Ryan Moore snapped a four-year winless drought in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, holding off a hard-charging Ty Majeski to win Thursday’s 35-lap Super Late Model feature at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
Moore had shown speed throughout the week at the Samsula, Florida half-mile, but lacked the results to show for it outside a fourth-place finish last night. On Thursday, the Maine native put all the pieces together and made it to victory lane.
Moore was 10th fastest in time trials for the feature, his admitted weak link in the program during the World Series. However, a 10-car invert put Moore on the pole, where he was able to lead the way from the drop of the green flag.
“We’ve had a really good hot rod here with Fury Race Cars,” Moore said on the FansChoice.TV broadcast. “I’m really honored to finally get one to victory lane for them. I can’t fire off for qualifying for some reason, but we just needed the draw to work in our favor and it did tonight.”
The win did not come without a struggle, however. Ty Majeski worked his way from sixth to second in the 35-lap spring, hounding Moore over the closing laps.
“I drove as hard as I could, and it was enough to hold off Ty [Majeski] at the end,” Moore added. “I had to relearn how to drive it with the throttle and everything. Hopefully there’s nothing major wrong with it so we can come back Saturday and try to do it again.”
Majeski suffered from a loss of handling over the course of the race, which he says cost him a chance at the win.
“I just got too free when I got to him,” Majeski said. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do anything with him cleanly. I got to him out of turn four coming to the white and got underneath him a little bit, but I just wasn’t going to be able to do anything with him.”
Harrison Burton set the fastest lap in time trials, but the 10-car invert placed him outside the fifth row to start the race. Burton charged up to third place, settling for a podium finish in the sprint.
“It’s an unfortunate thing when you pull the ten-pill,” said Burton. “It’s hard to come back from that.”
For all of the top drivers, tonight’s race also served as preparation for the grand finale for the Super Late Models. After taking Friday night off, the Supers will come back to New Smyrna on Saturday for a 100-lap marquee.
Moore believes his car has the long-run stability to challenge for the win.
“The whole week, it’s been really good on the longer runs,” Moore said. “I’m looking forward to the 100-lapper.”
For Majeski, his struggles near the end of tonight’s 35-lap race offers pause and room for improvement for Saturday night.
“I just need stability all the way through the corner. I got too free tonight. If this had been a 100-lapper, we would have been in big trouble. We just need to tighten up a little bit, and hopefully we’ll be able to come win it.”
Meanwhile, Burton believes his strong run from 10th shows he has the car to win his third race of the World Series.
“I think we’ll be able to shine on Saturday. It will be really fun. We came from about as far back as you’re going to be and have a fast car like that. We were able to come from the back like that and almost get there in 35 laps. It really gives me a lot of confidence for the 100-lapper on Saturday.”
To relive the action from Thursday night’s 35-lap sprint, click here to visit Trackside Now, presented by Riverhead Building Supply and Racecar Engineering.
Trackside Now will be live both tomorrow and Saturday to close out the 52nd Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. Stay tuned to Speed51.com for more coverage from Florida Speedweeks.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Rick Ibsen
World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing – Super Late Model Unofficial Results
New Smyrna Speedway (FL) – February 15, 2018
Pos. # Driver
1 74 Ryan Moore
2 91 Ty Majeski
3 12B Harrison Burton
4 22 Sam Mayer
5 51 Stephen Nasse
6 66 Steve Wallace
7 9M Derek Kraus
8 6 Matt Wallace
9 58 Tyler Ankrum
10 9M Brad May
11 12G Derek Griffith
12 2 Darrell Gilchrist
13 5 Jerry Artuso
14 12J Joe Graf, Jr.
15 33 Carter Stokes
16 15 Gabe Sommers
17 98 Justin Ashburn
18 112 Steve Weaver
19 20 Russ Shaw