New Smyrna 4/5/14


New Smyrna Speedway was the place to be Saturday night for some outstanding
racing as the NASCAR Whelan All American Series continued for 2014 featuring
100 laps for the Super Late Models as leg number two of the 2014 Bright House
Twenty-five Super Late Model cars went through afternoon tech inspection, but
before time trials could be held, three top teams already had their cars in
the trailer after suffering mechanical woes in practice. All Wayne Anderson,
Daniel Keene, Jr. and Kevin Dicks could do was sit back and watch the action
as the 22 remaining drivers hit the track for qualifying.
Defending Bright House champion Travis Cope of Weeki Wachee was first out to
take time and he set the standard at 17.333 seconds that no one would be able
to touch. T. J. Duke was the closest at 17.413 followed by a 17.459 second
lap for Rich Clouser. David Rogers, Brad May and Daniel Webster rounded out
the top six qualifiers. Cope’s luck was not so good when it came to the
inversion pill draw as he pulled a ten to invert the top five rows for the
start of the century grind placing tenth fastest qualifier Jesse Dutilly on
the pole and Stephen Nasse on the outside pole after an uncharacteristically
slow time trial lap for the young driver out of Pinellas Park that would
ultimately work in his favor.
The initial start nearly spelled disaster. Third-starting Joe Boyd, winner of
the season-opening Bright House Challenge race at DeSoto Speedway in
Bradenton, had his machine fail to come up to speed as the green flag fell,
stacking up the field behind him. Only some great driving and nifty moves
prevented a major catastrophe from taking place. A second try at getting the
event going saw George Gorham, Jr. get turned around in turn four to negate
the start again. The third try was the charm and it was Nasse moving out to a
quick early lead with Dutilly in tow as the olny car that seemed to be able to
match the speed of Nasse’s fleet #51. Late arrival Derrick Wood, who started
scratch on the field, was black-flagged during lap five for a smoking engine
and the first caution flag of the race flew a pair of laps later as Matt
Montineri spun on the front stretch.
Nasse continued to set the pace but the yellow was back out again for a
another front stretch spin, this time by Michael Atwell. Following the
restart, Joe Boyd slipped by Dutilly into second place while Nasses simply
drove away and hid as the race ran all the way to the halfway point under
green. At lap 50, Nasses led Boyd, Dutilly, May, Webster, Rogers, Cope, Tim
Russell, Anthony Sergi and Clouser only to see the race’s third caution on lap
51. Gorham and Atwell tangled right in front of the lead cars in turn four.
Anthony Cataldi, who had gone high to let the leaders put him a lap down,
didn’t see the stalled machine of Atwell and hit Atwell’s car. Although
Atwell took a hard shot, he was able to drive away, pit, and make repairs but
Cataldi was not so fortunate as he took a ride back to his pit stall on the
Just as the field was getting ready for the restart, third-running Dutilly
slowed abruptly keeping the caution light on as he pitted with a deflating
right front tire. As the field took the green to get back underway, Brad May
took over the second spot.
From this point there was little doubt that Nasse had the car to beat as he
was simply glued to the track leaving the rest of the field in his wake. At
this point some of the wildest action seen here in some time took place well
behind the leader as cars throughout the top fifteen positions continually
swapped places. After the race ended, one veteran track official said “I
never saw so many wrecks that didn’t happen.” Things came to a head on lap 61
as Travis Cope, who had never really been able to show the raw speed he had in
qualifying, tried to pinch his car down to low in turn three to make a pass
and spun out. On the ensuing restart David Rogers, now running third, did not
have his car come up to speed setting up an “accordion effect” behind him that
eventually saw Anthony Sergi in the turn one wall and out for the night.
The exact same thing happened to Rogers on the next attempt to restart the
race. This time everybody was able to avoid any altercations but Rogers
slipped back to fifth in the running order before he could get his car up to
speed. The remainder of the race ran under green all the way to the checker.
Tim Russell moved his car to second on lap 76 but had nothing for the fleet
Nasse while Cope dropped from the running on lap 79 and was scored 17th in the
final run-down.
Nasse went on to lead all 100 laps to score a popular victory follwed by
Russell, Daniel Webster, Joe Boyd and T. J. Duke who saved his car for a late
run to the front. Rounding out the top ten were Rogers, May, Atwell, Clouser
and Dutilly.
Donny Williams led the opening four laps of the Sportsman feature but
following a lap four double spin by the cars of Justin Starr and Richard
Goodrich, lost the top spot on the restart to a high-flying George Gorham, Jr.
Gorham looked to have the race in hand but Starr spun again in turn two with
two laps left in the race to bring out a final yellow flag. Gorham’s car
balked on the restart and left the door open for Osteen driver Chris Brannon
who took over and led the rest of the way to score the victory. Gorham held
on for second trailed by Garrett Hill, Derrick Wood and Timmy Todd, Jr.
The Mini Stock feature was another barn-burner from green to checker as the
whole field swapped paint and positions keeping the nice crowd entertained.
Pat Wells led the first nine laps but could not hold back a hard-charging
Jamie Dixson who took over and held the point until the only caution of the
race flew on lap 17 for a Jason Reynolds spin. When the green flag flew,
Wells jumped back to the front again and was never headed as the remaining
drivers behind him put on an awesome show battling for second that ultimately
saw Dixson spin out during the white flag lap while trying to re-claim the
second spot. The win for Wells was a measure of revenge after losing by less
than the width of a bumper on opening night two weeks ago to David Russell.
This time it was Russell’s turn to settle for second while Tyler Simpson had a
great late run for third ahead of Mark Broat and Jeff White.
Diamond Jim Higginbotham led the first five laps of the E-Modified feature
before Jarrett Korpi took over to lead lap six. One lap later, Korpi’s car
came out of gear coming by the flag stand. As the cars slowed behind him,
rookie contender Matthew Green, making his first E-Modified start here in a
car sponsored by former track champion Alan Bruns, ran over the back of Roger
Benton’s car. Green’s car sailed high in the air but came down with no
apparent damage while Benton slid backwards into the inside wall. Benton
pitted to repair damage and returned to the fray. Meanwhile, Korpi’s crew
finally got his car back into gear on pit road but he returned to action just
as the race restarted and he was a half lap down.
Higginbotham was back in the lead and the veteran driver from Summerfield set
the pace through lap ten before Green motored by, his car seemingly much
faster after the earlier incident. The rest of the race ran to the finish
without a caution and Green motored off to score an easy win in his first
career E-Modified race here. All eyes were on Korpi as he managed to reel in
the rest of the field from his half-lap deficit although he ran out of laps
and had to settle for fourth behind Higginbotham and Benton. Art Kunzeman
took fifth place.
It was only a four car field for the Strictly Stock feature and the thing was
pretty much a ho-hum affair - at least until the final lap. Mark Shukwit ran
off to a huge lead and looked to be an easy winner. Most fans though Shukwit
was just “taking it easy” toward the end of the race and he was, actually
trying to keep his car going as the engine began to run rough under speed. By
the white flag lap, second-running Warren Howie, driving a four-door 1994
Chevy Caprice, caught Shukwit and passed for the lead heading into turn three.
Howie took the checker just ahead of Shukwit whose engine blew up just after
passing the flag stand. It was Howie’s first career victory and it was quite
a celebration afterward. Shukwit ended up second followed by Aaron Overman
and Dan Webb.
Next Saturday night the Sportsman drivers race 50 laps for $1,000 to win.
Also in action will be the E-Modifieds, Pro Late Models, Super Stocks and the
Strictly Stocks.



