Jimmy Cope (61) tried in vain to hold off Choquette (70) and Scofield(07)
Samsula, Fla. (November 18, 2006) It was a perfect day, not hot but pleasantly cool for a November afternoon in Florida. By evening and race time, fans had on their coats and hats and plenty of blankets to keep them warm.
Thirty two Super Lates were on hand for the 41st Annual Governor's Cup 200 but only 26 took qualifying time. Scotty Crocket from Land O'Lakes was good at practice Friday night but Saturday morning found a problem with his new engine and car and had to withdraw from the race. Dusty Cornelius of Cocoa hit the frontstretch wall during practice after having his transmission lock up on him.
Doc McKinney of Ft. Pierce tried but could not get his car right and withdrew before qualifying as well as Marty Pierce of Huntsville, Alabama who said if he raced his car, it would most definitely end up in the wall and he did not want that.
B.J. McLeod of Watchula, driving Dick Anderson's Super Late, looked to have probably the fastest Super Late in the field. But on his first lap during qualifying the hub broke putting B.J. hard into the turns 3 and 4 wall. B.J. went to the hospital to be checked out since his neck hurt but came back and watched the race. Not the way he intended his night to go.
It was Travis Cope of Bronson who set fast time out of 27 Super Lates with a 17.836. The top ten were Jeff Scofield, Wayne Anderson, Mike Bresnahan, Jeff Choquette, James Powell, Brian Finney, Tim Russell and Mr. Excitement Jimmy Cope. Since it was a 200 lap event, no inversion was made, the field would start straight up.
After an on-track autograph session with both the Super Late Models and Mini Stocks, it was time for the pre-race show when State Senator Bill Posey of Rockledge apologzied to the fans for the tardiness of the Grand Marshall, newly elected Lt. Governor Jeff Kottcamp of Cape Coral.
Former Governors Cup winners(L to R):Wayne Anderson, Billy Bigley,Jeff Choquette, David Rogers, Jimmy Cope, James Powell, Leroy Porter and David Russell
Posey explained to the fans that the Governor's office has two prop planes, one that is fast and one that is just alittle slower. Since the Governor needed the faster plane, Kottcamp was on the slower plane and missed the pre-race show. However Posey did promise that Kottcamp would be there to congratulate the winner.
Now, it was time to go racing but before the green flag was ever shown, Billy Bigley Jr. of Naples had problems with his steering wheel which came off going down the frontstretch with Bigley ending up in the grass on the frontstretch. Bigley qualified 13th and was looking forward to the race and possibily a second win after taking home the win in 1998. But all hope was lost as Bigley's car was towed into the pits.
The field was realigned and the green was shown only to see pole sitter Travis Cope in the wall. Cope was fine but his night was ended before it began.
On the second try, it was Wayne Anderson who jumped to the front but found himself dueling it out with Jeff Scofield right off the bat. Behind Anderson and Scofield was Mike Bresnahan, Wayne Jefferson, and Jeff Choquette. Scofield won the battle for the point followed by Anderson, Bresnahan, Jefferson, Choquette, James Powell, Brian Finney, Tim Russell, Justin Drawdy and Jimmy Cope.
But the green only lasted to lap 5 when the caution came out for a mishap involving Jared Landers and Perry Brown. Dustin Deschamps, in his first Super Late Model race, received damage and was forced on to pit road and to withdraw from the race.
Lap 9 saw the green with Scofield on the point until Anderson retook the number one spot. Jefferson put pressure on Bresnahan and took over third as Choquette followed thru taking fourth and Bresnahan settles into fifth. Jimmy Cope is now looking to move up but Tim Russell is having nothing to do with the move. The yellow comes out on lap 16 for a spin down the backstretch as Brian Finney has to go into the pits for some crew attention and comes back out. Anderson holds on to the point on the restart followed by Scofield, Jefferson, Choquette, and Bresnahan.
On lap 23 Finney withdraws from the race due to an engine problem dashing his hopes for a Cup win. Anderson continues to lead the way. Drivers are trying to advance towards the front when Sondi Eden goes sideways off 2 with David Rogers and Scott Walters spinning to avoid Eden. Rogers goes to pit road for some crew attention and comes back out. The race goes back green wioth Anderson, Scofield, Jefferson, Choquette, Bresnahan, Cope, Russell, Powell, Artuso and Travis Towell leading the way.
