The Allen Turner Pro Late Models ran Twin 50s Friday night at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Stealing the show was Jeff Choquette who won both features in dominating fashion, managing to lead all 100 laps over persistent young guns like Casey Roderick and Cole Anderson.
Choquette’s success, however, was laced with controversy, particularly due to his preeminence on the restarts.
“Casey is a really good race car driver. My motto is beat me out here racing, don’t beat me under caution, don’t beat me on the start,” Choquette stated. “Just like when I started on the inside, I gave him plenty of room. He had a lane, I had a lane.”
Roderick offered a different take on the issue in victory lane following the first 50-lap race, claiming the restarts were not as clean as Choquette indicated.
“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” stated Roderick. “It was pretty good racing to me. He was trying to pinch me down on the restarts coming out of four, so I just held my ground.”
Choquette restarted predominantly from the outside groove of the track, prevailing with a stretched out lead each time within the first lap after the green flag was thrown.
“I feel like I’m in more control if I’m on the outside, especially where this track sits. I don’t know what happened to [Casey Roderick], but we were able to get a good restart and get out there.”
Despite being victorious in the first 50-lapper event with few hiccups, Choquette extended a few words of warning to second-place finisher Roderick in Victory Lane in anticipation for the final fifty laps.
“I just felt like (Roderick) wasn’t showing me very much respect on the restarts in the first 50 lapper,” he said. There was a donut mark on the side of the car, it was the only one we got and it was under caution, so that’s a little disheartening.”
The second Pro Late Model race of the night was a carbon copy of the first. Only at the end did Roderick present any threat to Choquette, who was weeding his way through lapped traffic.
“I think he had a little bit better long run car, he started to catch me there,” said Choquette. “He was better through the lapped traffic than I was. But we were able to prevail and take these notes on to the next one.”
When asked about his long term intentions with the Jett Team, who he has now won three of four races with, Choquette revealed his plan to take another shot at Five Flag’s most prestigious race.
“We’re definitely going to hit all of the Blizzard Series races, definitely gearing up for the Snowball Derby. Every time that we come here, we put in extra effort testing getting ready for the Snowball Derby, so that’s our main goal.”
Choquette looks forward to the next event, pleased with his progress thus far in the racing season.
“To be able to hold off Casey Roderick, Cole Anderson and all of them is a pretty big feat. Those guys are who you’re going to have to race in the Snowflake, to run in the Snowball, so it’s always really good to come down here.
“You’re racing with the best of the best and we always enjoy it.”
On-demand Trackside Now coverage of Friday night’s race can be seen by clicking here.
-By Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com