OFFICIAL New Smyrna Speedway Race Recap for 8/8/15 and Preview for 8/15/15


After Mother Nature had prevailed for three straight weeks, New Smyrna
Speedway was finally back in action Saturday night for week number 22 of the
NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series and the fans were treated to some
great action as well as a special series of kid/parent “tire races” during
intermission that proved to be just as exciting as the upcoming stock car
features would be.
After the kids and parents had their fun, Sportsman division point leader
Patrick Thomas challenged rival Sean Bass to a “race.” Bass ended up the
winner after Thomas was disqualified for “carrying” his tire rather than
“rolling” it according to the “unpublished” rules for the event.
The Sportsman class was again out in force with 24 cars registering to
compete. The field was trimmed to 23 after the engine blew in Brandon
Christian’s car during hot laps. A pair of heat races set the starting
line-up for the 25-lap feature. Derrick Wood set the pace all the way in heat
number one while it was Rusty Ebersole who dominated the second heat driving
the #111 Harris Mini Storage car normally driven by defending track champion
Donny Williams. Wood drew a four pill for the feature inversion. Since he
finished fourth in his heat race, that put Patrick Thomas on the pole and it
looked like the $400 bounty placed on the Oviedo driver by American Auto,
Tires & Service of New Smyrna Beach might be safe once again as Thomas,
knowing he had everyone gunning for him, had bolted four new Hoosier tires on
his machine.
It looked like it might be a Thomas run-away at the drop of the green as he
quickly out-ran outside pole sitter Sandy Lee into turn one to grab an early
advantage only to see the caution out before the completion of lap two. Sean
Bass, who took an apparent victory to claim the bounty on Thomas last time the
class ran only to be DQ’d in tech, spun in turn four. Bass said he was spun
by John Emerson who he claimed had retaliated after the two had a sheet metal
meeting during the last race. Emerson drove off unscathed but Bass was
collected by the cars of Garrett Hill and Austin Carr while Daniel Conlin, Jr.
also got significant left rear damage on his car in the melee. Bass and Carr
were done for the night while both Hill and Conlin pitted for repairs and
returned. Track officials did not penalize Emerson and he restarted in third
On the restart Junior Beckner shocked the fans by easily passing Thomas for
the lead. Beckner’s car was looking very good as he was holding off Thomas
and a host of other fast machines. First heat winner Wood dropped off the
pace on lap seven while running fourth then the yellow was out for a second
time on lap ten as the engine expired in R. J. Glaser’s car coming off turn
Beckner again dusted off Thomas following the restart but his car was starting
to get “rear end happy” coming off the corners and Thomas pulled up to
challenge only to see the caution out for debris on the back stretch.
Following the restart Thomas buckled down and made a quick pass on Beckner
whose car continued to get “looser” each lap around as Emerson made a pass for
second on lap 20.
Warren Howie spun his car off turn two on lap 22 to bring out the caution and,
one lap later, Brett O’Donnell spun in turn one setting up a
green/white/checker finish.
Thomas was up to the task as he drove off to his eighth win of the season and
fourth in a row. Ebersole was a rocket over the final pair of laps passing
both Beckner and Emerson for a solid second place effort. Emerson took the
checker in third followed by Beckner and Conlin who had the race of the night
coming from 20th on the second lap restart to a top-five finish despite most
of the left side rear body work on his car being gone.
New Hampshire driver Lee had yet another steady run to finish sixth with Matt
Jarrett seventh after starting from 15th on the grid. Hill rebounded for
eighth ahead of Michael Held and Howie who came back from his earlier spin
after seeming to have the fuel pressure issue in his new car finally solved.
15-year-old Alexa Anderson made her first ever start on a half-mile track and
drove a clean race to take 11th place while George Spears entered his new
Super Stock car in the event to “work some things out” and claimed a 12th
place effort followed by O’Donnell and Mike Dahm as 14 cars were still running
at the finish of the race. Rounding out the field (all DNF’s) were Mike
Pletka, Timmy Todd, Jr., Ron Gustafson, Glaser, Wood, George Dahm, Bass, D. J.
Farr and Carr.
With the bounty uncollected, track officials added an extra $200 to the
winning purse for Thomas. “Wow. I almost paid for my new tires tonight!”
joked Thomas in the pits as he was loading his car up for the ride back home.
Eleven cars were on the grid for the 35-lap Super Late Model feature with, by
luck of the draw, point leader Anthony Sergi on the pole. Sergi grabbed the
early lead but David Rogers was looking strong began to reel Sergi in. Rogers
was right on the bumper of Sergi’s machine when the caution flew on lap 13.
Gus Dean, in town from Bluffton, SC to race, got tangled up with some lapped
cars while running in fourth place. Dean tried to continue but the damage
would eventually put him pit side.
On the restart, Rogers simply did not have the “oomph” he had earlier as Sergi
led easily while Brad May moved in to challenge Rogers. Fifth-running Noah
Cornman dropped of the pace on lap 21 and headed to the pits with a fully
exploded right rear tire.
From that point Sergi held strong to claim his third win of the year as Rogers
held off May for second. Chris Fontaine took fourth with veteran Russ Shaw,
making a rare “regular season” appearance, ran steady to net fifth spot.
Rounding out the finishers were Steve Grossman, Cornman, Dean, C. J.
Castetter, Brandon Anderson and Cory Spencer.
Things continue to go badly for Modified point leader Jerry “The Hammer”
Symons as his car suffered a drive train issue in the Modified heat race. His
crew managed to get him out to run a few slow laps in the feature before
pulling off to claim points for a ninth place effort.
Matt Jarrett led the opening three laps of the 25-lap headliner only to be
passed by a high-flying Matthew Green who led two circuits. At that point,
heat winner James “Tank” Tucker moved into the top spot and drove off to his
fourth win of the year. The only caution of the race came on lap five when
Shain Held spun after contact with Wayne Parker. Parker was making his return
to racing after a several year layoff driving the same Sanford Auto Dealers
Exchange car that had been previously driven to victory this year by both
Jason Boyd and Dillon Wood.
With his win, Tucker moved into second place in the season-long point battle
and is just four points now behind leader Symons. Green took second in the
feature, his best run of the year, while Parker made his return to racing a
good one by claiming third. Talon Craft took fourth while fifth went to Matt
Wheeler over Mike Dahm, Jarrett, Held and Symons.
Billy Barrington led the opening lap of the Bomber feature but could not hold
back the hot Saturn of Greg Bruce, Jr. Barrington eventually blew a right
front tire trying to keep up as Bruce raced off for his third win of the
season. Charlie King drove his Chevy Monte Carlo to second ahead of the
Lincoln of “Crash” Tyner. Heat winner Aaron Overman crossed the line in
fourth followed by Travis Soukup, Matt Boner, James Skinner and Barrington.
Newcomer Thomas Koch did not start the feature.
This coming Saturday night is night number 23 of the NASCAR Whelen Series at
New Smyrna Speedway and will (hopefully) see the Sunshine Seamless Gutters
Mini Stocks finally outlast the weather to run their first 50-lap contest of
the year. Also on tap will be the Pro Late Models, Super Stocks and the
Bomber cars.
Zach Jarrell still tops the Pro Late Model points by nine markers over both
Blaise Hetznecker and Noah Cornman who are tied for second. Ted Vulpius leads
the Sunshine Seamless Gutters Mini Stock points by seven over Brad Blanton
while Justin Reynolds has a healthy 38 point edge on Bobby Holley in the Super
Stocks with defending champion Shannon Kelly 44 points behind Reynolds in
third. James Skinner now holds just a seven point advantage in the Bomber
standings over Aaron Overman who cut his deficit to Skinner in half last week.
Shane Sutorus did not race last week and remains third in the standings but
is now 70 points out of first.
The pit gate will open Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm with practice slated from
4:30-6 pm. Grandstand gates open at 6 pm with all fans invited to come out
early for the weekly pre-race party featuring live music at the Throttle to
Bottle Pub courtesy of Pub 44 in New Smyrna along with $1.00 beers and
half-off the bar food menu.
Mini Stock time trials are slated for 6:30 pm with racing getting under way at
7:30 pm with heat races for the Super Stocks and Bombers.
After intermission the Pro Late Models are up first for 25-laps of feature
racing followed by the 50-lapper for the Sunshine Seamless Gutters Mini
Stocks. The Super Stocks will be third on the card going for 25 laps and the
Bombers wrap up the evening with a 20 lap run.
Adult admission is $15 with all seniors (65+) and military with valid ID being
admitted for $13. All kids aged 11 and under are admitted free.

