A 24-hour rain delay didn’t faze Jeremy Smith Thursday night at Afton Motorsports Park (NY), as he celebrated his first career Short Track Super Series victory. Smith drew the number-one pill during the re-draw and dominated the Afton Action 50 from the pole position.
Smith is no stranger to victory lane at Afton, a track he calls home on Friday nights during the racing season. Getting a chance to win at his home track, coupled with back-to-back victories on the 3/8-mile oval after winning the past Friday, made his first STSS triumph that much more special.
“It’s definitely special when you can pick it up at your home track for sure,” Smith said after the race. “Tonight was the first time I was able to start up on the pole all year. It’s been a bit of a struggle to pass early in the year, so it was nice to draw the pole for this race. The car was really good out of the box and we’re really happy with that.”
Not even a rash of late cautions over the final 20 laps seemed to put a damper on Smith’s performance, but one particular restart with eight laps to go gave both Ryan Godown and Anthony Perrego a shot at the Triangle, New York driver. After two laps of hard-nosed racing, Smith was off and running again.
“I felt a little bit of a tap back there, but they’re good racers. They push it right to the limit but they’re not going to do anything that they shouldn’t do,” Smith claimed. “It was fun racing with Ryan, and Anthony was back there too.”
His win on Thursday night was the icing on the cake for what has been a sensational month of July for Smith and the No. 46 team, who are hoping that they will soon be able to get teammate Billy Decker to victory lane soon.
“I’ve won the last four times I’ve hit the track, which is really cool. But my crew is just phenomenal and we just got our program running where we’re hoping we can get Billy in the winner’s circle. But we’re tickled to be there ourselves.”
Smith and crew won’t have much time to reset, as they will be back in STSS action at BAPS Motor Speedway in York County, PA this Sunday for the $10,000 York County Nationals. He feels that the team can take on any challenge with the momentum they currently have on their side.
“We’re about as high as you can get with momentum at this point. We’re going to ride it as long as we can, like to win the championship at Thunder Mountain and we’ll go from there.”
Behind the podium of Smith, Godown, and Perrego was Billy Decker and JR Hurlburt who completed the top five. Duane Howard, Mike Gular, Jerry Higbie, Danny Johnson and Brett Tonkin rounded out the top 10.
Race fans can watch all of Thursday night’s Afton Action 50 on-demand by subscribing to the Speed51 Network.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos