As the hours tick closer towards the 52nd Annual Florida Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway, several local teams are making the final preparations to their cars in order to defend the state’s title from the likes of northern intruders.
With stout competition like Roush Fenway Development Driver Ty Majeski and young Phenom Harrison Burton expected to compete, the locals know they have their work cut out for them.
Winter Haven, Florida’s George Gorham Jr, fresh off his first ever track championship at Showtime Speedway (FL), has pre-entered both his Sportsman and new Super Late Model for the occasion.
“I have a lot of momentum going into the Governor’s Cup,” Gorham excitedly told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Not only the track championship, which is the first one I have ever won, but I also feel like I’m taking my football team to the Super Bowl.”
Naples, Florida’s own third-generation driver, Dylan Bigley, also pre-entered and feels that a win this weekend would mean a lot to him and his family.
“I feel really good about the car for this weekend. We found some problems we have been dealing with these past couple of races but I’m confident we have the car going into the right direction,” Bigley said.
“This race means a lot to me and my family. My dad won this race back in 1998 and the only other father and son that have won this race is Dick and Wayne Anderson. [Editor’s Note: David and Tim Russell have also won the race as a father-son combination.] It would mean a lot if we could beat anyone of the caliber of talent that both Ty and Harrison have, they have been working their way up the ranks and they are considered to be the best up-and-coming drivers. But for us to beat them guys we really have to be on our A game and have the car working for us like they always are.”
And while there are 14 cars pre-entered, there are expected to be several more that show up on race weekend. One of which may be short track ace Daniel Webster in Chris Fontaine’s classic No. 47.
“I’ve grown up as a spectator enjoying this race. It’s the biggest race in the Southeast behind only the Snowball Derby. I’ve raced a good deal at New Smyrna but only attempted the Governor’s Cup once in 2011, mainly due to lack of funding,” Webster explained. “It’s an expensive weekend. I’ve personally tested the 47 car there a few times and was really pleased with it, and have good notes to go back there with. Therefore, when Chris didn’t put it on his schedule I brought up me driving that weekend. He and Kevin Ingram (crew chief/manager) agreed if I came up with the funding it was my ride for the weekend.”
The action-packed weekend will kick off Saturday with Pro Late Model, Modified and Super Stock competition leading up to the granddaddy of Central Florida short track racing, the 52nd Annual Florida Governor’s Cup 200 on Sunday starting at 1:15 p.m.
Catch all the action at the track or online with Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage.
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com