Tyler Ankrum visited New Smyrna Speedway (FL) on Saturday night and put on a show for the hundreds of fans in attendance, leading flag to flag for 100 laps on the high banks.
Though the field was admittedly smaller than expected for opening day of the 2017 regular season at New Smyrna, the quality of the cars in attendance showed as local favorites Anthony Cataldi, David Rogers, and Michael Atwell fought valiantly door handle to door handle all race long trying to chase down Ankrum’s speedy No. 58.
“We had a really fast race car. I can’t tell you how many times in my whole life I’ve come to the racetrack with a perfect racecar and haven’t won in it. Finally, we got it done with this race team,” Ankrum told Speed51.com powered by JEGS
“We finally put it together. I know we’ve, ever since I got into supers its kind of like it was a constant learning process. I feel like this year I’ve finally figured it out, and this team we finally figured out a chemistry between all of us. We understand that we’re all on the same page and we finally put this race together tonight at my favorite race track. I’m happy to be a winner here at New Smyrna. I can’t tell you how many times I have finished second here and been faster than the leader, but you know what, I’m happy. I’m in victory lane, and I’m going to be happy for a while.”
The battle for second wasn’t so decisive. As Anthony Cataldi watched David Rogers and Michael Atwell battle hard out his windshield lap after lap, he positioned himself perfectly to capitalize when the two got together on lap 53, sending Rogers around just off of turn two.
“I talked to Gary Crooks and got some insight on what to change, and we just got the car better and better,” Cataldi said. “I think we really had something for Ankrum. We were just so close on lap times it was really hard to gain a bunch on him.”
David Rogers would come back from his mid-race spin to finish third and ultimately gave Cataldi a fierce battle for second.
“I got settled in and we had a pretty good race car,” Rogers stated. “Then when I was trying to race clean, and the black car (Michael Atwell) got into the right front and turned me, I had spun with the right front and probably knocked the toe in a little bit. The car didn’t turn ever as good after that, but we just struggled on.
“This is a new Sennekker car we raced at Speedweeks and we just have been having trouble getting it figured out. I struggled in qualifying but it seems to be an awful good race car, so we got to figure that out a little bit.”
More information, highlights, and photos from Saturday night’s race at New Smyrna Speedway can be seen by visiting 51’s Trackside Now coverage: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-super-late-model-100-at-new-smyrna-fl/
Next on the schedule for New Smyrna Speedway is a Pro Late Model 50-lap feature with support from the Super Stock, Mod Mini, and Bomber divisions on April 1.
Super Late Model 100 Unofficial Results
New Smyrna Speedway – New Smyrna, Florida
March 24, 2017
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Deep South Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com