Powell is all over Russell but Russell holds his own stopping Powell from advancing. Suddenly Powell seems to go up high in turn 2 and hits the wall, ending his night. The race goes back green on lap 71 with Anderson on the point.
Justin Drawdy, who has made a number of pit stops to get his car to run right, is a lap car but running in third and looks to be just as fast or maybe faster than Anderson or Scofield.
The yellow comes out again for Sean LeMaster who has hit the turn 1 wall. LeMaster is out but fine. At this time Blake Lehr also must pit with a broken head gasket and his night is done. The field is dwindling down.
Lap 90 sees the green as Anderson is still in charge of Scofield. Drawdy, who is still a lap down, passes Scofield and is now running in second behind Anderson making a gallant try to get back on the lead lap. But Drawdy is once again on pit road with mechanical problems.
The yellow flag is once again displayed on lap 130 for debris on the track. Cars are now pitting for new tires and gas as the new leader is Mr. Excitement himself, Jimmy Cope.
But on lap 141 the yellow comes out again for Tim Russell who has been tapped alittle too hard by Wayne Anderson and has hit the turns 1 and 2 wall. Russell is fine but done for the night.
Restart lap 149 sees Mr. Excitment Jimmy Cope on the point followed by Jeff Choquette, Jeff Scofield, Mike Bresnahan, and James Powell. But Scofield is not having anything to do with third as he passes Choquette taking over second after a side-by-side battle. Scofield now sets his eyes on Cope and by lap 161 has taken the point as Cope goes to second.
Lap 159 sees the red flag come out as Wayne Anderson (84), Wayne Jefferson (94), and Mike Bresnahan(3) find themselves all torn up. All three drivers are fine, not the same can be said of their cars. The track is cleared and cleaned as the race resumes on lap 159 with Scofield leading the way over Cope.
But now Choquette is showing his power as he passes Cope and looks towards the leader Scofield. Choquette tries but Scofield is having nothing to do with it as he holds on to the number one spot.
The last caution comes out on lap 166 when Corey Freed has problems on the backstretch. After running good in his first Super Late Model 200 lap event, Freed finds himself also parked in the pits before the end of the race.
Florida's Lt. Governor Elect congratulates Jeff Scofield in Winners Circle
Choquette does try but cannot pass Scofield as Scofield takes the checkered winning the 41st Annual Governor's Cup 200 and the 2006 Sunbelt Super Late Model Championship.
OFFICIAL RESULTS NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY 41ST ANNUAL GOVERNOR'S CUP 200 - NOVEMBER 18 1. #07 Jeff Scofield, Plant City 2. #70 Jeff Choquette, Loxatchee 3. #61 Jimmy Cope, Pinellas Park 4. #5 Jerry Artuso, Sault Saint Marie, CA 5. #66 Jared Landers, Batesville, Arkansas 6. #11 David Rogers, Orlando 7. #22 Perry Brown, Riverview 8. #40 Brock Burns, Auburndale 9. #12 Justin Drawdy, Ft. Pierce 10. #9 Kurt Jett, Orange Park 11. #18 Jared Allison, Cocoa 12. #77 James Powell, Astor 13. #12x Corey Freed, Orlandoi 14. #3 Mike Bresnahan, Lacanto 15. #84 Wayne Anderson, Wildwood 16. #94 Wayne Jefferson, Naples 17. #36 Tim Russell, Longwood 18. #18x Sondi Eden, Crawfordsville, IN 19. #4 Blake Lehr, Orlando 20. #8 Sean LeMaster, Naples 21. #14 Travis Towell, Winter Park 22. #59 Scott Walters, Naples 23. #14x Mario Maresca, Ft. Lauderdale 24. #80 Brian Finney, Merritt Island 25. #51 Dustin Deschamps, Brooksville 26. #26 Travis Cope, Bronson 27. #28 Billy Bigley, Jr., Naples DNS 28. #75 Marty Pierce, Huntsville, Alabama DNS 29. #92 B.J. McLeod, Watchula DNS 30. #141 Doc McKinney, Ft. Pierce DNS 31. #28X Scotty Crockett, Land O'Lakes DNS 32. #22 Dusty Cornelius, Cocoa DNS
FAST QUALIFIER - #26 Travis Cope TOP ROOKIE - #5 Jerry Artuso HARD CHARGER - $5 Jerry Artuso