43rd Annual Governor's Cup Right Around the Corner at New Smyrna Speedway
by Jane Smith
Samsula, FL (November 13, 2008) In just 8 days, the 43th running of the Florida Governor's Cup will take place at New Smyrna Speedway. Besides the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, the Governor's Cup has been one of Florida's most prestigious events each year.
This year it will also include the third leg of the Triple Crown and fans will not only see the crowning of the Governor's Cup winner but also the 2008 Noritz/Tempaco Sunbelt Super Late Model Champion and the 2008 Triple Crown Champion.
This year the Southern Sportsman Shootout 75 will support the Governor's Cup with an exciting format for next Saturday. The 75 lap race will be broken down into three segments.
Segment 1 will see 40 green flag laps. The caution will be thrown at lap 40. The first car one lap down will earn a free pass onto the lead lap for the next segment. You may fuel your car, make any adjustments you like except you may NOT change tires. After scoring completes their finish, one fan will draw a pill from the number of cars on the lead lap for the inversion. Lap cars will line up after lead lap cars for the second segment.
Segment 2 will be 25 green flag laps. Double file restart with two (2) Delaware restarts. At the completion of segment 2, the procedures will be the same as for segment 1. First car one lap down will get a free pass back on the lead lap with one fan drawing for the inversion.
Segment 3 will be 10 green flag laps. Lead lap cars ONLY will complete in the final segment. All other cars will be scored how they crossed the line after segment 2. Double file restarts and any subsequent restarts.
The race will pay $1200.00 to win.
"We really wanted to put some excitement back into Sportsman racing," said Race Director Scott Jackman. "I got the okay to do this and I think the fans will love it and it will make for a great, exciting race. Registration fee for this race will be $75.00 non Southern Sportsman drivers and $50.00 for Southern Sportsman members. We will be paying $100.00 to start along with bonuses for Fast Time Qualifier and Hard Luck driver of the race."
Tires for the Southern Sportsman Shootout must be 8 inch tires - Goodyear Treaded Tire, FASCAR Hoosier Tire or the American Racer EC85.
"I can't tell you how excited I am about this race," concluded Jackman. "This is something the fans will remember for a long time. We are inviting all Sportsman and we are expecting one really good turnout."
With the closing of USA International in Lakeland, the third leg of the Triple Crown will run along with the 43th Annual Governor's Cup. Leading the points for the Triple Crown is Jeremy Colangelo but only one point behind him is the winner of the first leg of the Triple Crown Brian Finney. Matt Bowers, Billy Mowery, and Corey Freed round out the top five. David Rogers, Wayne Anderson, Dwayne Dempsey, Daniel Webster and Dusty Cornelius complete the top ten. Most of these drivers are expected on Saturday.
Going into the last race for the Noritz/Tempaco Sunbelt Super Late Model Series is Jeremy Colangelo leading the points only by 43 over the 2007 Champion Tim Russell. Matt Bowers, Brian Finney, and Wayne Anderson complete the top five. David Rogers, Corey Freed, Daniel Webster, Dusty Cornelius and Travis Towell complete the top ten.
Thirty three cars were at New Smyrna Speedway for the 42nd Annual Governor's Cup in 2007 where Jeff Choquette topped the field followed by Travis Cope, Tim Russell, Wayne Anderson, and Dwayne Dempsey. Choquette, who was in the No. 92 Super Late Model owned by Dick Anderson, proved that night what a great team they made. In Victory Lane, Choquette had this to say, "He knows what its like to win this race, he's done it twice and I just feel honored to tie him and to do it in his car is an honor."
The Florida Governor's Cup was commissioned by then Governor Haydon Burns and was first awarded to Wayne Reutimann in 1965. The Cup was created to pay tribute to Al Keller, long time promoter of Florida stock car tracks. The Cup continues to be the premier race of the season through all these years in spite of set backs and the immense changes our state has gone through.
The race was originally run at Golden Gate Speedway in Tampa until environmental issues forced the temporary closing of the track in 1979. Sunshine Speedway hosted the race in 1979, with the race moving back to Golden Gate for the next three years, under the direction of Don Nerone. The DeSoto Speedway hosted the race until 1987, though the Cup was not officially competed for.
It was at that time that Clyde Hart, the builder and owner of New Smyrna Speedway stepped forward and revived both the race and it's history. The race has been run at New Smyrna's half-mile ever since. In 1998 the Governor's Cup was promoted for television by Terry Wall and Jack Smith, and was shown for the first time to fans all through the South via FOX and Sunshine Networks.
In 2001 Governor Jeb Bush was the Grand Marshall and in the wake of the September 11 attacks his appearance was both inspiring for the fans and gave a much needed lift for all in attendance. In 2002, Patrick D. Smith, who was personally asked by Governor Bush to stand in for him as the Grand Marshall gave the fans quite a treat being the most beloved writer in Floirda. Since then, the list has grown to Florida dignitaries who have come each year to be Grand Marshall for this very special race.
This year's Governor's Cup promises to be yet again one of the most prestigious races of the year in Florida. For more information on New Smyrna Speedway, go to www.newsmyrnaspeedway.org. For information on the Noritz/Tempaco Sunbelt Super Late Model Series and Southern Sportsman Series go to www.fascartours.com.
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