From the Booth: NSS Week 5 Recap

New Smyrna Speedway played host to the Southern Sprintcar Shoot Out Series this week along with the American Auto Sportsman, Mod Minis and Rodizio Grill Bombers. A great field of Sprint cars showed up and thrilled the fans with an absolutely spectacular race! The sprint cars were turning laps in the 15 second range and was a sight to be seen, words just can’t do it justice. The three other local classes all put on fantastic races of their own, which made for an overall great night of short track racing.

The first feature of the night was Mod Minis making only their second appearance of the season. Last week’s winner Robbie Yoakam was not in the field this time, which meant we would have a new winner this week. Brad Blanton, making his first start of the year, would start on the pole but David Russell in the 31 would take the early lead. Russell’s lead did not last long as “Mr. Mini Stock” Ted Vulpius quickly took the top spot. Russell and Blanton did their best to keep up with Vulpius, but they could never must a challenge for the lead. Things got interesting late in the race when Blanton spun out of 3rd with just a handful of laps to go. This bunched up the field and gave everyone one last shot at Vulpius’ beautiful 71 machine. On the restart Vulpius quickly scooted away and easily cruised to his first win of the season!

Mod Mini Top 5:
1 71 Ted Vulpius
2 31 David Russell
3 17 Brad Blanton
4 35 Bobby Dooley
5 37 Mike Hanna

The American Auto Sportsman class was up next for their 25 lap feature and once again everyone was gunning for Patrick Thomas who has won both races this season. Patrick would have his work cut out for him this week as he would roll off the grid in 10th position. Richard Goodrich would start the race on pole and lead the first few laps. Coming out of turn 4 on the first lap a couple of cars got crossed up and hindered Patrick Thomas’ progress early. A caution on lap 2 for a spinning George Alexander would save Thomas and allowed him to make up the ground he lost on the first lap. On the restart Richard Goodrich reassumed the lead and Earl Beckner battled his was to second. As the laps ticked away Patrick Thomas picked his way through traffic and into the top spot passing Goodrich just before halfway. Earl Beckner would move into second and was trying to real in Thomas but something broke on the 71 ending his night early and bringing out the 2nd caution. It would be Thomas vs Goodrich on the restart and Patrick Thomas would make it look easy as no one could mount a challenge for the top spot. When all was said and done Patrick Thomas claimed his 3rd win of the year over Daniel Conlin and new comer Shyanne Mathers, who recovered from an early incident to take home an impressive 3rd place finish! The question is becoming clear, will anyone be able to beat Patrick Thomas this year? it will obviously be quite a task to do so!

American Auto Sportsman Top 5:
1 111 Patrick Thomas
2 11 Daniel Conlin
3 22 Shyanne Mathers
4 63 George Alexander
5 25 Timmy Todd

Next up was the main event of the evening, the 30 lap contest for the Southern Sprintcar Shootout Series. A strong field of 15 cars took the green flag and this would be a big opportunity for every driver in the field since point leader David Steele was not in the field for this race. Steele had won every single event so far this year and that guaranteed us a new winner when all was said and done. When the green flag flew the field screamed down into turn 1 and to my surprise everybody made it out ok! Sport Allen in the 88 started on the pole and quickly opened up a nice lead on the field. These cars were getting around the track incredibly fast and the laps ticked away at a rapid pace. Sport Allen dominated most of the race ahead of Heat winner Jason Kimball and Mickey Kempgens. But late in the race Troy DeCaire started making his move through the field. With less than 5 laps to go DeCaire moved into second and set his sights on Allen. With just 2 laps to go Allen caught heavy lap traffic and DeCaire tried to make a move for the lead off of turn 4. DeCaire tried to use the apron of the track to help the car turn but he over did it a bit and drove through the front stretch grass and somehow didn’t wreck the car. At this point it looked like the race was going to be all Sport Allen’s, but DeCaire kept his foot in the gas and used the outside line in turns 1 and 2 to blast to the lead. DeCaire then had to tip toe through lapped traffic in turns 3 and 4 but was able to keep Allen behind him and claim the victory!

This was Decaire’s 98th win in that car and he said he would retire the car after win number 100! DeCaire came out of nowhere in closing stages of the race without the aid of a single caution and made a thrilling last lap pass for this win. This put an exclamation point on and already fantastic race for the Sprint cars on the high banks of New Smyrna Speedway. The entire 30 laps were run caution free and the race took less than 10 minutes to complete. If you missed this one, make sure you don’t miss them when they come back in August!

Southern Sprintcar Shootout Series Top 5;
1 91 Tony DeCaire
2 88 Sport Allen
3 5 Mickey Kempgens
4 79 Jason Kimball
5 16 Dude Teate

The Rodizio Grill Bombers would close out the nights action with their 20 lap main event. Another great field of cars took the green, proving this class is on the upswing! Joe Rock would start the race from the pole position and would lead the first few circuits before Matt Thornton in the 00 would take over the lead. Shortly after this the racing really heated up as 6 cars battled for the lead side by side, Daytona style. Thornton, Joe Hamilton, Megan Matheny, Aaron Overman, Joe Rock and Richard Tyner all were in the mix putting on some of the best racing in the Bomber class all season long. Things were really intense up front as Hamilton and Thornton battled for the lead and you could throw a blanket over the top 6 cars. Just as Megan Matheny was making a charge for the lead Richard Tyner got into the wall off turn and debris from his car landed on the racing surface forcing the yellow flag to come out for the first time. On the restart Joe Hamilton got the jump on Matt Thornton and never looked back, picking up his first career victory in just his 3rd start! Teammate Matt Thornton was 2nd and last week’s winner Megan Matheny cam home in 3rd. The Bombers have been absolutely fantastic this year and hopefully they continue to grow and maybe we will see 15 plus cars on a weekly basis!

Bomber top 5:
1 10 Joe Hamilton
2 00 Matt Thornton
3 24 Megan Matheny
4 03 Aaron Overman
5 46 Joe Rock

Next week is sure to be just as exciting as the Pro Late Models are back in action. That division has been strong this year with 14 plus cars each time they have raced and they are sure to put on a good show! Also in action will be the Modifieds, Super Stocks and the wild and wacky Rodizio Grill Bombers!

Thank you for your efforts in putting together the recaps.

They are just like mine, except for, y’know, a lot more detail and accuracy.

Thanks OldSchool! I really enjoy typing these up! It’s been a lot of fun being part of everything going on at NSS this year!