Speed51 Story on Demise of FUPS

Scofield vs. Dorer Feud Ends with Disqualifications and the End of a Series…
On Track and Off-Track Problems Leads to FUPS Closing Doors

By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Steve Dorer said that Florida United Promoters Race Director Rick Williams is a friend, but he will never race for him again. Williams essentially assured that would happen Tuesday, as he announced that the FUPS Super Late Model tour has ceased operations following Saturday’s event at Auburndale Speedway.

This comes after one of the strangest set of events in recent short track racing memory. Williams was the race director calling the shots in the Billie Harvey Memorial 100 at Auburndale Speedway in Winter Haven, Florida this past Saturday. What everyone saw was mass confusion, poor sportsmanship, rough driving and some bizarre calls that left finger pointing in every direction.

The 100-lap race was already was more than two hours old after being littered with cautions, spins, and drivers being sent to the tail end of the field. The key players in this story didn’t meet met up on the race track until lap 89. Former FUPS champion Steve Dorer was to duke it out with race leader Jeff Scofield, who has had lots of previous success at the Super Late Model level in Florida.

Perhaps the worst thing that could have happened was that these two drivers, who already had a history, were left to settle things on what already had been a crazy night.

With three laps to go, Dorer used the bumper to get under Scofield. The next corner, Dorer got the front end of Scofield’s car. As a result of the contact, Dorer went around for a spin and both cars were sent to the back by Williams, or at least that was the plan.

Dorer didn’t like the call. When Speed51.com caught up with Dorer Tuesday, he stated that in the drivers meeting Saturday, Williams told drivers that if a driver was wrecked he would get his spot back. Dorer refused to give up his spot and set off a 15-minute chase, which involved golf carts and wreckers to block his path, to remove Dorer from the speedway.

“I did what we had asked the official and I moved him into the second groove and I went to the lead,” stated Dorer in a phone interview on Tuesday. “He did exactly what he talked about in the meeting in retaliation.”

Earlier in the day, Dorer and Scofield had gotten into a disagreement during the drivers meeting that left both drivers with boiling blood between the pair.

“It all started in the drivers meeting,” said Dorer. “We were talking about safety and rough driving on the race track. Jeff spoke up and said what do you call rough driving? We are on a quarter mile, what if I go in there and move a guy?”

This started a debate that turned heated in the eyes of some as drivers tried to clarify the rules.
“I brought it up because two years ago I moved Steve Dorer with three to go,” Scofield told Speed51.com Tuesday. “We went side-by-side in four and into turn one. After that race I got out in victory lane as the winner with the flag and they told me I was DQ’ed. I had not been back since then.”

According to Dorer, Williams said that if a driver wrecks a driver who did a bump-and-run, then they will be sent to the rear and the spun car would get its spot back. This is where the confusion started after Dorer had been spun out of the lead.

“The crowd was going nuts as they sent both of us to the rear,” said Dorer. “We had all had enough. I was like no, I played by your rules, I moved him into the second groove and now you want to go back on your word. I didn’t want to move him at all and now I got wrecked and I am going to the rear?”

Dorer refused to go to the rear of the field and refused to leave the track which then led to Williams calling an end to the race three laps short of its scheduled 100-lap distance. After all the shenanigans between Dorer and Scofield, Jessica Murphy found herself in the lead and was sent to victory lane when the race was called off at lap 97. Dorer was eventually disqualified for his actions.

As Murphy took her car that was damaged to victory lane, a decision was made to finish the race. Murphy’s car was not able to continue, but the race went on for its final three laps even after she had been initially declared its winner.

“He (Dorer) drove around the track and drove in circles,” said Scofield. “It took them 15 minutes to block him and get him off the track. I figured we were done and I got out of my car only to find out we would finish the final three laps.”

According to several reports, Williams left the tower stating the race was over. Rex Guy, who owns and operates Auburndale Speedway, was not ready for the fans to go home without seeing the end of the race’s 100-lap scheduled distance.

The race was restarted only to see more craziness and to see Scofield getting disqualified on the final lap for spinning Brandon Dushcherer.

“I’ll take partial blame for the wreck at the end,” added Scofield. “I told that to him (Brandon Dushcherer) too, but that’s racing at Auburndale.”

