Governor's Cup Preview Story


The 49th Anniversary of the Florida Governor’s Cup 200-lap race for Super Late
Models is right around the corner at New Smyrna Speedway and a stellar field
is coming together for what should be one of the most competitive Governor’s
Cup races in recent memory. Along with the Super Late Models, the Pro Late
Models, Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Sportsman cars, Super Stocks and Strictly
Stocks will all see action during the weekend.
Augie Grill of Hayden, AL has entered the race and will be looking for his
third consecutive Governor’s Cup win. Only two other drivers have
accomplished that feat, Ed Howe and Bobby Gill. Howe is, to date, the only
four-time winner of the Governor’s Cup having his name etched on the trophy
for the first time in 1972. Howe then won the race three straight years from
1974-1976. All of Howe’s wins took place at the initial home of the
Governor’s Cup race, Golden Gate Speedway in Tampa. Gill won his three Cups
from 1990-1992 here at New Smyrna Speedway.
Wayne Anderson of Wildwood has entered this years event and hopes to become
the second driver (along with Howe) to have his name placed on the Governor’s
Cup a fourth time. Anderson won the race here in 1999, 2003 and 2008. His
father Dick Anderson won the first two Governor’s Cup races held at New Smyrna
in 1988 and 1989 and the elder Anderson will come out of retirement to compete
this weekend, but in a brand-new Modified car rather than a Super Late Model.
Other former winners entered this weekend are Orlando’s David Rogers (1997,
2010), Jeff Choquette of West Palm Beach (2004, 2007), Jeff Scofield of Plant
City (2006) and Longwood’s Tim Russell (2009).
Several out-of-state drivers have already entered including 2014 World Series
Super Late Model champion Steven Wallace of Mooresville, NC who also claimed
victory here during the year in the July Clyde Hart Memorial race. Also
entered are Cody Coughlin of Delaware, OH, Harrison Burton of Hendersonville,
NC, Sellersburg, IN driver Will Kimmel, Chris Davidson of Pearland, TX, Bubba
Pollard of Senoia, GA, Battle Creek, MI’s Brian Campbell, and 16-year-old
sensation Jordan Ives of Gladstone, MI. Several others have indicated through
their websites and Facebook pages that they plan to run, but have not filed an
official entry.
Leading the Florida contingent will be Stephen Nasse of Pinellas Park who won
two of the three Brighthouse Challenge Series races contested at New Smyrna
Speedway this year. Travis Cope of Weeki Wachee will be back in action here
after winning both big SLM races staged back in January of this year, the Red
Eye 100 and the Pete Orr/Orange Blossom 100. Daniel Keene, Jr., who also
calls Weeki Wachee home, will be in action as well. Keene won three 50-lap
Pro Late Model specials at New Smyrna this year and is entered in both classes
this weekend. Also expected are Joe Boyd of Riverview, Umatilla’s Anthony
Cataldi, five-time Pro Late winner Rich Clouser of Deland, Lakeland’s George
Gorham, Jr., Anthony Sergi of Geneva, Daytona’s Michael Lira, Dustin Dunn of
Jupiter, Jake Perkins of Ocala and Williston driver Rick “Fireball” Maguire.
Many more drivers are expected and a field of cars approaching 40 is in the
The big race for Saturday night will be a 100-lap test for the Open Modifieds
paying $5,000 to win. New Smyrna’s Jerry “The Hammer” Symons will be one of
the favorites having won all but one of the features run at New Smyrna this
year. Also expected is James “Tank” Tucker, the only driver other that Symons
to win this season while others expected to compete include D. J. Hoetzle,
Robbie Cooper, Dick Anderson, Matt Jarrett, Alan Bruns, Chad Pierce, Shain
Held, Ricky Moxley, Kurt Jett, Matthew Green, Art Kunzeman and Robert Deal.
A 75-lap Mini Stock feature is scheduled as well on Saturday night.
Originally set for 50 laps, the class has picked up sponsorship from Mike
Gottlieb Tool and the event will now pay a nice $1,000 to the victor. Track
champion Pat Wells should have a host of challengers for this one including
David Russell, Ted Vulpius, James Ellis, Jamie Dixson, Brad Blanton, Tyler
Simpson and Robbie Yoakam among others.
Also on tap Saturday night will be a 50-lapper for the Pro Late Models. Track
champion Will Carroll of Australia is entered along with a host of other top
competitors including Daniel Keene, Jr., Michael Lira, Rich Clouser, Anthony
Cataldi (all four doing double-duty this weekend), Sheldon Creed, Zach
Jarrell, Alan Bruns, Tyler Thomas, Ricky Anderson, Michael Williams, Daniel
Miller and many more.
The Sportsman cars will wrap up the weekend with a $1,000 to win 50-lap race
following the 200-lap Governor’s Cup on Sunday. Top contenders expected to
take part include 2014 track champion Donny Williams, Patrick Thomas, Chris
Brannon, Todd Allen, Aaron Williamson, Derrick Wood, Austin Carr, Daniel
Conlin, Jr., Scott Bramlett, Jason Foster, D. J. Farr, Garrett Hill, Ron
Gustafson, Scott Garrity and quite a few more.
The Governor’s Cup weekend actually gets under way with a special practice
evening on Friday, November 21. Pit gates will open at 10 am for parking with
tech opening at 12 pm. Open practice is slated from 5-9 pm. Following
practice there will be a big Bar-B-Cue held on the grandstand side starting at
9 pm for all those who have a pit arm band. Grandstands will be free of
charge to spectators on Friday.
Saturday, pit gates will officially open at noon with Super Late Model
practice from 1-2:30 pm. Other divisions racing will practice from 3-5 pm.
Grandstand gates will open at 5 pm with qualifying for the Florida Governor’s
Cup 200 slated to start at 5:30 pm followed by qualifying for the Modifieds
and Pro Late Models.
Racing action begins at 7:30 pm with the Super Stocks up first for 25 laps
followed by the Mike Gottlieb Tool 75 for the Mini Stocks and the 50-lap
contest for the Pro Late Models. Following intermission, the Modifieds will
run for 100 laps with the Strictly Stocks then going 20 laps to end the
evening of racing.
Sunday, all Super Late Model teams are invited to a special breakfast at 9:30
am on the grandstand side. Pit gates will then open at 11 am with Sportsman
practice from 12:15-12:45 pm. Grandstand gates open at noon with an autograph
session slated on the front stretch at 1 pm followed by opening ceremonies and
driver introductions at 1:35 pm. The 49th Anniversary Florida Governor’s Cup
takes the green flag at 2 pm with the Sportsman 50 to follow victory lane
ceremonies to end the big weekend of competition.
Adult admission to the grandstands on Saturday is $25 with reserved seating
(for all ages) at $30. Sunday, adult general admission is $30 with reserved
seating (for all ages) at $35. Kids 11 and under are free both days for
general admission seating.

Photo: 2012/13 winner Augie Grill…