Anderson wins Race, Russell takes Championship, Finney wins Triple Crown at New Smyrna Speedway
by Jane Smith
Samsula, FL (November 23, 2008) The 43rd Annual running of the Governor's Cup 200 is now down in the books along with the Third Leg of the Triple Crown and the 2008 Championship for the Noritz/Tempaco Sunbelt Super Late Models.
Friday night at New Smyrna Speedway there were 28 Super Late models in the pits for practice. Two had problems and did not return on Saturday - Justin Larson, who lost a motor, and Michael Williams, who lost a rear-end. There were also a few surprise drivers who were warmly welcomed - Shane Sawyer who moved to Georgia and Dennis Schoenfeld from Concord, NC. Schoenfeld's name can be found in the Blizzard races at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola with Sawyer running in the GAS Series in Georgia.
Although Saturday was cool and windy, it did not stop the excitement at New Smyrna Speedway. Twenty six Super Late Models took time as Wayne Anderson of Wildwood set fast time with a 17.364 followed by Tim Russell of Longwood with a 17.368, Matt Bowers of Mt Dora with a 17.395, Dustin Skinner with a 17.433 and Jeff Choquette of Loxahatchee with a 17.453. With no inversion the field would start straight up for the 200 lap event.
After the opening ceremonies were concluded, it was time to go racing. As the green flag waved, it was Tim Russell who quickly pulled out to the point followed by Anderson, Bowers, Choquette, and Jeff Scofield. But it was a quick start as the caution came out on lap 3 for Joe Boyd who spun sideways in turn 1. Boyd took his number 5 to pit road where his team went to work quickly checking out his rear-end which looked to have broken. By lap 5, Boyd's car was slowly pushed back into the pits, done for the night.
Lap 9 sees the restart with Russell leading the way over Anderson, Bowers, Choquette, Scofield, Skinner, Colangelo, Pierce, Cope, Finney, McLeod, Winchell and Dempsey. Anderson puts the heat on Russell once again but Russell will have nothing to do with it and holds the point. Just as the top two are getting very heated, the yellow comes out for Robert Yoho, Travis Wilson and Shane Sawyer who have gotten together on the backstretch. Yoho takes his ride onto pit road as sparks fly underneath the car. Earl Beckner takes the opportunity on this caution to take his ride onto pit road also for some crew attention. Beckner does return to the rear of the field but Yoho does not.
A short green comes out only to see the yellow once again for debris on the track. The buggy is sent out to check the track as Dustin Skinner and Earl Beckner take advantage of this caution for a quick visit on pit road. The green comes back out again on lap 20 as Russell leads the way over Anderson, Bowers, Choquette and Scofield.
Choquette puts pressure on Bowers and takes over third as Bowers slips to fourth. Suddenly David Rogers begins to slip backwards with obvious problems with the TM Ranch machine. The caution comes out for Matt Bowers as smoke, sparks and a flat tire send him into the turn 2 wall.
Matt Bowers in the Dick Anderson #92 trying to pass the #5 of Dustin Skinner
The 92 goes in along with Rogers and James Glover who need a quick check of their cars. After checking out the 92, it is announced that the rear-end may have broken and Bowers is now done for the night. Both Rogers and Glover return at the rear of the field for the restart.
Lap 35 sees the green as Russell, Anderson, Choquette, Scofield and Travis Cope lead the field. Choquette puts heat on Anderson but Anderson is not giving up second. Just as the racing is getting hot and heavy, Scofield who has run in the top five from the first green flag, slows bringing out the caution. Scofield is done for the night on lap 40 after a great run.
On the restart on lap 44, Anderson puts the heat on Russell and takes over the lead as Russell goes to second followed by Choquette, Cope, Skinner, Pierce, Colangelo, Finney, McLeod and Winchell. Choquette looks on Russell for second but Russell holds. Pierce takes a look on Skinner for fifth but Skinner holds. Running order is Anderson, Russell, Choquette, Cope, Skinner, Pierce, Colangelo, Finney, McLeod, Winchell, Dempsey, Mowery, Sawyer, Clouser, Travis Wilson, Rogers, Schoenfeld, Glover, Bischoff, Freed and Maresca. Maresca is passed by Anderson and goes one lap down.