Scofield actually got into Duscherer twice during the closing laps and was disqualified for his second offense. Scofield was the third driver to be parked that night as David Green was also penalized early in the race.
Some reports claimed that Scofield almost hit an official on the track after the race, which was a surprise to even him.

“When I came around to get the checkered flag I got the black flag,” said Scofield. “At that point I got pissed off and stood on the gas and went sideway through the corners. When I came off two there was a car on the track and a car in the X. If I did drive by an official I was totally unaware of it. There was never anybody that I saw. I am pretty good at my targets. If I aim at something I am going to hit it.”

After the conclusion of the 100-lap race the finger pointing began.

“The director had no control,” said Dorer. “There had been no policing up front all night and that was a key problem with the series.”

Dorer has worked closely with the series and was seeking to help them succeed, but he cited recent events such as this one as the reason for a dwindling car count and lack of control from the series.

“Rex and Rick argued about the last three laps, I am not sure,” added Scofield. “The series was pretty much done anyways. As for me and Dorer, that thing goes way back. He’s just a moron to me. That’s my opinion.”

Scofield says he won’t be back to Auburndale.

As a result of the on-track incident, Dorer chimed in with his opinion of Scofield as well.

“Jeff Scofield is a talented driver, but he chooses to not use his ability on level playing field at times,” said Dorer. “I think he puts a black eye on racing in Florida.”

Lost in all the shuffle was Bruce Bennett, who was left holding the checkered flag at the end of the night in a race that was not deemed official until Monday. Jessica Murphy would have been the leader at the time of the restart, but could not continue after her car had mechanical problems after lap 97.

“I am very disappointed,” said Williams on Tuesday. “Disappointed drivers can’t act more professional? I am not sure if it’s egos or what. They all get into this mindset you are not going to beat me. Perhaps I should have sent both of them home after the drivers meeting, but they are grown men.”

It was a strange way for a series to go out, but Williams offered some final words for the future.

“Communication is the key to a series surviving in Florida,” added Williams. ?Track owners need to work together to let their egos aside to keep everyone in the mix. Success will not come without teamwork."

Dorer gave insight as to what is needed, but understands it’s a hard job.

“It’s easy to say I can do it when it comes to running a series,” added Dorer. ?Bottom line is, it’s not easy at all."

Rex Guy has told Speed51.com that even with the series folding Auburndale Speedway would still run the scheduled Late Model events this season at the Winter Haven, Florida track.

That just might be in the top five of the most bizarre races ever held.
And just my opinion, but Jessica Murphy should have been awarded the win.

She should have absolutely gotten credit for the win

But at the same time the race shouldnt have ever been called after 97 laps.It was scheduled for 100.RUN WHAT YOU ADVERTISE.If I go into a movie theater expecting a 90 minute movie and you show me 85 and announce its over Im going to be pissed when I leave.If I go to a baseball game and you play 8 innings because on the fly you decided not to play the final inning im going to be mad.RUN WHAT YOU ADVERTISE.Anything less is bait and switch.

Sounds like a typical night at Bowman Gray Stadium! A smart promoter would quickly schedule another super late race and pay Schofield and Dorer extra cash to show up. They’d be turning fans away as the grandstands would be packed!

I was at this race. Next month will mark 50 years of going to the race track for me, and this was the strangest race I have ever been to in my life. It was not a fun night.:frowning:

Get the film and make a tv comerical for the next show.
See 2 lame ass drivers kill 2 $50,000 cars before your very eyes!!
Stand back away from the fence.

Another real Late Model fan that tried to help has ben destroyed with this stupid acts of childs play.
Rick has been supporting racing for 30 years and you have run another good guy off.

It takes a special kind of a ass like me to put up with those few that make all the good guys look so bad

so sad
Your turn Jerry


No Don, nobody ran Rick off. He just wasn’t very good at series promoting. And after reading the above article, he wasn’t very good at decision making on race night either.
That " series " began a slow death over a year ago.
Running a series isn’t easy, especially in Florida. Some people are naturally good at it, some that aren’t complain about being run off.

I would suggest that it is two sides of the same coin, not an “either or” thing.

That is, we can… celebrate with the winners, and emphathise with those that have experienced less success and/or pain at all levels of racing.

[B][I]The first thing to run a successfull series is making sure that ‘‘the inmates do not run the nuthouse’’.

Secundo: Make sure the track promoters where you will go do not run your serie either.

Third: When you see or feel a problem or situation coming, fix it right away. If you do not, it will only escalate.

4th: Surround yourself with respected people.

5th: Always put the race fans 1st, he is your most important customer.


I disagree, Matt. I think Rick did a great job of promoting. He was able to attract a TON of good sponsorship and contingencies. Rick and FUPS downfall was the unfortunate perfect storm of Florida speedway turnover around 2013. Every track in the state changed hands except for NSS and Adale and with the changes FUPS, through one reason or another, lost all their other venues. The demise all centers around Rick having to succumb to Rex Guy’s micromanagement and the power he wielded over FUPS as the final track owner in the series. I can see why Rick decided to pull the plug after last Saturday’s debacle. The embarrassment of that event virtually assured that no other track would ever want to be a part of the clown circus that FUPS had degraded into. I’m sure it was Rex who demanded the event continue after FUPS declared Jessica Murphy the winner. That was probably the last straw for Rick. I wish Rick the best. In my short time with FUPS he was always gracious and easy to deal with from my point of view. Heck, I asked through this board for a Sportsman series and he was kind enough to make it happen. Unfortunately Rex’s meddling ruined that too. Rick was always pro racer and I appreciated that. I hope he lands on his feet. He is good for the sport.

I have, and intend to continue to be, supportive of the series promoter.

But it would be interesting to know what led to the decision to call the race at lap 97?

THAT call was outside of the on track shennanigans, and it appeared at the time to be motivated by either wanting J Murphy to win, or by becoming so frustrated with the event that hands were thrown up and the checker declared.

AND whether Rex is a good guy or no, why wasn’t he consulted before the call?

It was the icing on the cake for a rough evening, and now I feel cheated because I missed Schofied’s grande finale.

I’m sure Rick is a nice guy, i’m sure he thought he was doing a good job. But the facts are the facts. His car count went from okay to not good at all. He lost every track except for Auburndale and it’s not a mystery why. He had no show to offer. Tracks change hands all the time in this state, you talk to the new owners and get your series in there again if you’re any good at promoting. And if you have anything to offer. He wasn’t and didn’t.
Rick will go on just fine and i wish him luck. The FUPS ( what a dumb name for a series ) thing is over.

There was a show, but it dwindled away. Rex told me “I really run FUPS”. Not sure to what extent that was true but I’m sure it didn’t give all the other track owners a warm fuzzy feeling about FUPS. The sad reality of the whole deal is that unless NSS wants to expand the Brighthouse Challenge Series beyond NSS and Desoto then touring series are pretty much dead in FL. I don’t think anyone is likely to take the risk after the FUPS fiasco. You have the BH series between 2 tracks, 2 competing Truck series and nothing for Sportsman or OWM’s.

“Series” racing seems like something that people waste too much focus on in Florida anyhow. If the focus were on winning individual track titles the weekly attendance of cars at the race tracks goes up, which benefits everyone in the long run. If there were a ridiculous amount of cars showing up to every track every week then fine, throw a better paying touring series in. But the bottom line is series racing pulls fans and cars out of the weekly tracks. Florida needs to do some crawling and walking before taking off running.

You make a great point Luke. But for a lot of us, weekly racing is just too expensive of a proposition. The season is very long, tires are expensive and are good enough to win only for one race and weekly purses are just not that good. Touring allows you to race one a month for a good purse to offset the tire cost and still race for a championship. Some tours limit tire purchases also, which helps with costs. Since I left the FUPS Sportsman tour due to it being a wreckfest, I have gone back to traveling around to 50 lappers and other shows that fit into a neat schedule about once a month. That’s just what my budget allows. I don’t think that you are going to see an increase in weekly car counts with the three FUPS tours dead now. It’s a moot point anyway because tour racing in FL is pretty much dead now.

[QUOTE=andre;144420][B][I]The first thing to run a successfull series is making sure that ‘‘the inmates do not run the nuthouse’’.

Secundo: Make sure the track promoters where you will go do not run your serie either.

Third: When you see or feel a problem or situation coming, fix it right away. If you do not, it will only escalate.

4th: Surround yourself with respected people.

5th: Always put the race fans 1st, he is your most important customer


Great post
Yes those are the first rules. trying to get the tracks inline to build a real deal is almost imposible in Florida.