New Smyrna Speedway Race Recap for 9/5/15


The weather finally cooperated and allowed New Smyrna Speedway to host week
number 26 of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Saturday night. Early
afternoon rains subsided making for a warm and muggy late afternoon and
evening as four drivers added to their impressive win totals for the season
while a young rookie topped the Bomber field for his first-ever win on the
high banks. The evening began with the first Classic Car show and fun run of
the year and it was a rousing success as more cars than expected showed up and
everyone involved had a great time.
The weather had not been kind to the Pro Late Model division recently but they
finally got to run their first feature race since late June. Blaise
Hetznecker started from the pole and led the opening four circuits before
ninth starter Brad May breezed by to take over and dominate the remainder of
the 25 lap contest. Carter Stokes, a Richard Childress development driver
whose experience has been mostly on dirt tracks of recent, was making his
first-ever Pro Late Model start on asphalt and looked good all the way but had
to settle for a second place effort behind the more experienced driver of the
Bobby Sears Racing Special who scored his fifth win of the year.
Rich Clouser returned to action after a bit of a layoff and took the checker
in third while Hetznecker claimed fourth in the race that ran green to checker
with no cautions. The biggest incident of the event took place coming to the
checkered flag as point leader Zach Jarrell and Noah Cornman tangled coming
off turn four while battling for fifth spot. Cornman was ruled at fault and
placed last of the cars on the lead lap while Jarrell was awarded the fifth
position at the finish. Sixth went to Chris Brannon ahead of Colby Clements,
Cornman, Ted Head (making his first start here in a Late Model since 1994),
Dalton Smith and Aaron Rader.
Although several cars are currently “on the shelf” with mechanical issues and
several teams opted not to travel to the track because of bad weather west of
the speedway, 19 Sportsman cars still signed in to duke it out for 25 laps of
Sportsman racing and try to collect the bounty on point leader Patrick Thomas
put up by American Auto, Tires & Service of New Smyrna. Even Pro Late Model
victor Brad May was in the field testing some new shock combinations for Port
Richey driver Scott Garrity. May made just a handful of laps in the feature
before pulling in and indicating the car “felt good” in preparation for
Garrity running the twin-25s for the Sportsman on September 12.
This one would live up to it’s billing as four different drivers would swap
the lead back and fourth early on. Daniel Conlin, Jr. zipped to the early
advantage from his outside pole slot to head the field for the first seven
laps. Derrick Wood then led lap eight before Conlin took over again to lead
the ninth lap. During lap ten the two tangled coming off turn two to bring
out the only yellow flag of the race. Track officials sent both drivers to
the back of the field for the restart. Junior Beckner, who started 11th on
the grid, and 12th-starting Thomas had been on the move though and Beckner now
found himself leading with Thomas next to him on the restart.
From there it was the typical battle between the two season-long point leaders
as Thomas led by a bumper on lap 11 before Beckner nipped him at the line a
few laps later to lead lap 15. During the side-by-side battle on lap 16, the
pair touched and the contact caused the handling to go away on Beckner’s
machine as Thomas sprinted to his ninth win of the year with relative ease
while Beckner held off Garrett Hill for second spot.
Thomas apologized to Beckner for their incident that caused the handling to go
away on Beckner’s #71. “I don’t race like that,” said Thomas in Hampton Inn
victory lane. “I hate it that it happened but it’s just a part of close
racing,” he said. Although Beckner was upset over the contact he was still
happy with his car that he says “is 100 percent better” since he put a new
front clip on about three weeks ago.
Hill finished an impressive third while Timmy Todd, Jr. was overjoyed with his
fourth place finish after a season of frustrations. “We’ve really got this
car close now and if we can stay out of trouble I think we’ll have something
for them in the next few weeks,” said Todd. Wood rebounded from his earlier
incident with Conlin to nab a fifth place finish for the Jim Daley/Sheppard
Racing Enterprises “Superteam” that had seven cars in the event.
“Superteam” leader Sandy Lee of Barrington, NH came home sixth followed by
teammate Matt Jarrett in seventh. The team had to replace a transmission in
Jarrett’s car after the drive shaft broke in practice. Conlin came back to
take eighth while Ron Gustafson and D. J. Farr rounded out the top ten.
Completing the finishers were R. J. Glaser, Mike Soukup, George Alexander,
Danny Frye, Mike Dahm, May, George Dahm and Shannon Kelly. Austin Howell was
unable to start the feature.
Shannon Kelly led the opening lap of the Speedway Flooring Super Stock feature
before young Jeff Cuddy moved by in his bright orange Billy Cuddy Painting
“XL” machine to take over the top spot. Meanwhile, point leader Justin
Reynolds was powering his Hot Colors Powder Coating Special up through the
field after starting ninth and he made his way to the lead on lap 11. The
only caution of the race few on lap 21 as Mike Dahm spun out in turn two. “I
thought the track was pretty slick from the get-go because of the earlier rain
washing the rubber off the surface,” said Dahm. “Then my car started
overheating and water got on the right rear tire causing me to spin it out,”
he said.
From there Reynolds sped to his ninth win of the year as he and Sportsman hot
shoe Patrick Thomas continue a personal battle to see who can win the most
features at the track this year. Reynolds’ arch rival Preston Hunt worked up
to second at the end of the 25-lap run but had to settle for the runner-up
spot once again. Hunt and his crew were thrilled with the finish, though, as
they, like Jarrett in the Sportsman class, had to replace a transmission after
the drive shaft snapped in half during hot laps earlier.
Cuddy took home third spot. “This car was so darn fast but it was also way
too loose,” said Cuddy after the race. “I can’t wait to get the handling just
right because I know we can win with it and I want to be in victory lane so
bad,” he said. Zachary Curtis started tenth and finished fourth just ahead of
Bobby Holley who seems to be making strides in getting his car running
stronger. Holley was behind the wheel of his Chevrolet that carries the
unusual sponsorship of the Gary Yeomans Ford dealership in Daytona Beach.
Kelly wound up in sixth at the finish trailed by Matt Reynolds, Eric Kottwitz
(who was happy just to finally finish a race), Dale Howard, Gino Tuminello, J.
T. Tippins, Ronnie Hadden and Dahm. Ernie Tuminello did not start the race as
the transmission in his car was loaned to teammate Hunt so he could run the
The Sunshine Seamless Gutters Mini Stocks ran their first feature since the
Clyde Hart Memorial night on July 3rd, going for a 30-lap distance. This one
turned out to be a really good event for the fans as they watched a battle
between veteran New Smyrna Speedway driver “Mr. Mini Stock” Ted Vulpius and
newcomer Matthew Camp who running his very first race on the half-mile.
Jamie Dixson moved from his third starting spot to lead the first four laps
before Camp surprised everyone by zipping to a good-sized advantage driving a
car that saw previous action here with veteran James Ellis of Brooksville
behind the wheel. Ellis was the only driver to beat Vulpius head to head
during a race in 2014.
Dixson had held on following a lap three spin by Brad Blanton but could not
hold off Camp while Vulpius quickly made his way to second in the running
order. Vulpius reeled in Camp and the battle was on between a young driver
seeing his first action here and another driver with thousands of laps around
the New Smyrna facility. Despite pressure from Vulpius, Camp was holding his
own although it was easy for fans to see that Camp was “chasing” the proper
groove around the track trying to hold off the veteran. Things came to a head
on lap 21 as Vulpius got a bit “irritated” and sent Camp into a spin in turn
Vulpius was sent to the back for the restart while Camp retained the lead. It
did not take Vulpius long to make a run back up to second and the battle was
on again but the experience (and patience) of Vulpius paid off as he snuck
past Camp for the front position on lap 27 then drove away to his seventh
victory of the season in the Guy Callon Special. Vulpius admitted he was a
bit frustrated with Camp’s driving but realized his competitor was just
“getting his feet wet” here. The winner was much more interested and choked
up in dedicating his victory to 20-year-old Sonny Buchanan, a long-time
fixture around New Smyrna Speedway who tragically lost his life earlier in the
Camp impressed with his run to second place while David Russell had a strong
run to claim third spot. Dixson took fourth with Blanton fifth in front of
Megan Matheny and Mark Broat.
Tech inspection after the Bomber feature negated a great race that saw point
leader James Skinner claim an apparent win after a great battle with Richard
Fiore, Jr. who had led the first 18 laps of the 20-lap run. After the event
both Skinner and apparent second place finisher Fiore were disqualified for
illegal springs while Aaron Overman, who crossed the stripe in third, was set
down for having a spring rubber on the right front of his car that is also
against the rules.
Charlie King, Jr., making just his second start at the track, was fourth at
the finish but thus was awarded the win. His Chevy Monte Carlo had won
earlier in the year but with his dad, Charlie, Sr. behind the wheel. Keith
Wylie and big Lincoln was awarded second place in front of Travis Soukup and
Wes Railing, Jr.

