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Florida Governor's Cup

Wayne Anderson Wins 38th Annual Governor's Cup at New Smyrna Speedway

By Jane Smith

                 Anderson in  Winner's Circle with Grand Marshall State Senator Daniel Webster

Samsula, Fla. (November 22, 2003) The 2003 Governor's Cup is over, but fans will long remember the grandeur of this year's race. Forty two of Florida's best Super Late Model drivers gathered for one reason and one reason only, to win the Governor's Cup.

Jimmy "Mr Excitement" Cope qualified 21st but set the lap to beat with a 17.970 lap. Second fastest time was set by Jacob Warren with a 17.988 followed by Aric Almirola in third with a 18.046, David Rogers in fourth with a 18.105 and Jamie Skinner in fifth with a 18.126.

A consi race had to be run with the top six going into the main feature. Making the race was Daniel Keene Jr., Brock Oglesby, Chris Turner, Chuck Hiers, Matt Griffin, and Phillip Rook. The field was set with 36 of Florida's best.

State Senator Daniel Webster, in his new Pennzoil suit, gladly posed with each driver as Wayne Keller looked on. Wayne Keller is the son of Al Keller who the Governor's Cup honors. Webster spoke the magic words, "gentlemen, start your engines" and the 38th running of the Governor's Cup was on it's way.

Jimmy Cope sat on the pole and when State Senator Daniel Webster waved the green, it was Cope who took the point followed by Jacob Warren, David Rogers, Aric Almirola and Jamie Skinner. The race went yellow on lap 2 as a car spun up in turns 1 and 2 involving a number of drivers. Joe Fitos, Phillip Rook, Fain Skinner, Michael Williams, Gary Chapman, Rich Pratt and Chet Morrison. Out of the race before it even really begun was Joe Fitos, Phillip Rook, and Gary Chapman.

On lap 8, the race was restarted with Cope on the pole followed by David Rogers, Jacob Warren, Aric Almirola and Jamie Skinner. But it was another short green as Bruce Lawrence brought out the yellow as he spun on the backstretch. The race went back green on lap 15 with Cope in the lead but once again the yellow came out within a few laps.

Lap 18 saw the yellow as Chris Turner spun in turns 1 and 2. The race goes back green on lap 20 but one lap later, the yellow came out again for Daniel Keene Jr. who spun on the frontstretch with Bruce Lawrence hitting Keene as he had no place to go. Both drivers were fine and able to continue racing. The race restarts on lap 24 with Cope, Rogers, Warren, Almirola, Skinner, Fritts, Willoughby, Drawdy, Powell and Dick Anderson in the top ten.

Lap 30 sees Fritts right on Jamie Skinner's tail taking over fifth with Skinner sliding to sixth. Lap 33 Chet Morrison brings out the yellow as he spins on the backstretch. Lap 37 sees the restart with Cope, Rogers, Warren, Almirola and Fritts in the top five followed by Powell, Drawdy, Dick Anderson, Willoughby, McLeod, Bigley, and Brian Finney.

The race goes green until lap 64 when Chris Turner spins on the backstretch. Pitting under the caution for some crew service was Fain Skinner, Jay Middleton, and Brock Oglesby. Lap 67 sees the green again as Cope, Rogers, Warren, Almirola and James Powell lead the way.

Lap 72 Powell puts the pedal down and passes Almirola for fourth with Almirola going to fifth. Eric Black brings out the caution on lap 77 when he spins and hits the turns 1 and 2 wall hard. Black is slightly shaken and taken off the track in the ambulance but okay. However, his hope for winning the Cup is over for this year as his car is way too damaged.

The race goes green on lap 82 as Cope has the lead followed by Rogers, Powell, Warren, and Almirola. By lap 85, Powell is definitely showing his strength as he takes over second from Rogers as Rogers slides back to third. By lap 92, the top ten are Cope, Powell, Rogers, Warren, Almirola, Fritts, Drawdy, Dick Anderson, Bigley, and Barry Willoughby.

Lap 99 Brian Finney spins in turns 1 and 2 but is able to continue racing. Lap 100, a number of cars pit for gas and tires for the next 100 laps. Not pitting was David Rogers who now holds the number one spot followed by Aric Almirola, Fritts, Drawdy and Willoughby. The race restarts on lap 105.

Chris Fontaine brings out the caution on lap 114 as he spins at the top of turns 1 and 2. The race restarts on lap 116 but one lap later, Mike Good, Dick Anderson, Jimmy Cope and James Powell all get together in turns 3 and 4. Out are Good and Anderson.