  1. Stephen Nasse, Pinellas Park #51
  2. Tim Russell, Apopka #36
  3. Daniel Webster, Brooksville #33
  4. Joe Boyd, Riverview #5
  5. T. J. Duke, Southwest Ranches #28
  6. David Rogers, Orlando #11
  7. Brad May, Orlando #10
  8. Michael Atwell, Naples #51X
  9. Rich Clouser, Deland #9
  10. Jesse Dutilly, Sarasota #30
  11. George Gorham, Jr., Lakeland #10G
  12. Matt Montineri, Orange Park #10M
  13. David Green, Ft. Pierce #12
  14. Jason Boyd, Orlando #15
  15. Ray Black, Jr., Jacksonville #19
  16. Jake Perkins, Ocala #59
  17. Travis Cope, Weeki Wachee #26
  18. Anthony Sergi, Geneva #20
  19. Anthony Cataldi, Umatilla #00
  20. Michael Lira, Port Orange #57
  21. Darryl Shelnut, Lake City #64
  22. Derrick Wood, Orlando #33W
    DNS - Daniel Keene, Jr., Weeki Wachee #5K
    DNS - Kevin Dicks, Ft. White #39
    DNS - Wayne Anderson, Wildwood #84


  1. Chris Brannon, Osteen #59
  2. George Gorham, Jr., Lakeland
  3. Garrett Hill, Orlando #95
  4. Derrick Wood, Orlando #33
  5. Timmy Todd, Kissimmee #25
  6. Donny Williams, Tangerine #111
  7. Richard Goodrich, New Smyrna #86
  8. Justin Starr, Orlando #27
  9. Dwight Farr, Jr., Lake Helen #88
  10. Mike Soukup, Deltona #45
    DNS - Collin Allman, Groveland #67


  1. Pat Wells, Altoona #23
  2. David Russell, Melbourne #31
  3. Tyler Simpson, New Smyrna #115
  4. Mark Broat, New Smyrna #6
  5. Jeff White, Eustis #15
  6. Brad Blanton, Tavares #14
  7. Reid Christensen, Daytona Beach #30
  8. Levi Hammond, Titusville #4
  9. Daniel Brown, Port Orange #89
  10. Jamie Dixson, Titusville #8
  11. Jason Reynolds, Edgewater #78


  1. Matthew Green, Orlando #44B
  2. Jim Higginbotham, Summerfield #76
  3. Roger Benton, Chuluota #14
  4. Jarrett Korpi, Deltona #112
  5. Art Kunzeman, Houston, TX #9
  6. Mike Dahm, Deltona #21
  7. George Dahm, Enterprise #90


  1. Warren Howie, Pompano Beach #16
  2. Mark Shukwit, Deltona #88
  3. Aaron Overman, Orlando #03
  4. Dan Webb, Port Orange #25

Victory lane photos of Stephen Nasse, Chris Brannon and Pat Wells courtesy Speed51…