The 2020 Wheel Man Racing Series got its start on Saturday night as a part of the second night of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. While at first appeared that Earl Beckner had everything to celebrate, dominating the second half of the 50-lap race, and crossing the line way ahead of Jesse Henley, the mood of celebration did not go past post-race inspection.
Wheel Man Series founder Steve Dorer explains.
“The 71 car of Earl Beckner was light after postrace, he didn’t pass postrace weight so he was DQ’ed for that.”
Beckner could not be reached for comment following postrace tech.
As for Jesse Henley, the man who was declared the official race winner, it was a bag of mixed emotions after a trip to victory lane following tech.
“We picked up the victory after tech, but I don’t think we had anything for him. He was very strong and he’s very good. We had to do a little homework to get the speed in. But, we did pick it up after tech,” Henley told Speed51.
When asked on his feelings about getting an early leg up on the season title, Henley’s mood perked up right away.
“I feel real good, we hit on some things after last year that I think we’ll improve on. With the type of competition in this Wheelman Series, it’s very important to get a strong start and get a little points lead in order to make up the difference on an off-night. It’s great, very surprised, we weren’t good when we unloaded here.”
As for his feeling about the Series racing New Smyrna, the mood got even brighter.
“It was awesome, it really was. There’s no other way to explain it. I love this place, I think every one of us has a lot of energy when we come here, and it’s a lot of fun to drive. Especially during Speedweeks and the Governor’s Cup, which is our two dates.”
Earl Beckner was not the only driver to feel the sting of inspection failure, 2019 Wheelman champion Patrick Thomas was assed a disqualification after he was promoted to third following Beckner’s DQ.
“The 77 of Patrick Thomas ended up third after that, he was then DQ’ed for incorrect height of front springs on suspension,” Expalined Dorer.
In the end, it was Henley the winner over Brooke Storer, Jeff Scofield, Jake Perkins, and Devin McLeod in the top five.
For complete results, visit the New Smyrna World Series Night #2 results page.
Get complete recap of the entire night at Trackside Now presented by VanDoorn Racing Development.
Be sure to keep with all that's happening across Florida this week and next at Speed51's Speedweeks Central.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51