The New Smyrna Speedway and Bright House Challenge Series Awards banquet will take place this Saturday evening January 17, at the Spruce Creek Fly-In Country Club. Cocktail hour will be at 6 pm and dinner at 7 pm with award presentations to follow.
The top-five in all of New Smyrna’s regular racing divisions will be honored at the banquet as well as the top five in Bright House Challenge Series Super Late Model points.
Will Carroll, a 19-year-old former Sprint Car and Midget racer from Warrambool, Victoria, Australia, spent the year running a Pro Late Model at New Smyrna for Campi Racing and claimed the 2014 championship by 28 points over Wildwood’s Ricky Anderson who was named the Rookie of the Year for the Pro Late Model division. Carroll took three victories, three second place finishes, two thirds, three fourths and three fifths showing a very consistent form in capturing the PLM title. Although Anderson did not claim a win during the year, he had 10 top-five finishes in paving the way to second place in points. New Smyrna’s Zach Jarrell was third in points with six top-fives including a win on Father’s Day weekend. Rich Clouser of Deland was the big winner during the season, taking the checker first in five events and finishing second three times but he missed several races during the year accounting for his fourth place points finish. Port Orange driver Michael Lira also missed a few races, mostly due to his ARCA racing commitment, but he scored a victory and enough points to take fifth in the standings. Rounding out the top-ten in PLM points were Daniel Miller, Anthony Cataldi, Cody Blair, Oklahoma driver Tyler Thomas and Noah Cornman.
Deltona’s Jarrett Korpi was the winningest driver at New Smyrna this season as he took the checker first in 12 of the 19 E-Modified races that were run this past year. Korpi outdistanced 14-year-old Matthew Green of Orlando by 37 points to claim his second consecutive E-Modified title. Korpi finished no worse than fourth in 17 of the 19 races. Green scored four victories and six second-place finishes on his way to second in points and the Rookie of the Year honors in the E-Mods. “Diamond” Jim Higginbotham made the long tow from Summerfield near Ocala each week and ran consistent all year to take third in points over veterans Mike Dahm and Jon Compagnone. Sixth through tenth in E-Modified points were Roger Benton, George Dahm, Cody Blair, Chris Brannon and Justin Reynolds.
Jerry “The Hammer” Symons of New Smyrna won thrre times in claiming yet another championship in the Open Modified class. Ricky Moxley of Hobe Sound was second in points followed by Clermont’s Alan Bruns, Matt Wheeler of Daytona and Vero Beach driver Robert Glover. Mike Dahm, Art Kunzeman, Shane Held, James “Tank” Tucker and Kurt Jett completed the top-ten in Open Modified points.
Veteran Donny Williams of Tangerine easily won his third straight Sportsmanvchampionship and the eighth title of his career here. Williams scored 11 top-five finishes, including two wins, to outdistance second place D. J. Farr of Lake Helen by 73 markers. Third generation racer Derrick Wood of Orlando scored a pair of victories during the season and took third in the standings over three-time winner Earl “Junior” Beckner of Apopka and Winter Garden’s Ron Gustafson. Daniel Conlin, Jr. took sixth in points and was named Rookie of the Year for the Sportsman class. Seventh through tenth in the standings went to Austin Carr, Justin Starr, Chris Brannon and Mike Soukup.
Pat Wells of Altoona scored five victories to propel himself to his first Mini Stock championship in a race that came down to the final night of competition. Ultimately, Wells would win the title by just seven points over Mini-Stock veteran David Russell of Melbourne who raced him tooth-and-nail all the way to the end. Brad Blanton of Eustis had 11 top-five finishes including the first win of his career in finishing third in points. Young Tyler Simpson won the most Mini-Stock features during the season – 6 – and only some tough luck with crashes and mechanical problems kept him from challenging for the championship. To go along with his fourth place points finish, Simpson was named Rookie of the Year for the class. Mark Broat had a number of races he’d like to forget during the year but he still ran well enough to take fifth in the standings. Rounding out the top-ten in Mini Stock points were Rex Christiensen, Jamie Dixson, Daniel Brown, Jeff White and Ted Vulpius.
Shannon Kelly of Deland took three wins, seven second place finishes, four thirds and three fourths in a consistent run to his second consecutive Super Stock championship topping second place Mike Amato of Edgewater by 61 points in the final tally. Rookie Preston Hunt of Sanford was third in the standings and took home the Rookie of the Year title in the Super Stock division in a close battle with Becca Samsoe who ended up fourth in the standings. Mike Dahm was fifth in points trailed by J. T. Tippins, Joe Gerard III, Gino Tumminello, Garrett Hill and George Dahm. Justin Reynolds was the big winner in Super Stocks taking five victories but did not run enough events to crack the top-ten in points.
Jimmy “Spaceman” Barron had a total of 19 top-five finishes including a pair of wins to top the Strictly Stock standings for the year. Zachary Curtis got a late start but made a huge run, reeling off 10 wins during the second half of the season to claim second in points over Rookie of the Year Aaron Overman, Shane Sutorus and Charles King, Sr. Sixth through tenth in Strictly Stock points went to three-time winner Warren Howie, William Hindman, Mark Shukwit, Nathan Purdy and Johnathon Murphy who ran just a handful of events but won four times.
Jesse Dutilly of Bradenton will be honored as the 2014 Bright House Networks Series Super Late Model champion at the banquet. Dutilly claimed the title at the final race of the year at DeSoto Speedway. Dutilly ended up just three points in front of Riverview’s Joe Boyd who had led the standings all year after winning the season-opening “Ice Breaker 100” at DeSoto. Deland’s Rich Clouser took third in Bright House Series points ahead of Geneva’s Anthony Sergi and George Gorham, Jr. of Lakeland. The remainder of the top-ten in Bright House points were Jake Perkins, Michael Atwell, T. J. Duke, David Rogers and Jeff Scofield.
-New Smyrna Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com