Race fans who enjoy good, clean racing got their monies worth during the Orange Blossom 100 Saturday Night at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). A full house was on hand at the New Smyrna Beach, Florida race track to witness 100 straight laps of door-to-door racing in the Sunshine State. At the end of the night, it was veteran racer Jeff Choquette celebrating his first win of the season.
Choquette, Brad May, and Daniel Keene Jr. put on a clinic throughout the 100-lap race, showing fans just how good Super Late Model racing is in the state of Florida.
The action picked up when May caught up to Keene’s rear bumper on lap 51. The two sparred back and forth for several laps, sizing one another up, waiting for the other to slip. Little did they know that Choquette was reeling them in, and in a matter of just a few laps he was right in the thick of things.
Choquette went high on May, who was being held up by Keene at the time and took the second positions from him in as few as four turns, then set his focus on Keene. Choquette would make the pass on Keene a few laps later and go on to drive away as May and Keene battled for runner-up honors.
“In a long race like that you really got to pace yourself,” Choquette, who also won the Modified race earlier in the night, told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Not that those guys went too hard in the beginning, but the spotter was reading lap times off to you and where you are compared to the guys in front of and behind you, and we were a little bit quicker every lap than they were. But you don’t see that in the race car. You just trust in what they say and keep doing what you’re doing, and this time it paid off. I couldn’t thank the whole Jett Concrete crew enough for this weekend. I couldn’t think of a more deserved group of people.”
In regards to the exciting mid-race battles, Choquette added, “I know there have been some scuffles in the past, but that’s how I intend to race every time. There was a lot of sliding around out there. But you got good clean racing. I enjoyed it and hope everyone else did too.”
May added to that sentiment after his runner-up finish.
“I thought Daniel and Jeff had both run me clean, ran a real great race,” he said. “It’s pretty slick out there, but they raced me good.
“I love the long 100 lap green (flag runs). That’s exactly what I wanted to happen. We were running pretty hard when I was behind Daniel (Keene Jr.). I was trying to think, okay, I’ll save it and by the end of the race I’ll really have something to really fight for it, and I didn’t really expect Jeff (Choquette) to come from nowhere and catch up to us. Lapped cars were messing us up a little bit, and that kind of got us in some spots we didn’t want to be. But overall it was a great night. The car was great, we’re really happy with it.”
Keene walked away feeling pretty good about his race as well after a third-place finish.
“We had a good car, we lead probably half the laps, maybe even more. I’m happy with that,” Keene commented. “We started on the front row, which is nice as well. I think all in all we had a really good car there. With a few changes I think we could have been better on the long run. But I mean if you get beat by Jeff Choquette and Brad May, those guys aren’t slouches. I mean other than that, I think we had the rest of the field covered really well, and we’re going to take what we got, with the car in one piece, go back and work on it a little bit more and come back.”
More information, highlights, and interviews from Saturday night’s race at New Smyrna Speedway can be seen by visiting 51’s Trackside Now.
Next on the schedule for New Smyrna Speedway is the 51st Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing February 17-25. The series will include Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Sportsman, Pro Trucks, IMCA Modifieds, Tour Type Modifieds and the NASCAR K&N East Series.
For more information, visit newsmyrnaspeedway.org.
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Deep South Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
Orange Blossom 100 Unofficial Results
New Smyrna Speedway – New Smyrna, Florida
February 11, 2017
|3||5K||Daniel Keene Jr.|