Pierce once again puts pressure on Skinner but Skinner holds him off but on lap 61, Pierce is able to take over fifth as Skinner goes to sixth. The caution comes out on lap 63 for Travis Wilson who has spun in turns 1 and 2. The track is checked for fluid as several cars take a quick trip to pit road for crew attentin. All return for the restart.
Restart lap 70 as Anderson leads the way over Russell, Choquette, Cope and Skinner. But it is a very short green as the yellow comes out for Travis Wilson, Dwayne Dempsey who have spun in turns 1 and 2. Both take a quick trip to pit road under caution and return for the restart on lap 76 as Anderson continues to lead the way.
Anderson begins to build a lead over second place Russell as the top five are a good six car lengths apart. David Rogers has done a few quick trips in and out of the pits as his car was just not right and on lap 78, retires the TM Ranch machine done for the night. Choquettee once again puts pressure on Russell but Russell holds his position keeping Choquette in third. It is now Anderson, Russell, Choquette, Cope, Skinner, Colangelo, Finney, McLeod, Winchell and Mowery. Mowery puts the heat on Winchell and takes over ninth as Winchell slides to tenth. Mowery continues his charge to the front as he ends up in seventh followed by Finney in eighth, McLeod in ninth and Winchell in tenth.
Lap 105 Mowery puts pressure on Colangelo and takes over fifth. Suddenly Skinner is off the pace and begins to slide backwards with glowing brakes going into the pits on lap 105. By lap 107 it is Anderson, Russell, Choquette, Cope, Mowery, Colangelo, Finney, McLeod and Winchell leading the way. Lap 110 Russell tries to pass Anderson but Anderson shuts the door. Pierce passes McLeod and takes over ninth. Lap 114 sees the 5 of Dustin Skinner pushed behind the pit wall, done for the night.
Lap 120 sees our North Carolina visitor Dennis Schoenfeld off the pace as he retires his car into the pits. The caution comes out on lap 124 for Travis Wilson who has spun on the frontstrech. At this time the lead cars go to pit road for their pit stops - Anderson, Russell, Cope, Freed, Choquette, Mowery, Bischoff, Colangelo, Finney, and McLeod. Cope is the first off pit road and takes over the lead followed by Anderson, Russell, Choquette and Finney. On the restart the 84 goes high as Cope dusts the wall and Wilson spins in turns 1 and 2. Cope goes to pit road for some quick attention as Wilson is towed into the pits.
Restart lap 141 as Anderson leads the way over Russell, Choquette, Finney, and Mowery. James Glover has problems and takes the 70 machine in on the back pit entrance. Mowery puts the heat on Finney and takes over fourth as Finney goes to sixth followed by McLeod, Colangelo, Pierce, Winchell, and Cope. Mowery tries to put pressure on Choquette but Choquette holds third as Colangelo puts pressure on McLeod but McLeod holds. Running order is Anderson, Russell, Choquette, Mowery, Finney, McLeod, Pierce, Colangelo, Winchell and Cope.
Suddenly Pierce comes alive as he passes both Finney and McLeod. It is now Anderson, Russell, Choquette, Mowery, Pierce, Finney, McLeod, Colangelo, Winchell and Cope. Cope passes both McLeod and Finney and takes over sixth. Clouser passes Winchell and takes over tenth as Winchell goes to eleventh. Mowery is also on the move as he passes Choquette for third.
The yellow comes out on lap 183 for track conditions. The 39 of Dwayne Dempsey is sent to pit road for a quick check underneath for a possible oil leak and is pushed behind the pit wall, also done for the night. Lap 188 sees the restart with 14 cars left in the field as Anderson leads the way over Russell, Mowery, Choquette, Pierce, Cope and Finney.
