NEW SMYRNA, Fla. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Recap by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Crooks Racing photo –
After persistent rainstorms cancelled the action at the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing on Tuesday night, the skies were clear and the stars were shining upon Super Late Model driver Zane Smith after his first-career win in the division during Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway.
Smith, who has limited experience in the Super Late Models (running just five Pro All Star Series (PASS) races last season), captured the win after holding back late race surges from former World Series victor Ryan Moore and night one winner Harrison Burton.
Hailing from Scarborough, Maine, Moore captured the second position after benefiting from a few mistakes and wrecks from other contenders within the top five.
But, despite it being his best finish this week, Moore was upset with the respect level on the racetrack.
“It has been a crazy few nights,” Moore told FansChoice.tv following the race. “There are just a lot of people that are not racing that smart. We would have a few cars going into the turn and (other drivers) just don’t care about wadding them up. And just not a lot of respect. It is just disappointing how everyone races in these particular Speedweeks.”
While he was not able to garner his second win in the World Series, Burton, the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor Jeff Burton, notched another solid run and inched closer to the overall World Series championship in the Super Late Models.
Burton, however, took a different look on how the respect level has been on the racetrack, using a famous adage to describe the competition’s actions.
“Rubbing is racing,” Burton said. “We had a good time. I just go a little free off (the corner) there and couldn’t hold it straight. But it was a good race; I had a lot of fun.”
Wolcott, Connecticut native Joey Mucciacciaro finished in the fourth position with last year’s World Series overall SLM runner-up, Stephen Nasse, rounding out the top five.
There were five cautions during the 35 lap feature event, including a few hard crashes that resulted in torn up race cars for multiple competitors.
Josh Collins, a rookie in the Super Late Models this season, drew the opening caution on Lap 6 after spinning down the backstretch and just narrowly missing the wall.
After the field reset, Smith jumped on the gas pedal and powered past polesitter Bobby Wilberg and opened up a substantial gap before the next caution flag flew on Lap 12 when Brandon Oakley’s machine nosed into the inside wall on the frontstretch.
Like the previous restart, Smith stood on the gas and extended his lead above the field until the third caution hindered his progress – this time Gary Passer had looped around on Lap 18.
With it being a quick caution, since Passer suffered little damage, the cars got back to racing with few pace laps and again, like the last two restarts, Smith was the dominant machine.
Unlike the first three cautions, this time we got a long green flag stretch going, racing around nine circuits before Wilberg drilled the outside wall after something broke on his race car.
Then the big one broke out.
A restart with eight laps remaining sparked a crash when Smith got into Brad May’s quarter panel, sending him wrecking and collecting up NASCAR K&N Pro Series driver Rico Abreu, veteran David Rogers and Denver Foran.
But once the carnage was cleaned up, it was Smith who took the lead and never looked back until the checkered flag waved.
Former NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Steve Wallace, who is also the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace, won the second twin Super Late Model race, beating out Ryan Moore and Garrett Jones after a controversial race.
“I did everything I could to pretty much finish the race,” Wallace explained. “We came out with a win and some great points for us. It’s an awesome feeling, I’m really excited.”
Super Late Model drivers now return to action on Thursday night as the championship battle draws closer to Friday’s concluding act.
RESULTS: First Super Late Model Feature; New Smyrna Speedway; February 19, 2015
- Zane Smith
- Ryan Moore
- Harrison Burton
- Joey Mucciacciaro
- Stephen Nasse
- Steve Wallace
- Garrett Jones
- Gus Dean
- Natalie Decker
- Paul Shafer Jr.
- David Rogers
- Austin Nason
- Ty Majeski
- Bobby Pierce
- Hunter Robbins
- Denver Foran
- Derek Kraus
- Rico Abreu
- Josh Collins
- Claire Decker
- Martin Latulippe
- Alex Labbe
- Bobby Wilberg
- Brad May
- Brandon Brock
- Spencer Davis
- Russell Shaw
- Drew Brannon
- Gary Passer
- Brandon Oakley
- Derek Griffith
- David Green
- David Garbo Jr.
- Steve Weaver