Mike Fritts Wins 37th Governor's Cup
Mike Fritts with New Smyrna Speedway owner Robert Hart
and State Senator Bill Posey(left).
BY JANE SMITH
Samsula, Fla - Perfect weather, full stands, and a star filled night was in order for the 37th running of the Governor's Cup 200 Sunbelt Super Late Model race and final
leg of the Triple Crown sponsored by South 40 Motorsports and Graphix of Mims, Fla. Also on the card was a 100 lap Florida Mini Stock Challenge Series State Championship race.
James Powell III, defending winner from the 2001 race, set fast time with a 17.901 sec. lap at 100.55 MPH. Travis Kittleson from Merritt Island, Fla., Justini Drawdy of
Ft. Pierce, Fla, David Rogers from Orlando, Fla., and Mike Fritts from DeBary, Fla. filled in the top five spots.
Two cars did not qualify, no. 57 of Jim "Hoot" Flynn who had Jason Boyd behind the
wheel and late arriving no. 47 of Keith Zavrel.
Zavrel was able to join the field for the green but Boyd was not as his car developed rear-end problems during practice.
Bob Shearer, owner of South 40 Motorsports and Graphix and the presenting sponsor of the 37th Governor's Cup, threw the green.
James Powell quickly took the lead and looked like he was well on his way to yet
another Governor's Cup win.
The race was red flagged for a period due to Justin Drawdy's mechanical problems going into turn 1 on a restart.
Drawdy was running in the top five and a number of cars got tangled in the mass pile-up. One of the cars was that of James Powell III.
When the race was restarted, a number of new Super Late Model 'Modifieds' joined the field. James Powell and Lee Collins just to name a few had 'modifieds'.
With a 200 lap race, all the drivers would pit once. This would change the field somewhat but it was Mike Fritts who took the point and battled with David Rogers and Wayne Willard for the win.
Willand, from Buford, Georgia, challenged both Rogers and Fritts and drove his wheeels off. As Rogers and Willard battled side-by-side, they would swap places a
number of times and finally settle for Willard in second and Rogers in third.
During one period, when Rogers was second, he and Fritts made slight contact
coming down the front- stretch. Rogers, being a gentleman driver, let Fritts gather his car without taking advantage of the situation.
Winning the 37th Governor's Cup 200 and adding his name to the Golden Cup trophy was Mike Fritts of Debary, Florida. Wayne Willard, David Rogers, Michael Williams and Jimmy Cope filled out the top five.
All cars passed tech and it was announced that Michael Williams of South 40 Motorsports and Graphix was the new 2002 Sunbelt Super Late Model Champion.
Forty six Mini Stocks came to race one of the only 100 lapppers for Mini Stocks. A consi race was run with the top six transferring into the main race. Tim Clar, Jerry
Smith, Chase Goodson, Mark Moniz, Danny Poling, and Don Strosahl made the field from the consi.
On the pole was Lee Davis but it was Ted "Mr Mini Stock" Vulipus who quickly
jumped to the lead. Vulipus was able to maintain the point in spite of two cautions that religned the field.
But Vulipus had mechanical problems and slipped back into the field and finally
pulling into the pits ending his night. Chris Hooker took over the lead with Robbie Storer, Clint Foley, David Castello, and Rick Sirmans in the top five.
A wreck involving Wayne Clark and Don Strosahl had the red flag come out for track cleanup. Both Clark and Strosahl were fine but done for the night.
On the restart, Hooker still held the point with Storer close behind. A few more yellows were thrown and on one of the retarts, Storer was able to pass Hooker and take the point.
Lee Davis and David Castello did some good side-by- side, door-to-door driving for the fourth spot which Davis held. In the end, Castello was able to make the pass, made it stick and took fourth.
Storer held on to take the checkers followed by Chris Hooker, Chris Thornton, David Castello and Lee Davis in the top five. The top three cars were teched after the
race and Chris Hooker, the second place car, was disqualified for oversized valves. This changed the top five to Storer, Thornton, Castello, Davis and Corbin Gibbs.
The Florida Mini Stock Challenge Series will run one more race on November 22nd at Orlando SpeedWorld.
PHOTO SLIDESHOW FROM THE 37th ANNUAL FLORIDA GOVERNOR'S CUP 200
FINAL RESULTS GOVERNOR'S CUP 200
1. #27x Mike Fritts, Debary, Fla.
2. #01 Wayne Willard, Buford, Ga.
3. #11 David Rogers, Orlando, Fla.
4. #40 Michael Williams, Mims, Fla.
5. #61 Jimmy Cope, St. Petersburg, Fla.
6. #74 Barry Willoughby, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
7. #14 Aric Almirola, Tampa, Fla.
8. #72 Chad Pierce, Orlando, Fla.
9. #96 Jack Cook, Ormond Beach, Fla.
10. #07 Jeff Scoffied, Plant City, Fla.
11. #5 Daniel Keene, Sr., Land O Lakes, Fla.
12. #116 Bruce Lawrence III, Land O Lakes, Fla.
13. #37 James Powell III, Aston, Fla.
14. #63 Joe Fitos, West Palm Beach, Fla.
15. #122 Perry Brown, Riverview, Fla.
16. #51 Jacob Warren, Orlando, Fla.
17. #43 Dennis Schoenfield, Concord, NC
18. #74j Jay Middleton, Lake City, Fla.
19. #16 Bruce Lawrence, Sorento, Fla.
20. #89 Lee Collins, Immokalee, Fla.
21. #16K Tommy King, Bartow, Fla.
22. #22x Larry Osteen, Clermont, Fla.
23. #12 Justin Drawdy, Ft. Pierce, Fla.
24. #10 Eric Black, Vero Beach, Fla.
25. #27 Mike Good, Lake Mary, Fla.
26. #22 David Froelich, Loxahatchee, Fla.
27. #47 Keith Zavrel
28. #78 B.J. McLeod, Wauchula, Fla.
29. #2 Craig Reynolds, Mims, Fla.
30. #88 Travis Kittleson, Merritt Island, Fla.
31. #92 Dick Anderson, Wildwood, Fla.
32. #5k Daniel Keene, Jr., Land O Lakes, Fla.
FLORIDA MINI STOCK CHALLENGE 100
1. #9 Robbie Storer
2. #24 Chris Thornton
3. #1 David Castello
4. #77 Lee Davis
5. #2 Corbin Gibbs
6. #99x Brent Huff
7. #7x Clint Foley
8. #40 Dennis Valdez
9. #02 Wes Pyburn
10. #15 Tim Clark
11. #99k Jason Kuykendall
12. #57 Travis Kuykendall
13. #45 Joe Irwin
14. #05 Rick Sirmans
15. #v3 Rex Christensen
16. #42 Eddie Lowery
17. #41 Mark Moniz
18. #13x Jimmy Wear
19. #28 Sean Bass
20. #98 Jeff Davis
21. #82 Jimmy Warram
22. #70 Marty Neikens
23. #84 Don Strosahl, Sr.
24. #14 James Stalnaker
25. #97 Brian Dorer
26. #96 Frank Welch
27. #71x Ted Vulipus
28. #112 Justin Edwards
29. #16 Chase Goodson
30. #115 Don Strosahl
31. #15x Wayne Clark
32. #21 Chuck Frazier
33. #8 Robbie Yoakam
34. #30 Jerry Smith
35. #68 Danny Poling
36. #7 Tim McPhail