Other Notes:

After coming home following surgery and rehabilitation, track owner Robert
Hart had a health set back this Sunday and was readmitted to the hospital.
Your continued prayers are requested for Robert. The Hart family request
privacy at this time as Robert and the family need rest. Please no phone
calls or visitors at this time. Send all inquiries to speedway General
Manager Kim Brown at 386-547-2879. Thank you again for your thoughts and

New Smyrna Speedway officials are all about doing what they can to provide the
race fans with as much entertainment as possible. As a result, the track has
decided to give the Sportsman division a double feature night on Saturday,
September 12th. On that night there will also be a special appearance by the
Southern Pro Am Truck Series as well.

Fans and competitors in the Sportsman class were very impressed with the good
run by Alexa Anderson. She has just recently began running Sportsman after
many years racing, most recently in Mini Stocks. She started 17th and drove a
good, heady race to finish 11th… not bad with the quality of cars and
drivers in the field. Alexa is just 15 years old and has a nice personality

With the addition of Alexa and Brett O’Donnell to the starting line-up, 51
different drivers have now earned points in the Sportsman class at New Smyrna
Speedway this year!

Race winners photos by

  1. Sportsman winner Patrick Thomas
  2. Super Late Model winner Anthony Sergi
  3. Modified winner Tank Tucker
  4. Bomber winner Greg Bruce, Jr.
  5. Start of the Sportsman feature coming down the back stretch (Megan Matheny Photo)

Patrick Thomas does feature (Jim Jones Photo).jpg

Anthony Sergi grabbed his.jpg

Tank Tucker.jpg

Greg Bruce,.jpg

Some other shots from Saturday night courtesy of Megan Matheny:

  1. Austin Carr slides into Sean Bass during the big lap two crah in the Sportsman feature…
  2. Bass’ badly messed-up car…
  3. Sportsman lead battle with Patrick Thomas #25, Junior Beckner #71 and John Emerson #09E
  4. Super Late Model lead battle with Anthony Sergi #20 leading David Rogers #11 and Brad May #9
  5. Neat shot during the Bomber feature as Billy Barrinton lifts the left rear tire off the ground trying to catch Greg Bruce, Jr.