In spite of numerous cautions and three red flags, it was David Rogers who took the checkered and won the Orange Blossom 100 at Orlando SpeedWorld.
Twenty three cars qualified with Rogers setting fast time with a 13.648 followed by Sam Watts with a 13.668, Justin Larson 13.673. Ben Kennedy 13.692 and Joe Winchell 13.720. David Green was the only car who failed to qualify as he hit the turn 1 wall hard in Justin Drawdy's No. 12 Super Late. Rogers pulled a 7 for the pill draw putting Tim Russell on the pole es thand Marty Pierce on the outside pole.
Russell, who became a first time dad on Tuesday, took the point on the green followed by Pierce, Winchell, Larson and Rogers. But it was a very short green as the first of many cautinos came out for Dusty Cornelius and Chuck Green who had gotten together in turn 4.
Mark Adams was the second driver who brought out the caution as he hit the turns 3 and 4 wall and took his machine into the pits, done for the night. Russell would take the inside, Winchell would take the outside for each restart as Russell quickly took the point over Winchell.
By lap 20, Larson had put the heat on Winchell and taken over second as Winchell went to third followed by Rogers and Pierce. With 41 laps in, Russell continued to lead the way as Winchell took back second followed by Rogers, Larson and Pierce. Winchell put the heat on Russell first taking the inside then the outside and eventually took the lead as Russell now had to settle for second.
The halfway point saw 18 cars left in the field as Winchell was the leader and Russell was second followed by Rogers, Larson and Jared Allison.
The first red flag of the race was thrown as Sam Watts and Jason Vail got together on the backstretch with Watts's car sitting on top of Vail's car. Watts was obviously not happy at this point as the safety crew went to work getting the two cars apart. Both drivers were fine, just not very happy. Watts's car was pushed off the track and Vail was able to drive his #407 into the pits for crew attention. Both Vail and Watts were able to rejoin the field for the restart, just in the rear.
With 40 laps remaining, Winchell took the inside, Russell took the outside for the restart. It is now Winchell, Russell, Rogers, Larson, Allison, Dick Anderson, Finney, and Kennedy leading the way. Rogers puts the heat on Russell and takes over second as the caution comes out for debris on the track.
It is Winchell on the inside, Rogers on the outside as Winchell leads but not for long as Rogers takes over the point, the third leader of the night. Jimmy Crowe brings out the caution as he spins in turn 2 and joins the field in the rear for the restart.
Now it is Rogers on the inside, Winchell on the outside for the restart as Rogers takes the point over Winchell, Larson and Russell who are going side-by-side for third, Finney and Allison. Crowe hits the turn 4 wall hard as Vail spins avoiding Crowe and takes a wild ride. The race is once again red flagged for track clean-up.
With twenty five laps left, and three lead changes in those 75 laps, it is Rogers on the point followed by Winchell, Larson, Russell, Finney, Allison, Anderson, Kennedy and Watts. Allison takes over fifth with Anderson on his coat tail for sixth. Sam Watts brings out the caution on lap 89 and is black flagged due to the fact that that is his third caution and he is out of the race. He goes into the pits but not very happy about it all.
Ten laps to go and they must be green flag laps as Rogers takes the lead over Larson, Winchell, Russell and Pierce. Jared Allison spins in turn 4 bringing out the caution and rejoins the field in the rear for the restart.
Only one lap later, the red flag comes out again as Larson spins in turns 1 and 2 causing a massive pile-up involving Finney, Kennedy, Russell, Tom Root, and Don Keithly. Larson spun his tires on the restart causing the mass pile-up. All the cars go in except for the #75 and #1 who are tangled together. A few of the cars do make it back for the restart and the last nine laps of the race.
With Rogers on the inside and Winchell on the outside, Rogers once again takes the point over Winchell, Anderson, Pierce, Allison and Finney. All the sudden you see the #92 of Anderson taking a wild ride in the grass as he and Winchell have gotten together fighting for postion. It is obvious that Anderson is not happy with Winchell but rejoins the field in the rear for the restart.
With no more cautions and eight cars left in the field, Rogers takes the point and looks to be a shoe-in for the win. Winchell challenges Rogers but Rogers has nothing to do with it and maintains the point as he crosses the checkered and wins the Orange Blossom 100.
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ORANGE BLOSSOM 100
1. #11 David Rogers (7)
2. #64 Joe Winchell (3)
3. #75x Marty Pierce (2)
4. #92 Dick Anderson (11)
5. #18 Jared Allison (8)
6. #80 Brian Finney (9)
7. #1 Tom Root (16)
8. #13 Frank Alberson (19)
9. #68 Russ Shaw (20)
10. #88 Justin Larson (5)
11. #36 Tim Russell (1)
12. #96 Ben Kennedy (4)
13. #75 Don Keithley (17)
14. #12 Scott McKinley (23)
15. #73 Sam Watts (6)
16. #13 Bob Greene (22)
17. #407 Jason Vail (21)
18. #89 Jimmy Crowe Jr (13)
19. #112 Steve Weaver (14)
20. #22 Dusty Cornelius (10)
21. #7 Dillon Jackson (15)
22. #17 Robert Jenkins (18)
23. #28 Mark Adams (12)
DNS #12x David Green