|« A TYPICAL WEEKEND - Race Seven of 2008||A TYPICAL WEEKEND - Race Five of 2008 »|
A TYPICAL WEEKEND - Race Six of 2008
After a day of shopping for groceries, doing laundry and eating some good food at Shell’s Seafood House Allan and Nancy Brown, Bruce and I headed over to New Smyrna Speedway. Although the temperatures during the day were in the 70’s the night temperatures were dropping into the 40’s and it is always damp at New Smyrna. We arrived at 7:10 with no time to spare as New Smyrna usually starts on time. The starting time was 7:30 and the green fell on the first heat at 7:32. Tonight the Tour Type modifieds and SK Modifieds were not on the agenda. They were replaced with the TBARA Sprints and boy are they fast!!! Qualifying for all other divisions is run during the afternoon with only the features running during the evening but the sprints run heats and a feature.
The sprints were scheduled to run three 8 lap heats and there were 21 sprints on hand in the pits. The first two heats were won by Dave Steele and Dude Teate but a serious crash during the warm-up laps of heat three canceled the last qualifier. Rod Anderson hit the outside wall of turn three and four with severe impact. The tire ripped from the car and at first it was obvious Anderson was not moving. They called in an outside rescue ambulance and it took 20 minutes before he was transported to the hospital. He was alert when he was transported and at this point I do not know more on his condition. Management decided to cancel the heat as all sprints would qualify.
The late model feature was up next and they ran 25 laps for the 17 cars. It was a quick race with only 1 caution. Derrick Kelly lead all 25 laps of the race that took only 10 minutes to run. The Florida Modifieds were scheduled to run 25 laps for the 22 cars but a first lap crash in turn one left 11 cars sitting in all directions. When the front row tangles going into one it does not leave a lot of room for the remainder of the field. Because there was a 30 minute delay to clean the carnage and half the field was gone the event was cut to 20 laps and one caution later cut to 15 laps. At the end of the 15 laps a very happy John Gerstner was standing in victory lane. The super late models ran 30 laps and on lap 22 the leader, Jeff Choquette, spun coming down the homestretch when he tangled with a lap car. The flagger gave the lap car the move over flag and he moved over as he should have but an impatient Choquette moved down to go underneath. They collided and Choquette went spinning. To our amazement management put Choquette back up in first even though it was his own mistake that sent him spinning. Whatever! Choquette lead the remaining 8 laps to take home the top prize.
The sprints ran a 30 lap feature for the 20 car field. Did I already mention they are really fast. They average 113 miles per hour around the big half mile. All eyes were on Dave Steele who seems to be the best by far. Steele started 12th but the eventual winner Troy DeCaire was quicker on this night. DeCaire was able to shoot to the front like a hot knife through butter while Steele and Teate got hung up in traffic. The race only had one early caution and by the time Steele broke through DeCaire was in another zip code. He tried to run him down but DeCaire had the advantage. It was Decaire in victory lane followed by Steele and Teate.
It was 10:40 when we headed for the gate and while at New Smyrna we ran into long time friend Ed Esser from Wisconsin. He will be joining us for the next few days at the time share in Orlando. It was another fun day in the Sunshine State and we will be heading back to New Smyrna later this week. Tomorrow it is back to East Bay for the 410 sprints.