Lap 124 sees the restart as Wayne Anderson has the point followed by Billy Bigley Jr., Jacob Warren, Jamie Skinner and Daniel Keene Jr. Lap 131, Jimmy Cope and Justin Drawdy retire to the pits ending a very good run for both drivers. Chris Fontaine brings out the yellow on lap 144 as he spins on the backstretch.

The race restarts on lap 151 but before another lap was down, the yellow is thrown again for B.J. McLeod who has spun on the frontstretch coming off turn 4 on the restart. McLeod retires to the pits with his hopes done for the night.

Lap 154 sees the green once more as Wayne Anderson holds the point followed by Bigley, Warren, Skinner and Keene. Skinner finds himself down on lap 155 going into the pits. By lap 161 it is Anderson, Bigley, Warren, Rogers, Fritts, Michael Williams and Mario Gosslein leading the pack.

Patrick Williams, the points leader going into the Triple Crown races, slows and appears to be losing power and pits on lap 164. On lap 169, Chris Fontaine retires to the pits also. Lap 174 sees Jerry Symons bring out the yellow as he spins in turn 2. Wayne Anderson holds the point on the restart on lap 176 but the race is red flagged on lap 178 when Chuck Heirs is tapped by Mike Fritts coming into turns 1 and 2 with Jerry Symons and Mario Gosselin also getting involved. All drivers are fine but Symons, Heirs, and Gosselin are done for the night.

Wayne Anderson is now the car to beat as he leads the way on the restart followed by Bigley, Rogers, Warren and Michael Williams. Just as Rogers passes Bigley for second, the yellow comes out for Fritts who has spun. Bigley goes back to second with Rogers in third for the restart going back to the last lap completed.

With no more cautions, it is now a "run for the money" race as Anderson leads followed by Bigley, Rogers, Warren, Williams, Finney and Almirola.

        Speedway owner Robert Hart and son (left) with Anderson and Wayne Keller, attending his first Cup race

On lap 191, Rogers tried one more time to pass Bigley for second but this time Bigley is prepared and does not give up second. Anderson crosses the checkered and takes the 38th Governor's Cup win.
In Victory Lane, Anderson expressed his pleasure of winning his second Governor's Cup race and having his name added to the Golden Cup trophy once more. Anderson also took the FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Championship with his win.

Editor's Note: 
Over 200 Photos are in the Photo Gallery

ALso see:
Anderson Claims Triple Crown, Sunbelt Championship and Second Governor's Cup by John Barker

Final Results:

1. #84 Wayne Anderson, Wildwood, Fla.
2. #28 Billy Bigley Jr., Naples, Fla.
3. #11 David Rogers, Orlando, Fla.
4. #51 Jacob Warren, Orlando, Fla.
5. #42 Michael Williams, Mims, Fla.
6. #80 Brian Finney, Merritt Island, Fla.
7. #14 Aric Almirola, Tampa, Fla.
8. #5x Daniel Keene Jr., Tampa, Fla
9. #27x Mike Fritts, Debary, Fla.
10. #34 Jeff Dufressee, Naples, Fla.
11. #16 Bruce Lawrence, Sorento, Fla.
12. #86 Chet Morrison, Houma, LA.
13. #1 Fain Skinner, Live Oaks, Fla.
14. #22 Herb Hoefler, Floral City, Fla.
15. #74 Barry Willoughby, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
16. #59 Mario Gosselin, Lake Wales, Fla.
17. #7x Jerry Symons, New Smyrna, Fla.
18. #21 Chuck Heirs, Jacksonville, Fla.
19. #88 Brock Oglesby, Ocala, Fla.
20. #7 Matt Griffin, Clermont, Fla.
21. #47 Chris Fontaine, Lakeland, Fla.
22. #57 Patrick Williams, Archer, Fla.
23. #2 Jamie Skinner, Port Orange, Fla.
24. #78 B.J. McLeod, Wauchula, Fla.
25. #61 Jimmy Cope, St. Petersburg, Fla.
26. #12 Justin Drawdy, Ft. Pierce, Fla.
27. #37 James Powell, Astro, Fla.
28. #27 Mike Good, Lake Mary, Fla.
29. #92 Dick Anderson, Wildwood, Fla.
30. #74J Jay Middleton, Lake City, Fla.
31. #10 Eric Black, Vero Beach, Fla.
32. #94 Chris Turner, Naples, Fla.
33. #0 Rich Pratt, Anthony, Fla.
34. #57x Gary Chapman, Onan, WV.
35. #63 Joe Fitos, Loxahachee, Fla.
36. #26 Phillip Rook, Ocala, Fla.

Fast Qualifier: Jimmy Cope Top Rookie: Chet Morrison

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