The Super Late Model field present Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) was modest in size but not in talent. Brad May led 13 other stout competitors around the track from green to checkers, adding a fresh new name to the list of winners in the prestigious Clyde Hart Memorial.
Bobby Good and Brad May started together on the front row after a six-car invert with May getting the advantage and taking over the lead on lap 1. From there, he never looked back during the remaining 99 laps of the 100-lap race.
“Starting up in second is definitely the best spot to start,” stated May. “We were able to get up in the lead, which we felt like we could early.”
For the first quarter of the race, May went unchallenged, cruising ahead of the pack until Anthony Sergi was able to work himself up into a contending position from fourth. Once in second, Sergi held his own, pacing just a few car lengths behind the No. 9M for the majority of laps to come.
“At the beginning of the race we got there in second behind May and I knew I had to save my stuff right there for the end of the race,” stated Sergi.
The battle for the lead and ultimately the win came down to each driver’s strategy during an incredibly long green flag run. The yellow caution lights flashed only once on lap 2 of the event.
May felt that the lack of cautions combined with his wife’s spotting kept him out of trouble.
“I think at one point my wife told me I could take a breath for a second but then a lap later it was ‘you better go’. There was a lot of pressure from Anthony Sergi; we gave it all we had. I ran as hard as I could and just hoped he would wear out quicker than we did.”
Anthony Sergi’s tactic was slightly different in comparison, the team refrained from any attempts to strike at May for the lead until the latter half of the racing was complete.
“When we got to about 50 laps to go I tried to get on it a little bit and I caught up to him,” Sergi said. “With 75 laps to go I got loose in, tight in the center and loose off. Just kind of lost it from there.”
Tyler Ankrum was in the right place at the right time as Sergi started to fall back from May.
“I thought we had a really good shot at the win once I got around the No. 20 with just over 10 laps to go,” Ankrum said. “I think I just needed a few extra laps.”
Ankrum told Speed51.com that other than a few mistakes early on in the race, it was a great performance for his team and the data collected at the Clyde Hart will be used in preparation for the Governor’s Cup set to run later in the fall.
The No. 58 was never afforded any additional laps as the time left to play catch up dwindled down in May’s favor.
“This race means so much to me, I’ve been coming out here since I was a little kid,” May spoke to a crowd of fans. “It’s an honor to be on the list of winners for this race, it means a lot to me to wear this hat.”
-By Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Clyde Hart Memorial Unofficial Results
New Smyrna Speedway – New Smyrna Beach, Florida
August 27, 2016
|4||5K||Daniel Keene Jr|