Young Matt Bowers tops Sunbelt 125 at Orlando SpeedWorld
by Jane Smith
Orlando, FL (May 9, 2008) On a hot May afternoon with a slight cooling breeze at times, nineteen Super Late Models made their way to Orlando SpeedWorld for the Sunoco Sunbelt 125. It was Brian Finney of Merritt Island who topped the speed charts with a blistering 13.628 for fast time Following Finney were Justin Drawdy 13.631, Matt Bowers 13.665, Patrick Conrad 13.668, and Jeremy Colangelo 13.748.
Finney pulled the 3 pill putting Matt Bowers on the pole for the 125 lap event.
After driver introductions were made, it was finally time to go racing. When the green flag waved, it was Matt Bowers taking the point over Justin Drawdy, Brian Finney, Patrick Conrad and Tim Russell. Finney puts the heat on Drawdy taking over second but something must have happened to the car as Finney is on the Bandolero track. The caution comes out and Finney takes his fast time car to the pits for crew attention.
On the restart it is Bowers, Drawdy, Conrad, Russell, and Colangelo leading the way over the field. Bowers gets stuck behind a lap car as Drawdy takes the advantage and passes both cars for the lead. Russell puts the heat on Conrad for third and takes it as Conrad slides back to sixth.
The caution comes out for Russ Shaw who has spun on the frontstretch. The race goes back green as Drawdy leads the way over Bowers, Russell, Colangelo and Sam Watts. Bowers begins to look to take back the lead but Drawdy holds strong not giving it up. Top ten are Drawdy, Bowers, Russell, Colangelo, Watts, Conrad, David Rogers, Fain Skinner, Mike Franklin, Jr., and Daniel Webster.
Brad Bischoff brings out the caution as he spins on the backstretch and goes into the pits for crew attention. On the restart, Bowers gets under Drawdy for the lead but Drawdy is not shaken and maintains the point. But it is a short green as Vince Keeler brings out the caution for a spin in turns 1 and 2. Forty five laps are down, only eighty laps are left.
Drawdy once again holds the point on the restart followed by Bowers, Russell, Colangelo, and Watts. Fain Skinner now finds his mirror full of Mike Franklin, Jr. who wants that spot but Skinner holds his line and maintains. Just as things are getting hot and heavy, Koot Sapp brings out the caution when he spins in turn 4.
The race goes back green but only for a second as the caution comes out once again for Russ Shaw who has hit the wall hard. Shaw is fine but that cannnot be said of the car as it is towed into the pits on a rollback.
Lap 63 sees 17 cars left as Drawdy leads the way over Bowers, Russell, Colangelo, and Watts.
Daniel Webster goes high as Travis Towell takes advantage and takes his spot while once again Skinner is holding off a hard charging Franklin. The caution comes out again for Vince Keeler who goes back into the pits.
On the restart it is Drawdy, Bowers, Russell, Colangelo, Watts, Conrad, Rogers, Skinner, Franklin and Towell leading the pack. Franklin once agains tries Skinner and this time it works as Frankling takes over eighth and Skinner slides to ninth. The caution comes out again for Corey Freed and Dusty Cornelius as they get together on the backstretch. Cornelius goes into the pits, Freed is able to continue.
Drawdy leads the way on the restart as Brad Bischoff pulls off the track and after many laps down, Brian Finney returns. The caution comes out for Fain Skinner, Travis Towell and Corey Freed who have spun and hit the wall on the backstretch. Freed goes for a wild ride down the backstretch and ends up on the Bandolero track but is fine. Skinner is able to drive his car into the pits with some damage. Towell is in the wall and not happy. Also retiring to the pits is Daniel Webster.
Needless to say, what happened in the pits after the caution was not pretty and very unnecessary but tempers get hot and so does racing at times.
On the restart, Drawdy leads the way over Bowers, Russell, Colangelo and Watts. Drawdy and Bowers are now side by side as Bowers takes back the point putting Drawdy second. The top three cars, Bowers, Drawdy and Russell, seem to have a race of their own as Colangelo is all alone in forth with Watts and Rogers together in fifth and sixth. Rogers puts the heat on Watts and takes over fifth as Watts goes to sixth. It is now Bowers, Drawdy, Russell, Colangelo, Rogers, Watts, Franklin and Conrad.
With only two laps to go, Bowers and Drawdy get together coming down the backstretch with both spinning. Somehow Jeremy Colangelo gets the worse damage of the three but is able to continue on even with his hood bent high in the air. Bowers is put back to the point as Drawdy is sent to the rear but on the green, Drawdy pulls his No. 12 into the pits with only one lap to go.
Young Matt Bowers takes the checkered for his first Sunbelt win over Tim Russell, Jeremy Colangeo, David Rogers, and Sam Watts.
ORLANDO SPEEDWORLD - MAY 9, 2008
SUNOCO SUNBELT SUPER LATE MODEL 125
1. #84 Matt Bowers
2. #36 Tim Russell
3. #05 Jeremy Colangelo
4. #11 David Rogers
5. #73 Sam Watts
6. #77 Mike Franklin, Jr.
7. #2 Patrick Conrad
8. #12 Corey Freed
9. #07 Dustin Henderson
10. #44 Koot Sapp
11. #12X Justin Drawdy
12. #3 Daniel Webster
13. #1 Fain Skinner
14. #22 Dusty Cornelius
15. #53 Brad Bischoff
16. #68 Russ Shaw
17. #7 Vince Keeler
18. #80 Brian Finney
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