A late-race caution nearly threw a wrench into Nicholas Naugle’s domination of the Pro Late Model opener during opening night of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). However, Naugle held off Connor Mosack on the ensuing restart to score his first career win in the event.
The Nova Scotia driver started second after a 10-car invert and quickly jumped to the lead. Naugle would lead Mosack the rest of the way, although Mosack was never far behind during the 35-lap race.
When the caution flew for a Christian Rose spin two laps shy of the finish, that gave Mosack the chance to line up alongside Naugle for a final restart. Nonetheless, Naugle played the restart to perfection to secure his win.
The caution certainly wasn’t part of Naugle’s grand plan for his start to Speedweeks, but he believed he had what it took to keep a firm grasp on the top spot if the yellow flag flew.
“We definitely weren’t looking for it, but I was confident in my car,” Naugle said on the NBC Track Pass broadcast. “I was definitely ready for it, and it brought a little excitement to it.”
He also knew he wanted the outside line on a late-race restart, which he used to pull away from Mosack on the decisive shootout.
“There was a little thought there, but I had my preference,” said Naugle. “I definitely got all I could there.”
Mosack was confident in his car’s speed during his maiden voyage to the World Series, but felt it would take a strong restart to take the win away.
“We definitely had the speed, I think we just needed better restarts,” said Mosack. “I think that’s where we needed to pass him. We didn’t quite have the speed to get by him on the track even though we were able to track him down. I was pretty set on trying to get under him every lap. That’s why we fell back and was able to come back to him.”
While the checkered flag flew, Mike Beyer took a hard hit head-on into the inside wall at the finish, lifting all four wheels of Beyer’s car off the ground. Beyer walked away from the incident under his own power.
Jett Noland finished third in the feature, with Daniel Dye and Jamie Skinner rounding out the top five.
A full video recap from Night #1 of the World Series will be available soon on the Speed51 Network. Find a full list of videos, stories, results and more from the week by visiting Speedweeks Central on Speed51.com.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 / Daryl Canfield
Pro Late Models – Night #1 Unofficial Results