It was one cold night in Central Florida as the orange blossoms froze over and Cole Anderson once again showed a star-studded field of Super Late Model drivers how to get it done at New Smyrna Speedway. Anderson, a promising young shoe out of the Anthony Campi Racing stable, topped the local favorites of Stephen Nasse and Anthony Sergi, while teaching the young guns from North Carolina what Florida short track racing is all about. He stayed out of trouble, saved his equipment, and give it all his No. 97 had in the last 20 laps to win yet again.
Based out of Minnesota, Anderson knows off-hand how to drive in the cold. “It takes a few laps for the tires to get heat in them and a few laps for the car to get worked in, because the first few laps the car will just slide around because of how cold it is,” he told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in a pre-race interview.
From there Anderson said it took, “A lot of patience behind Stephen Nasse there. I tried to race him as clean as I could. I tried to get around him as quick as I could, and I saw the seventeen (Quinn Houff) coming and it was time to go. So I had to work my way around him in turn two and I got it done.”
Second-place finisher Stephen Nasse took the lead on just the second lap of the race after winning the pole in qualifying and starting fourth after an inversion. He set up his car for the long run, which worked in his favor on a night where there were a few wrecks in between long green flag runs. Nasse led until lap 98 when Anderson was able to get by.
When asked how Anderson was able to foil his almost flawless night Nasse was just as shocked as the rest of
“He schooled me, I mean I’ll say it, he did something I didn’t expect him to do,” Nasse said. “I knew he was a rookie. I knew he just won the Red Eye. I know he’s fast. I know Anthony’s (Campi, the car owner) stuff is fast. But I was expecting him to just work the bottom and when I heard outside I was shocked. I mean my jaw dropped. With less than five to go like that they’re tough to lose.”
In third came Quinn Houff out of Virginia. “This was actually my first time here. This track actually compares a lot to my home track of Motor Mile Speedway, just a little bit bigger and a little bit faster. We had a heck of a car. LFR did a great job. We hit the track running, P-1 in both practices. I was trying to be real patient with the 51 and all those cautions came in and I struggled with restarts all night and just got killed there in the end, but that’s racing.”
No one else had anything for the top three as Dalton Armstrong and Matt Tifft limped across the finish line to round out the top five. The rest of the field suffered from a plethora of cautions that took place at the midpoint of the race or had part failures early on.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday night’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Progressive Racing Engines, click here.
1. 97 Cole Anderson
2. 51N Stephen Nasse
3. 17 Quinn Houff
4. 5A Dalton Armstrong
5. 21 Matt Tift
6. 9M Brad May
7. 15 Christian Eckes
8. 5K Daniel Keene Jr.
9. 9R Brandon Booth
10. 11 David Rogers
11. 51 Michael Atwell
12. 36T Tim Russell
13. 14 Chris Davidson
14. 5P Brennan Poole
15. 19 Riley Herbst
16. 20 Anthony Sergi
17. 10 Matt Montineri
18. 40 Tanner Gray
19. 24 Shane Nicols
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Contributor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com