Anderson Beats And Bangs Way To Second Place Finish
It was a pretty easy ride for Long, who stuck his number 10 to the bottom of the track, but it wasn't as easy for his competitors racing further back in the field.
"We just got lucky with the inversion," said Long, who qualified 10th but started first due to the inversion. "We got to get out front early and stayed there. That was key because I could just stick to the bottom of the racetrack. This is a very tough place to pass in these short races."
It didn't look like opening night for the Super Late's. Beating and banging to gain positions on the tight half-mile was the norm and a key to moving through the field.
If the opening night of the World Series of Asphalt was any indication, it may be a good thing to start up front. Thanks to the tricky inversion, Donald Long started on the pole and led the entire 30 laps in Super Late Model competition at New Smyrna Speedway.
Needless to say, there will be a lot of work being done overnight to get the cars ready for Saturday night's action.
Wayne Anderson and last year's "Speedweeks" SLM champ Junior Hanley were the cars on the move through most of the race. Anderson, who started eighth after timing in third, was nearly to the front of the field when he hooked fenders with James Powell and made a spectacular save. That allowed Hanley, the night's quick qualifier, to move in front of Anderson for a short period.
After a restart, Hanley got into the back of the 26 of Jeff Emery. That forced Hanley to check up and get slammed by Anderson. The Canadian Late Model veteran spun and had to restart at the rear of the field. That proved costly for Hanley, who finished outside the top 10.
Donald Long was the big winner on the first night of action for the World Series of Asphalt in Florida.
"It almost made me look like I am some sort of dirty driver, but I am not," explained Anderson. "Junior had someone brake check him and I just tapped him and turned him around. I went over there and told him I didn't want him to think I did that on purpose," explained Anderson. "He knew he got into the car in front of him and it was just a chain reaction. I just wanted him to hear I didn't mean to do it from me personally."
"I had a good race car, I just got in a couple of different little tussles with people as the race went on that really hurt our chances of winning," said Anderson, who won the Pete Orr Memorial last week at New Smyrna. ""We got some body work to do, but it is a good way to start
the week here. There are going to be some very tough cars here before this week is over. I know Junior will be one of those guys tough to handle later this week."
Hanley looked at the accident bump in the same light as Anderson told it.
"Yeah, it was just one of them deals I guess."
It was a bittersweet win for Long, who suffered through a horrible 2002 Speedweeks in Smyrna.
"We got out here late last year and backed our car in the wall while qualifying the night we got here. So we wanted to get down here early this year and get the full week's experience. This is a good way to start that week's experience off."
Freddy Query's #8 was another car on the move in the Super Late Model feature, but an incident with Louie Mechalidis ended his night early.
Former ASA driver Jack Landis started the feature in the fourth spot, but fell back quickly and wasn't much a factor for the rest of the evening.
SSS star Scott Hantz is in New Smyrna for Speedweeks. Hantz finished seventh on opening night.
Mike Murphy won the opening night of Limited Late Model action, with Kerry Crites and Tim Russel rounding out the top three.
Randy Dye and AJ Curali were running 1-2 in the late stages of the Limited LM race before brief contact between the two sent them both to the back of the field with just laps remaining.
Joey Miller is on hand, running in the Limited Late Model class with help from new crew chief Bond Suss. Miller was involved in two incidents during the feature and finished near the back of the field.
Former ASAer and Florida standout Jason Boyd started the Limited Late Model feature from the pole, but was never a factor after experiencing mechanical trouble early in the race. Boyd won the Limited Late Model Speedweeks Title last year.
Junior Hanley's car showed some of the ill effects of his run in with Wayne Anderson.