Winner photos by Jim Jones - jimjonesphoto,com:

  1. Pro Late Model winner Brad May…
  2. Sportsman winner Patrick Thomas…
  3. Speedway Flooring Super Stock winner Justin Reynolds…
  4. Sunshine Seamless Gutters Mini Stock winner Ted Vulpius…
  5. Bomber winner Charlie King, Jr.

Brad May.jpg

No bounty collected.jpg

Justin Reynolds.jpg

Ted Vulpius.jpg

In the Bomber feature,.jpg

Some more photos:

  1. The turn out for the Classic Car Show was outstanding!
  2. Ted Head ran a Late Model at New Smyrna for the first time in 21 years! (Jim Jones Photo)
  3. Jeff Cuddy took third in the Super Stock feature (Jim Jones Photo)
  4. Megan Mathent works the high line early in the Mini Stock feature (Jim Jones Photo)
  5. Close Bomber action as Richard Fiore, Jr. #7 leading Keith Wylie #180, Aaron Overman #03, James Skinner #58, Charlie King, Jr. #37 and Adam Soukup #45 (Megan Matheny Photo)

Ted Head ran.jpg

best strictly stock race that’s been out there in a long time finally had cars that were all the same. was good racing instead of somebody with a little Saturn out there that is not even in the same class or weight. driving off and leaving everybody. if you notice most everybody stay in the stands and watched the whole race.

Can anyone explain what happen at the start of the Pro late race?

Dave, what was the last caution for in the mini stock race? #84 had it won with 3 to go but and the yellow came out, although no one spun or pulled in. It is tough to beat Ted at NSS, he is fast and relentless, but it looked to me like #84 had it won.

Forgot to mention that Boney… It was for debris on the track by the pit gate… I think it came off the #6 of Mark Broat…

I did see that all the drivers in the pic are eating well…lol

Especially Ted Head!