sunday, 1:15pm ET - A new entrant into the Tour Type Mods has hit the track today. The Art Barry owned #21 is here with driver Richard Savary. Art has been at the track helping some teams that run SPAFCO chassis (the chassis he builds).
[Correction: Richard Savary has purchased that car from Art Barry and owns it now.]
Sunday, 1:00pm ET - The Rubber on the Road seems to be helping the racing out here at New Smyrna Speedway. An outside groove has developed and at times it has been the preferred groove. Some have wondered why it is so. The track didn’t put down the sticky stuff on the top to create a high groove, rather some of the “big time” racecars helped provide it.
“I think the Cup cars have worn out the inside groove,” said Florida Super Late Model driver Tim Russell.
NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have had New Smyrna Speedway a very busy place in the weeks leading up to Speedweeks. Teams have used the ½ mile facility for pre-season testing.
“The Cup cars have made the inside groove real tight,” explained Smyrna veteran David Rogers. “They put all of the Goodyear rubber down in the turns and we run Hoosiers. Because it is so tight down there, everyone has found the outside groove. I like it because it makes for good racing. In the past if you slipped up a bit you would be in the wall. Now you have room to slip up and room to race.”
Sunday, 12:50pm ET - After last nights Super Late Model race Wayne Anderson was not a happy camper. He walked across the pit area and let former Super Late Model driver Freddy Query know that he didn't appreciate the way his driver, Johanna Long, raced him.
Anderson has been struggling with a tight racecar for the first two days of Speedweeks. He will roll out the car he won The Governors Cup with.
Sunday, 12:40pm ET - Walking through the pits, we saw roughly a dozen or so Winged Sprint Cars for tonight’s 30 lap feature. The speed of these cars will rival all the other classes. We’ll have more later today.
We caught up with David Rogers, who has finished second to Jeff Choquette both nights in the Super Late Model division. We asked him what it was going to take to beat Choquette. "I need to kill this person," he said, as he pointed to Dennis Reno Jr. He was joking of course. Reno is the owner of Extreme Shocks and Choquette is one of his best customers. Rogers also went on to say he was having trouble getting the car fast in the feature. Qualifying hasn't been a problem as he has had the fastest times each day.
Elsewhere in the pit area, the damage to Johanna Long’s Super Late Model after last night’s cut tire was not as severe. She, along with here father Donald Long, were joking with Choquette about how good he has been done here the last two days.
Ryan Preece has returned with his Tour-Type Modified after having heavy damage from a night-one crash. The crew members said they worked pretty much all day yesterday and even late into the night. The car is ready to race, even without number decals, which will be added later today.
Jason Hogan has been hopping around the pit area, helping out a Late Model team, but he also plans to drive. Hogan will run his Super Late Model on Thursday during the 50 lapper. He was unloading today to work on the car and perhaps even test.
Last night we made history here at New Smyrna Speedway as Jessica Murphy became the first female to win a Late Model race during Speedweeks. This information comes from her crew, who also feel she is the first female to win any event of any kind here during Speedweeks. She also was the first driver, but probably not the last, to come to victory lane with a wrecked car. The crew was working on her Late Model this morning and said the damage looked worse then it was.
Sunday, 12:30pm ET - So, what is it like driving around the New Smyrna Speedway? Jump on board with Crate Late Model driver Austin Kirkpatrick. click here (video)
Sunday, 12:21pm ET - Late Models have now taken to the track to start the practice sessions.
Sunday, 12:00pm ET - Practice is scheduled to begin now, but so far during Speedweeks, practice hasn't started on time. There are cars on pit road, so we should be just moments away from the practice sessions starting.
Sunday, 11:50am ET - Even though the Tour-Type Modifieds, Crate Late Models and SK Modifieds are not racing tonight, they still have time slotted in the practice sessions for them to get track time today. The SKs and the Tour-Types will share track time.
Sunday, 11:45am ET - Today, there are four divisions racing: Late Models, Florida Modifieds, Super Late Models and the debut of the Winged Sprints for Speedweeks 2009. Here is today's schedule and a link to a PDF of every day's schedule for you to view, download and print.
9:00am - Gates Open / Tech Open
10:00am - SK/Tour-Type Mod Tech Open & Tire Room Open
10:30am - Fuel Open
12:00am - Practice begins (rotating divisions until 2:45pm, Sprints get track from 2:50pm - 4:15pm)
4:30pm - Qualifying (SLM)
6:15pm - Driver's Meeting
7:20pm - Opening Ceremonies (Invocation and National Anthems)
7:30pm - Heat Races - Sprints
Feature Races: Late Models (25 laps) FL/IMCA Mods (25 laps) Super Late Models (30 laps) Winged Sprints (30 laps)
Sunday, 11:40am ET - Make sure to read the Trackside Now here and at the same time, jump over to the Speed51.com Speedweeks discussion forum at MotorsportsLounge.com to comment about our coverage and the action here at New Smyrna.
Sunday, 11:30am ET - Good morning from New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Florida, for the third day of racing action at the 43rd Annual World Series of Short Track Racing. Last night went a little better for some divisions over the first night while others still had trouble getting around the track. Hopefully tonight will just be some good, hard racing.