Alexis Fenton gets First Late Model Win at New Smyrna Speedway
by Jane Smith
Samsula, FL (November 30, 2008) It was the last night of racing at New Smyrna Speedway for 2008. All cars were called to the frontstretch for an on-track autograph session with the fans who braved the night chill. No heat races were run and the feature races were longer, something the drivers had asked for. Plus it was double file restarts, no more single file which made it an interesting night.
First up were the Open Wheel Modifieds where George Murphy had the pole for the 35 lap race. But it was Alan Bruns who jumped to the point on the start followed by George Murphy, Art Kunzeman, Matt Wheeler and Dick Laszlo. With no cautions in the 35 lap feature, it was Alan Bruns taking the checkered over Art Kunzeman, George Murphy, Dick Laszlo, and Bruce Packer, Jr.
Next up were the ever favorite Super Stocks with Mike Amato on the pole. Amato took the point on the start but not for long as John Hodge took his #00 to the lead followed by Amato, Bruce McGonigal, Butch Herdegen, and Justin Reynolds. Reynolds spent little time making his way to teh front and right on the rear-end of Hodge. Both Hodge and Reynolds put on quite a show doing some great side-by-side racing for the lead with each having it at one time or another. Finally it was Hodge who took the point for the checkered flag followed closely by Justin Reynolds, Bobby Holley, Brent Tyler, John Cummins, and Ernest Stickle.
Strictly Stocks saw Brent Bruner on the pole but it was Glenn Rhodes from Orlando SpeedWorld who ended up in Victory Lane for his first win at New Smyrna Speedway. Following Rhodes to the checkered was Brent Bruner, George Dahm, Robert Pence, and Terry Chartrand.
Mini Stocks saw Jeff Pittsley on the pole for their feature race but it was Coty Blair who quickly made his way to the point and never looked back. Even after several cautions and restarts, Blair held the point and took the checkered over Ted Vulipus, Chace Miller, Jeff Pittsley, and Randy Blakeslee. Pittsley did a great save job on the white flag lap when he came off turn 4 very, very sideways and was able to keep the car from hitting anyone or anything.
Intermission came and with intermission came Mr. and Mrs. Claus and an elf to visit with the children on both the grandstand and pit side. Children were able to come down to the frontstretch and tell Santa their secret desires, get a candy cane, and have their picture made with the three. There were even some grown-ups who enjoyed seeing Santa and having their picture taken with him and his Mrs. But all good things must end and it was time to get back to racing.
Up next were the Pro Trucks with the 18 of Zachary Jarrell on the pole. In the field was a brand new truck with young Bobby Kennedy behind the wheel. Kennedy is a graduate from the Quarter Midget track and found himself in new terrority and at one point, a sandwitch between Marty Wolf and Zachary Donatti.
It did not take Cody Blair long to take the point in the truck race followed by Jarrell, Ben Kennedy, Jim Campbell, and Marty Wolf. Even with a few restarts, Ben Kennedy could not put enough pressure on Blair to throw him off his obvious course for the win. Blair took the checkered followed by Ben Kennedy, Jim Campbell, Marty Wolf and Zachary Donatti.
Just when you think the night is going perfect and you will actually get home at a decent hour, something always happens and it did in the Late Model feature. Alexis Fenton had the pole but before a lap was even down, David Gibbs got into the back of Zachary Donatti jacking his rear-end up and Donatti ended up against the frontstretch wall collecting Alan Bruns and Earl Beckner who hit hard at the end of the pit road exit. It was only Donatti second start in a Late Model and basically his car was toast along with Beckner's and Bruns's. The race was red flapped and the remaining Late Models stopped on the frontstretch as the wreckers went to work.
After four restarts, the race was on as Alexis Fenton led the way over Chuck Abell, David Gibbs, and Donny Williams who was running his ASA Late Model. Gibbs finally got around Abell and took over second as Fenton took the checkered for her very first win in a Late Model. Following Fenton to the checkered was David Gibbs, Chuck Abell, and Donny Williams, the only remaining Late Models in the field.
The Sportsman race did not go any better as Steven Farris had the pole but before a lap was down, the caution came out for Jeff Cole who was out of the race before it even began. On the second restart, the caution came out again for Farris, Robert Glover, and Steve Redditt on the backstretch. Glover was able to return to the field along with Redditt but Farris was done. At this time Jason Foster found he had problems with his Sportsman taking it to the infield for some crew attention but evidentally it did not help as Foster had to retire his machine to the pits.
Finally after several restarts, a single file restart was in order as Philip Luizzo took the point over Brennan Palmiter, John Nusbaum, Donny Williams, and Steve Redditt. Suddenly Palmiter slows and he is out of the race. Williams takes over the point followed by Nusbaum, Luizzo, and Redditt but Luizzo has problems with his machine and he is off the track leaving three Sportsman to race to the checkered. With Williams having a huge lead over Nusbaum and Redditt, Williams takes the checkered followed by John Nusbaum and Steve Redditt, the only Sportsman running.
New Smyrna Speedway will return to racing January 3rd, 2009 with the Red Eye 100.
OFFICIAL RESULTS NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY NOVEMBER 29, 2008
Late Model - Features Pos Driver Car # 1 Alexis Fenton 11 2 David Gibbs 47 3 Chuck Abell 19A 4 Donald Williams 111 5 Alan Bruns 4B 6 Zachary Donatti 9Z 7 Earl Beckner 36
Mini Stock - Features Pos Driver Car # 1 Cody Blair 81 2 Ted Vulpius 71 3 Chace Miller 14 4 Jefferson Pittsley 20 5 Randy Blakeslee 77
Modified - Features Pos Driver Car # 1 Alan Bruns 4B 2 Ardell "Art" Kunzeman 9 3 George Murphy 40 4 Richard Laszlo 07 5 Bruce Packer 15 6 Matthew Wheeler 96 7 John Zidek 30
Sportsman - Features Pos Driver Car # 1 Donald Williams 111 2 John Nusbaum 70 3 Steve Redditt 05 4 Philip Luizzo 45 5 Brennan Palmiter 7 6 Steven Farris 7X 7 Robert Glover 38 8 Jason Foster 49 9 Jeff Cole 90
Strictly Stock - Features Pos Driver Car # 1 Glenn Rhodes 63 2 Brent Bruner 20 3 George Dahm 21X 4 Robert Pence 88 5 Terry Chartrand 30 6 John Witt 27 7 Dustin Higdon 44 8 Christopher Sclafani 21 DNS
Super Stock - Features Pos Driver Car # 1 John Hodge 00 2 Justin Reynolds 77 3 Brent Tyler 99 4 John Cummins 29C 5 Ernest Stickle 11X 6 Steve Pierce 54 7 Michael Amato 2X 8 Jarrett Korpi 11 9 Mike Dahm 21D 10 Bruce McGonigal 22 11 Butch Herdegen 68 12 Woody Strickland 32 13 Doug Wolf 69 14 Bobby Holley 56 15 Richard Goodrich 15 DNS
Trucks - Features Pos Driver Car # 1 Cody Blair 15 2 Ben Kennedy 96 3 Jim Campbell 73 4 Martin Wolf Jr 9 5 Zachary Donatti 9Z 6 Wayne Wells 23 7 Steve Baie 2 8 Zachary Jarrell 18 9 Bobby Kennedy 8