Staropoli Wins Race, Morales gets 2006 Pro Truck Championship at New Smyrna Speedway
Samsula, Fla. (November 25, 2006) The weather was not too cool as the fans greeted and wished the 34 truck drivers good luck at the 2nd Annual Florida State Truck Championship 200 at New Smyrna Speedway. A special appearance was made by the number one driver of the number one sleigh - Mr. and Mrs. Claus, yes that is right, Santa Claus. A nice suprise for all at New Smyrna.
Michael Pilla set fast time and was on the pole for the 100 lap event with no inversion to the field since there is no pill draw for a 100 lap feature. As the green was thrown, Pilla jumped to the lead followed by Dustin Skinner and Scott Reeves, returning from a very bad accident in Lakeland earlier this year, spun in turns 3 and 4 causing a total restart. Billy Bishop retires his truck at this time from overheating. On the second restart, it is Pilla, Reeves, Skinner, Patrick Staropoli and Ricky Moxley in the top five.
Reeves challenges Pilla for the lead but Pilla is having nothing to do with it. They go side-by-side putting on a great show for the fans. Reeves then finds himself being challenged by Staropoli for second as Staropoli proves to have the stronger truck taking second and putting Reeves third. Now it is Moxley who is challenged by Scott Bishop who takes over fifth as Moxley goes back to sixth.
Just as the action is hot and heavy, the caution comes out for Chad Akins and Tim Gersch. Gertsch is able to continue but Akins is done for the night. The green comes back out as Staropoli leads the way over Pilla, Skinner, Reeves, and Bishop. Lap 24 sees T.J. Chambers bring out the yellow as he spins on the backstretch. The field is realigned for the restart as Staropoli leads the way. Pilla finds his hands full as he goes side-by-side with Skinner for second. Skinner takes over second followed by Reeves, Bishop and Kevin Henry.
Staropoli and Skinner put on one heck of a show as they take turns taking the lead with each fighting back until lap 59 when the caution comes out for a spin in turns 1 and 2. Suddenly the truck of Phil Luizzo comes in full of smoke as he is done for the night. The green comes back out on lap 69 with Skinner on the point followed by Starpoli, Bishop, Reeves, and Pilla. Suddenly the truck of Kevin Henry stalls on the frontstretch with a broken trailing arm ending his good run.
Skinner holds the point on the restart with Staropoli after the lead also. Staropoli retakes the point but Skinner is charging hard, just alittle too hard, as he spins out Staropoli on lap 75. Caught up in the mess in turn 4 was the points leader George Morales but he is able to pit and fix his truck enough to continue. Staropoli is given back his spot as Skinner goes to the rear of the trucks on the lead lap.
On the restart it is Staropoli, Bishop, Reeves, Pilla, and Brandon Johnson. Pilla passes Reeves and takes over third as Reeves goes to fourth. Racing is now hot and heavy as the end is in sight but on lap 92, the yellow comes out again for a mass spin coming off turn 4 involving Jessica Murphy, Dwayne Barrus, and Caesar Bacerella. All are okay and the race goes back green but Bacerella slows on the backstretch and brings out the caution again. Barcella looks to be out of gas but has a bent fuel tube from the earlier spin causing his truck not to get fuel. So close to the end but not close enough as Barcella is pushed to his pit done for the night.
With only eight laps to go, Staropoli leads the way over Scott Bishop, Michael Pilla, Scott Reeves, and Brandon Johnson. Staropoli takes the win as George Morales takes the 2006 Pro Truck Championship.
In other action at New Smyrna, Dale Clouser shows the way for the Sportsman feature. Phil Luizzo had the pole but it was Dale Howard who took the point on the green followed by Mike Pletka, Dale Clouser, Luizzo, and John Nusbaum. Clouser works his way to the point and takes over followed by Howard, Nusbaum, Pletka, and Luizzo. Suddenly Pletka and Nusbaum get together with Nusbaum going into the turns 1 and 2 wall hard. Nusbaum is okay but done for the night.
On the restart, it is Clouser, Howard, Luizzo, Derrick Wood and Pletka. Luizzo passes Howard for second as Howard settles into thrd. Lap 15 sees the caution for Derrick Wood who has spun high in turns 3 and 4 but saved his car from hitting the wall A really good job indeed. Clouser continues to lead the way and takes the checkered over Phil Luizzo, Dale Howard, Mike Pletka, and the 2006 Orlando SpeedWorld Sportsman Champion Richard Hight.
Ron Dubeau had the pole for the Open Wheel Modified feature but it was the 2005 and 2006 Columbia Motorsports Park Modified Champion Jason Garver who showed the way on the green. Alan Bruns definitely gave it his best to pass Garver but Garver was having nothing to do with it. With no cautions, it was Jason Garver taking the checkered followed by Alan Bruns, Jeremy Fitch, Art Kunzeman, and Ron Dubeau.
It was Bobby Holley who took the last Super Stock win in the 2006 season at New Smyrna. Ed Barber had the early lead followed by Holley, Mike Amato, George Spears, and James Frisbie. Spears passes Amato for third as Frisbie follows Spears for fourth and Sean Bass takes over fifth as Amato slides back. Amato brings out the caution as he spins going down the frontstretch.
