For the first 33 laps, Jett Noland was glued to the bumper of five-time USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson waiting to make his move. With the white flag waving, the Florida teenager played his cards right.
Noland made the pass on race-long leader Swanson coming to the white flag to steal the Pro Late Model win on night one of the World Series of Asphalt. It was his third World Series Pro Late Model win, and first with Anthony Campi Racing at the Florida half-mile.
“We just needed a win under our belt to start off the week right. He was a little bit faster and I was struggling so i couldn’t run with him down the back straightaway but we were keeping up with him in the corners,” Noland said on the NBC TrackPass broadcast. “That’s how it ended.”
After scoring his first World Series win last year on Saturday, his first victory lane trip comes on the opening night of the event in 2021. A strong run to kick off the World Series is key to an overall points championship, and Noland is flying high after starting off the week with a win.
“It puts my confidence up pretty good. I’m hoping to win a few more of them, maybe even all of them. We’ll see how it goes.”
Kody Swanson’s first career Pro Late Model race was nearly flawless. After setting fast time in qualifying, he led all but the last lap in the Team Platinum No.26. He would lose the lead on the frontstretch taking the white flag and was relegated to a second-place finish by inches over William Cox III.
“Team Platinum brought a rookie to a gunfight and we were pretty close. I’m just so thankful they brought one whale of a race car with this Pro car,” said Swanson. “We put together a really good race here, we just got too tight with the run. I didn’t leave him a lot of room but I felt it was appropriate. When it came down to the end I just wasn’t fast enough.”
After a strong run on the opening night of the World Series, Swanson is ready for what the rest of the week has to throw at him. He already has his mind on what to do to find victory lane at New Smyrna.
“We just have to be a little bit better. We’ve been working hard at it and I’ve been learning a lot, this is the first time I’ve driven cars like this. We still have a few days to go so we’ll keep after it and give it our best shot and be thankful for everything we can get.”
Cox finished third in the Donnie Wilson Motorsports Pro Late Model, while former Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller and Conner Jones rounded out the top-five.
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-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo
Pro Late Model Night #1 Results: