KORPI RACES TO E-MOD WIN ON WILD NIGHT AT NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY
There was plenty of crashing and controversy Saturday night at New Smyrna
Speedway as the track celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Night and Jarrett
Korpi celebrated his 11th win of the year after taking the checkered flag
first in the E-Modified 50-lap special event.
Korpi let all of his competitors know from the get-go that he would have the
car to beat as his lap of 19.330 seconds easily topped time trials. Matthew
Green was second quick at 19.583 seconds while Sean Bass was third quick with
a 19.635 lap.
Korpi drew a four for the inversion placing fourth-quick Junior Beckner on the
pole flanked by Bass with Green and Korpi in row two for the start. The first
ten laps produced some outstanding side-by-side racing as Beckner led the
first pair of circuits before Green took over to lead laps three and four.
Beckner came back to lead the fifth lap, then it was Green out front for three
more laps before Korpi took over and began to pull away.
The race ran nearly half distance before the first caution flew as Bass and
Justin Reynolds tangled in turn two on lap 23 after racing side-by-side for
several laps in crowd-pleasing fashion. Bass took a hard driver’s side hit
into the wall severely damaging his machine while Reynolds continued but at
the back of the restart line-up.
Korpi continued to lead at will as a good battle developed between 65-year old
Jim Higginbotham and 14-year-old Green for second place. Green finally took
the spot but was well behind Korpi at this point. Meanwhile, Reynolds was
charging hard but got turned around by Higginbotham going into turn one on lap
41 causing the second yellow flag of the race to fly. Reynolds got his spot
back while “Diamond Jim” went to the rear for the restart.
As the field was just about to complete lap 42, Roger Benton and Jon
Compagnone got together in turn four with Higginbotham and Dennis Wheeler
having to spin to avoid them. Once the race got going again Korpi got going
as well while Reynolds began to pressure Green for second. As Korpi was
taking the checkered flag, Green and Reynolds got together in turn four with
Reynolds spinning on to pit road while Green crossed the stripe in second
spot. Reynolds got his car turned around and drove down pit road, taking the
checker in ninth position. However Reynolds drove his car the opposite
direction into victory lane and ran into Green’s car just after Green had come
to a stop.
Cooler heads eventually prevailed and the two drivers ended up having a
“civil” conversation about the incident before Reynolds took his car to the
pits. However, for his actions, Reynolds was disqualified and placed last in
the running order.
For Korpi, it was his 11th win of the year as he looks well on his way to a
second straight championship in the E-Modified division.
Green ended up second while Beckner had a steady run for third over John Hodge
and Wheeler. Higginbotham took sixth ahead of Benton and Gino Tuminello who
was making his first start in the class in a brand new Sanford Auto Dealers
Exchange-sponsored car. Mike Dahm, Bass, George Dahm and Reynolds rounded out
It was yet another frustrating night for Michael Lira as, for the second week
in a row, he easily had the fastest car on the race track only to be denied
the actual victory. The race would have plenty of controversy as well
involving Lira and Ricky Anderson whom Lira blamed for causing an incident
that kept him out of victory lane the week before.
Alan Bruns grabbed the early lead only to see Daniel Miller go for a spin in
turn three on the opening lap. Miller’s spinning car was then tagged hard by
point leader Will Carroll with Zach Jarrell also involved. All three drivers
came on pit road for extensive repairs but were able to continue.
Bruns assumed the lead on the second start and was looking strong in his first
appearance in a Pro Late Model since early in the season. Lap five saw Lira
and Anderson get together for a yellow flag with both going to the rear of the
field for the restart. Then, on the restart coming off turn four, the pair
bumped again but this time it was Anderson hitting the front stretch wall a
ton destroying the right front of his machine. Again Lira started in the back
as Bruns set the pace.
Lira was on the move picking off cars seemingly at will and finally made his
way to the point passing Bruns on lap 16 as the race ran the remaining
distance under green. Bruns fell back as Rich Clouser and a resurgent Carroll
made their way to second and third but had nothing for Lira who crossed the
stripe for what he thought was his second win of the year. Lira’s car was
found to have too much left side weight and he was disqualified in tech as
Clouser inherited the win, his fifth of the year.
Carroll ended up in second spot and increased his point lead over Anderson.
Bruns held on to take third trailed by Oklahoma driver Tyler Thomas and Kevyn
Terry. Chad Pierce was sixth followed by Miller, Jarrell, Noah Cornman, Ricky
Anderson and Randy Anderson.
Mike Trocki took his third win of the year in the Super Stocks in a race that
featured plenty of great racing. Although Trocki led all the way he had to
hold on through a pair of caution periods. The first was on lap eight as Joe
Gerard uncorked an engine goming down the front stretch. Lap 13 saw the heat
race winners eliminated from competition as first heat victor Matt Reynolds
got loose coming off turn two and was collected by second heat winner Garrett
Hill badly damaging both cars.
Trocki had plenty of company in the battle for the lead after the final
restart as point leader Shannon Kelly gave it everything he had before Trocki
finally gained an advantage and pulled away for the win. Kelly was second
just ahead of a fine third place run by rookie Preston Hunt. David Gould was
fourth with Mike Amato fifth. Completing the finishers were George Spears,
Gino Tuminello, Becca Samsoe, Robert Pence, Mike Dahm, Reynolds, Hill and
Point leader Pat Wells led the opening lap of the Mini Stock feature only to
see David Russell take the top spot at the end of the second circuit. Russell
continued to set the pace with Wells in tow through lap 17 before he got a bit
loose allowing Wells back around. Wells then raced off to his fifth win of
the year as this event ran green to checker with no cautions. Russell held on
for second followed by Jamie Dixson. Tyler Simpson’s car balked for a few
laps but he got it going again but was too far behind to make a run for the
lead and the young driver settled for fourth in front of Michael Seay, Mike
Hanna, Brad Blanton and Mark Broat. Wells also won the heat.
William Hindman came close to ending the dominance of Zachary Curtis in the
Strictly Stock feature. Curtis put his Saturn out front early only to see a
yellow flag for a spinning Keith Wylie in turn one on lap three. Hindman shot
his big Chevy Monte Carlo to the lead and managed to hold off Curtis until
Wylie spun again with three laps to go. Hindman’s car began to overheat under
caution and he began to slip and slide after the green came back out allowing
Curtis to re-take the lead and go on to his eighth win of the year.
Shane Sutorus came home second with Jimmy Barron third while Aaron Overman was
fourth after Hindman took his car to pit road on the last lap finishing fifth.
Wylie, Nathan Purdy, Brian Gayton and Mark Shukwit rounded out the finishers.
Curtis also took the heat race victory.
Next week it’s Sanford Auto Dealers Exchange night featuring a 50-lap event
for the Super Stocks. The Pro Late Models will also go for 50 laps making up
a scheduled race that was rained out last month. The Sportsman Cars, Mini
Stocks and Strictly Stocks will also be in action.