On the restart, it is Holley, Spears, Frisbie, Barber and Bass leading the way. Frisbie and Spears put on a show as they pass each other for second but in the end, Spears holds second. Frisbie gets real loose coming off 4 and looks to be on his way to the hard walls of New Smyrna but does a great job of saving the car. Holley takes the checkered followed by George Spears, James Frisbie, Ed Barber, and Sean Bass.
Young Drew Brannon had the pole for the Late Model feature and took the point on the lead followed by Charlie Vest, Alan Bruns, Brandon Evans, and Brian Bellaw. But on lap 1, Michael Weaver brings out the caution as he spins on the backstretch. The field is realigned as Branon shows the way over Vest, Bruns, Jamie Skinner, and Evnas.
Bruns passes Vest for second as Skinner follows thru for third and Vest settles into fourth. Going down the backstretch, Vest gets alittle too close to the wall dusting it and ending his night. Brannon holds the point on the restart followed by Skinner, Bruns, Brennan Palmiter, and Bellaw.
Skinner charges for the lead and takes it right at the start/finish line. Skinner goes to Victory Lane only to be told that he was penalized one spot for jumping the restart giving back the victory to Brannon.
Mini Stocks saw Pedie Allison and Steven Simpson give one of the best shows of the night as they went side-by-side for laps, never touching, and putting on a heck of a battle. In the end it was Simpson who took the checkered over Pedie Allison, Rex Christensen, Richie Laszlo, and Pug Puglisi.
Doug Wolf took the checkered in the Strictly Stock feature over Brent Bruner, Jody Roberts, Richard Barrenechea, and Skip Wager.
New Smyrna Speedway has come to a close for the 2006 season. All the officials and staff wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and see you in 2007 at New Smyrna Speedway.
OFFICIAL RESULTS: FLORIDA STATE TRUCK CHAMPIONSHIP 100:
1. 97 Patrick Staropoli 2. 0 Scott Bishop 3. 24m Micheal Pilla 4. 21 Scott Reeves 5. 41 Brandon Johnson 6. 11K Robert Ham 7. 38 Ricky Moxley 8. 22 Larry Jordan 9. 5s Dustin Skinner 10. 1 Jake Crum 11. 96 George Morales 12. 20 Kyle Eastham 13. 31 Jarrad Cawley 14. 33 DeWayne Barrus 15. 1m Mark Lowrey 16. 62 Jessica Murphy 17. 32 Bill Stacy 18. 29 Tim Gertsch 19. 95 Austin Howell 20. 24 Caesar Bacarella 21. 73 Paulie Harraka 22. 13 Ricky "D" Rubin 23. 99 Kevin Henry 24. 27 Phil Luizzo 25. 94 Andy Megronigle 26. 33x Sean Bass 27. 33k Kelly Caudill 28. 7 T.J. Chambers 29. 7x Sonny Buchanan 30. 9 Ron Lufcy 31. 60 Chad Akins 32. 9x Jerry Symons 33. 01 Tim Bagnall 34. 0b Billy Bishop
1. 08 Drew Brannon 2. 26 Jamie Skinner 3. 4B Alan Bruns 4. 27x Brennan Palmiter 5. 20 Brian Bellaw 6. 27 Brandon Evans 7. 32 Charlie Vest 8. 11 Michael Weaver
1. 27 Jason Garver 2. 4B Alan Bruns 3. 00 Jeremy Fitch 4. 9 Art Kunzeman 5. 2x Ron Dubeau 6. 27x Dunstin Beckelheimerz 7. 007 Terry Wright
1. 30 Dale Clouser 2. 2 Phil Luizzo 3. 63 Dale Howard 4. 23 Mike Pletka 5. 23x Richard Hight 6. 48x Grant McAllister 7. 6 Bruce McGonigle Sr. 8. 33 Derrick Wood 9. 41 Michael Carr 10. 70 John Nusbaum
1. 56 Bobby Holley 2. 18 George Spears 3. 3x James Frisbie 4. 23 Ed Barber 5. 49x Sean Bass 6. 2x Mike Amato 7. 01 Scott Smith 8. 05 Jeff Parrish 9. 7 Vince Keeler 10. 3 Jeff Colburn 11. 21 Kerry Bellflower 12. 21x Mike Dahm 13. 77 Rick Taylor
1. 07 Steven Simpson 2. 92 Pedie Allison 3. v3 Rex Christensen 4. 07x Richie Laszlo 5. 11 Pug Puglisi 6. 18 Jason Intoppa 7. 6 Mark Broat
1. 71 Doug Wolf 2. 20 Brent Bruner 3. 13 Jody Roberts 4. 20x Richard Barrenchea 5. 43 Skip Wager 6. 68 Brian Sayne 7. 912 Rudy Crews 8. 88 Dustin Higdon 9. 26 Judy Dorton 10. 69 Eddie Rush 11. 77 Harry Armstrong