Pierce passes Choquette and takes over fourth as Choquette goes to fifth. By lap 194 it is Anderson, Russell, Mowery, Pierce, Cope, Choquette, Finney, McLeod, Colangelo and Freed.
Anderson takes the checkered for his third win for the Governor's Cup 200 followed by Tim Russell, Billy Mowery, Chad Pierce, and Travis Cope.
In Victory Lane, Brian Finney is announced as the 2008 Triple Crown Winner and Tim Russell repeats his 2007 Championship as he is crowned the 2008 Noritz/Tempaco Sunbelt Super Late Model Champion.
Shane Sawyer, now of Buford, Georgia, was a nice surpise driver as he sold an engine to the owner of the 21 car and said he would run the Governor's Cup for the car owner. Shane runs in Georgia now mostly with the GAS Super Late Model Series.
Dennis Schoenfeld's name can be found mostly in the Blizzard races at Five Flags Speedway and will once again race the Snowball Derby this year. Schoenfeld said he does not race any track weekly but likes to travel around to different tracks throughout the South.
FOOTNOTE*** On Friday night Jeff Choquette accidentally hit a black cat that ran onto the track. Choquette was not sure how that would change his luck but he felt very bad about hitting the cat but had no place to go when the cat darted out in front of his car.
Sadly, Saturday night was more than likely the last race for the Noritz/Tempaco Sunbelt Super Late Model Series since owner Robert Hart does not wish to continue tour racing. However, there may be a special announcement soon for a new Super Late Model Series.
Kevin and Julie Orzel put up a special award for the race - "HALF FAST" Qualifying Award. The field was split in half of all the cars qualifying on Saturday night with the first "HALF FAST" qualifier receiving a $100 gift certificate for Winn Dixie. The second ''HALF FAST" qualifier received a $50.00 Winn Dixie gift certificate with the third receiving a Pennzoil goodie bag. Joe Winchell won the $100.00 gift certificate, Billy Mowery won the $50.00 gift certificate and Dwayne Dempsey won the goodie bag. During opening ceremonies, Joe Winchell gave his $100.00 certificate away to Jane Smith, Media Specialist for the FASCAR Tours.
Crane Cams also put up a special contingency award of Crane Cams spark plug wires for 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th, Hard Luck, Hard Charger, and Pole Position finishers. All cars were qualify to win if they had the Crane Cam decal on the front quarter panel of their cars. Decals were given out in the drivers meeting.
OFFICIAL RESULTS 43RD ANNUAL GOVERNORS CUP 200 NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2008 1. #84 Wayne Anderson, Wildwood 2. #36 Tim Russell, Longwood 3. #55 Billy Mowery, Clearwater 4. #57 Chad Pierce, Orlando 5. #27 Travis Cope, Hernando Beach 6. #70x Jeff Choquette, Loxahatchee 7. #80 Brian Finney, Merritt Island 8. #78 B.J. McLeod, Wachula 9. #05 Jeremy Colangelo, Deland 10. #12 Corey Freed, Orlando 11. #64 Joe Winchell, Dade City 12. #9 Rich Clouser, Palm Bay 13. #14x Martin Maresca, S.W. Ranch 14. #53 Brad Bischoff, Myakka 15. #39 Dwayne Dempsey, St. Petersburg 16. #70 James Glover, Largo 17. #62 Travis Wilson, Bartow 18. #43 Dennis Schoenfeld, Concord, NC 19. #5 Dustin Skinner, Port Orange 20. #11 David Rogers, Orlando 21. #21 Shane Sawyer, Buford, GA 22. #07 Jeff Scofield, Plant City 23. #92 Matt Bowers, Mt. Dora 24. #36x Earl Beckner, Orlando 25. #00 Robert Yoho, Pinnellas Park 26. #5 Joe Boyd, Riverview