Ryan Moore.  That’s the name that echoed over the public-address system Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) as the winner of the Super Late Model portion of the Red Eye 50/50 was announced.  But it’s not a name the crowd, made mostly of locals, was expecting to hear.

 

The speedway’s newly reformatted race gave only 25 miles for a field of 25 Super Late Models to decide a winner, a field that boasted hometown favorites like David Rogers, Brad May and Anthony Sergi.

 

While those drivers can be found towards the top of the results, Moore— a Maine native turned North Carolina transplant— kicked off the new year by shaking up last season’s status quo.

 

“I don’t know, what’s up with that,” Moore said with a laugh when asked why his win might come as a surprise.  “I run a business, R.C. Moore is our family trucking company.  Because of that, I don’t get to race a lot.  I haven’t raced since May.  So for my guys and I to build a car, come down here, qualify second and win the race, I think they should know we’re here.”

 

This isn’t Moore’s first win at New Smyrna Speedway by any means.  The No. 74 was in victory lane last year during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, an event that Moore has made tradition for the past seven years.

 

Looking at his history with the Florida half-mile, Moore’s victory isn’t much of a shock at all.

 

“I knew those guys had been the ones to beat down here weekly,” Moore told Speed51.com.  “It was a crazy race, a lot more yellows than I wanted to see.  But we had a really good car.  The thing would just pull really hard down the front stretch.”

 

Moore started on the pole after a two-car inversion and never officially relinquished his lead, though an intense battle carried on his rearview mirror towards the end of the race.

 

May ended the night with a runner-up finish, but not before besting Sergi in a 20-lap game of cat and mouse.

 

“With Anthony it seemed like every time I’d get up underneath him, we’d be coming up on lapped cars,” May said.  “A couple of them worked in our favor, a couple of them didn’t.  He ran me really good, did everything he needed to do to stay ahead of me.  We bumped around a little bit, had a lot of good racing.  It was a pretty big battle just getting up to that spot.”

 

May proved himself to be a pinball wizard, getting bounced around as he weaved his way up through a gung-ho field of drivers to gain a total of 15 positions by the drop of the checkered flag.  Despite his efforts, it wasn’t enough to start 2019 off in the winner’s circle.

 

“I think if we had another caution or quite a bit more laps, we could have raced with [Moore],” May said.  “We started 17th, so driving up through the field the car is really good.  I feel like if we start further forward we’re in good shape to win some races.”

 

Similar to May, Sergi is taking his solid finish in third as a sign that his No. 20 machine is right where it needs to be for February.

 

“I didn’t have enough in those final laps, May got around me and I just couldn’t do anything about it,” Sergi said.  “It was good racing, hopefully Speedweeks is just like this.  We’re going to bring the same piece.  We’re definitely going to make sure that we’re out front and we put out a show.”

 

Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Saturday’s Red Eye 50/50 at New Smyrna Speedway by clicking here.

 

-Story by: Melissa Strahley, Gulf Coast Editor

-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Melissa Strahley

 

Red Eye 50/50 Super Late Model Unofficial Results

New Smyrna Speedway (FL) – January 5, 2019

Pos      #          Driver

1          74        Ryan Moore

2          9M       Brad May

3          20        Anthony Sergi

4          56        Gus Dean

5          5K        Daniel Keene Jr.

6          11        David Rogers

7          28I       Jared Irvan

8          5A        Jerry Artuso

9          32        Harold Crooms

10        2          Brad Bowman

11        17        Tanner Gray

12        12M     Mario Goselin

13        62        John Gerstner

14        59X      Becca Monopoli

15        99        Christian Rose

16        39        Morgan Hoover

17        12K      Brad Kossow

18        67        Colin Allman

19        54        Drew Dollar

20        40        Tovia Grynewicz

21        21        Trey Bayne

22        7          Doug Elliot

23        24D      Dalton Smith

24        1          Todd Stone

25        57        Travis Cope

Moore Makes Statement With Red Eye Win at New Smyrna