The field of 19 Super Late Models and a late-race caution proved to be no match for Brad May on Thursday night as the multi-time New Smyrna Speedway track champion won the Super Late Model feature on Night #7 of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. It was a replication of Sunday night’s 35-lap race, starting on the pole and leading flag-to-flag for his second checkered flag of the week.
May’s win was in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, built off a guarantee made one night ago. With the Super Late Models off Friday night, he only had Wednesday to earn a victory for his wife.
“When I went to bed last night I told my wife I’m going to get to work on it and I’m going to win the race tomorrow night, which is tonight,” May said on the NBC Gold Pass broadcast. “We did it, happy Valentine’s Day to her.”
The only race that remains for the Super Late Models is the 100-lap Orange Blossom main event on Saturday night to conclude the week. With top names expected for the race Saturday night, May is happy with where his car is at and likes his team’s chances of earning win number three on the week.
“As good as it is right now, I hate to change too much. I’m real happy with it, it felt really good at the end of that run,” he said. “It’s going to be a little bit different race Saturday, got a little different strategies going in, making us pit and stuff. We’re going to go through everything and hopefully it’ll be as good on Saturday as it is tonight.”
A late yellow created a five-lap shootout, which saw May outduel Derek Griffith on the final restart. May was complimentary of the New Hampshire driver, pitching the prospect for a potential ARCA Menards Series East ride for their next race at Five Flags Speedway.
“He’s been phenomenal, he’s such an awesome driver. They’re such a great group of guys, I wish the best for them,” he said. "I hope he can get an ARCA ride for Pensacola, if anybody’s out there listening. You need to get this guy in a car.”
Griffith echoed the same sentiment for May post-race after another runner-up result.
“Brad’s so cool, we’ve been coming down here for years and he’s been so good to us. I’ve learned so much from him and he’s been nothing but helpful since the first time I’ve been down here,” Griffith said. “Someone’s who won championships here for years and has won races all over down here in Florida, it means a lot to me for it to come from him out of anyone. He’s going to be a legend, really. He’s won track championships here for years.”
Griffith started next to May on the front row for the final restart, but said the difficulty to pass made moving up front a challenge.
“We were just a little free, I was hoping with that restart he’d take the top. I was a little better on the bottom than I was up on the top side,” he said. “He got me good on that restart and got cleared up, after that I just had nothing for him. We had a good car but track position’s so important here. If you’re not up front then you’re going to have a tough time moving forward.”
The second-place run gives Griffith a 16-point advantage over May and Jesse Love in the Super Late Model point standings with just one race left in the World Series.
Love, who set fast time in qualifying earlier in the evening, finished third to remain in the points battle with one race left. Ryan Moore and Sammy Smith rounded out the top five.
Fans can visit Speed51’s Trackside Now coverage, presented by C&R Radiators, for live updates from Night #7 of the World Series.
Speed51 also has Speedweeks Central, with all of the latest news, videos and more from Florida Speedweeks.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
Super Late Models - Night #7 Results
|18||112W||Steve Weaver, Jr.||18|