New Smyrna Speedway Race Recap for 5/9/15 and Preview for 5/16/15


All moms got in free this past Saturday night in honor of Mother’s Day and
they, along with their families, were treated to some great racing during week
number nine of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series at New Smyrna
The 25-lap Pro Late Model feature got off to a rough start as Noah Cornman led
lap one before he and point leader Rich Clouser tangled coming off turn two
while battling hard for the top spot on the second lap. Both cars went into a
wild slide with each machine pounding the inside wall. The noses of both cars
were damaged along with the radiators and that put both the youngster Cornman
and veteran Clouser on the sidelines for the remainder of the event.
Cody Blair zipped to the lead on the restart and was looking very strong.
Meanwhile, Michael Lira, who started scratch on the field, was working his way
forward in a hurry and passed Daniel Miller for second on lap five. As the
race continued under green flag conditions, Lira slowly began to reel in Blair
eventually making the pass for the lead on lap 16. From there Lira, who is
also running a partial ARCA schedule this season, drove away from the field
to score his second win in as many starts here this year. Blair held on for
second while Miller had a strong run for third ahead of Zach Jarrell, Blaise
Hetznecker, John Kennedy, Cornman and Clouser.
It would end up being a “family affair” in the Super Stock class as Merritt
Island’s Justin Reynolds stayed perfect on the year with his fourth
consecutive victory. A nice field of cars saw the field split into two heat
races with Preston Hunt of Sanford taking heat one in his Sanford Auto
Dealer’s Exchange special while Orlando’s Butch Herdegen, driving his Manheim
Auctions of Orlando “Tribute to the King” #43, topped the second heat race.
Those two would be relegated to the third row for the start of their 25-lapper
as it would be Matt Reynolds leading the opening circuit before older brother
Justin quickly took over the forward position. Shannon Kelly, currently
second in points, had problems in his heat race and started 11th on the grid
but had worked his way into the top five before his car again slowed on lap
four with mechanical issues putting him out of the running.
On lap seven, Hunt and Bobby Holley got tangled up trying to lap a slower car.
Hunt was done for the night while Holley got his position back in the restart
line-up. The remainder of the event ran under green as Reynolds held off some
mid race pressure from Herdegen to claim his fourth straight victory. The
entire field of cars was required to go through tech after the race to check
weight and several other things and two cars were set down including the
apparent second place finisher Herdegen and Mike Dahm, who crossed the stripe
in eighth place.
that moved Matt Reynolds up to a second place finish behind his brother
followed by Holley. Becca Samsoe had her best run of the year taking fourth
place with Joe Gerard fifth. Sixth went to Dale Howard with Ronnie Hadden,
Gino Tuminello, Hunt, George Dahm, Kelly, Herdegen and Mike Dahm rounding out
the finishers.
Once again “Mr. Mini Stock,” Ted Vulpius of Mims, dominated the “four-banger”
class winning both the heat and feature and remained unbeaten on the season
driving the Guy Callon Special. Tyler Simpson had his new car running better
and led the first three laps of the feature but could not hold off the flying
Vulpius who got by and ran off for his fourth straight win as the 25-lap
distance ran the whole way under green. Simpson took the checker in second
trailed by Brad Blanton, Mark Broat, William Hindman, Bobby Dooley and Randy
Reid Christensen brought out his Honda for the first time this year and easily
won the Bomber heat race before grabbing the initial lead in the feature.
Christensen’s car looked very strong until the late laps when he slowed enough
to allow Billy Barrington to move his Chevy Cavalier to the front then go on
to score his second consecutive win in the class in only his fourth start.
Christensen came by the checker in second but fell victim to the tech
inspectors a few minutes later. That moved James Skinner up to second at the
finish ahead of Aaron Overman, Greg Bruce and Crash Tyner. Sixth went to Neil
Kirby while point leader Shane Sutorus wound up seventh after dropping out on
the last lap while running third. Robert Skinner took eighth spot ahead of
the DQ for Christensen. Both William Hindman or Warren Howie were unable to
start the feature after a hard crash in the heat race.
This Saturday night, May 16th, it’s Fan Appreciation night with adult
admission at just $5. This is a great deal for the fans as there will be the
first 50-lap contest of the year for the Sportsman division that has seen an
average of 18 cars in the pits each week so far this season. A number of
“outsiders” are expected to challenge the big field of local drivers for the
extra cash that’s on the line but the one guy they’ve got to beat is Orlando’s
Patrick Thomas who has three straight wins under his belt and currently holds
a very decent 13 point advantage over Junior Beckner in the Sportsman
standings. Defending Sportsman champion Donny Williams is third in points, 19
behind Thomas while Sandy Lee of Garrison, NH is fourth in the standings, 23
behind Thomas. Lee plans to fly down from his home state each week the
Sportsman cars race to chase the point championship. His car is one of
several “Outlaw” Sportsman housed in the big Sheppard Racing Enterprises shop
in Deland.
Also on the card this week will be the Modifieds and the Bomber cars plus
Spectator Racing just before intermission.
Despite a controversial finish in the Modified feature two weeks ago, Jerry
“The Hammer” Symons of New Smyrna Beach holds a comfortable 13 point edge over
Matt Wheeler of New Smyrna in the Modified standings while Matt Jarrett of
Orlando sits in third spot, 20 points behind Symons.
Although he has had a myriad of problems with his Saturn station wagon over
the last two race weeks, Shane Sutorus still leads the Bomber point by a
healthy 20 point margin over James Skinner with Aaron Overman third, 22
markers behind Sutorus.
Pit gates open Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm with open practice from 5-6:15
pm. Grandstand gates open at 6 pm and there will be a pre-race party starting
at 6 with live music courtesy of Pub 44, $1 beers, and a half price bar menu.
Sportsman qualifying will take place at 6:15 pm and racing begins at 7:30 pm
starting with heat races for the Modifieds and Bombers followed by the
Spectator Race, so make sure to bring your street legal car Saturday night and
race the high banks of New Smyrna Speedway (no motorcycles or convertibles).
Drivers must have a helmet in order to compete and the winner will take home a
nice $100 prize. Following the Spectator Race, the Modifieds will run their
25-lap feature before intermission that will feature the first autograph
session of the year on the front stretch with a chance to meet and greet the
drivers and get an “up close and personal” look at the race cars.
After intermission it’s the big 50-lap Sportsman contest which should prove to
be a real “barn-burner” with over 25 cars expected to take part. The evening
will wrap up with a 20-lap run for the Bomber class that continues to see
their numbers increase each week.
Again it’s “Fan Appreciation Night” and each adult grandstand admission is
just $5 this week and, as always, all kids 11 and under are admitted free.

Winners photos from 5-9-15 courtesy of Jim Jones

  1. Pro Late Model winner Michael Lira…
  2. Super Stock winner Justin Reynolds…
  3. Mini Stock winner Ted Vulpius…
  4. Bomber winner Billy Barrington…

Michael Lira wins for the second time in the Pro Late Models  (Jim Jones Photo).jpg

Four straight wins for Justin Reynolds in the Super Stocks  (Jim Jones Photo).jpg

Four in a row for Ted Vulpius in the Mini Stocks (Jim Jones Photo).jpg

Billy Barrington won for the second consecutive week in the Bombers  (Jim Jones Photo).jpg