Ryan Preece was hands down the favorite to win the 30th Annual Richie Evans Memorial 100 presented by JRi Shocks due to his performance leading up to Friday night’s event at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). Nevertheless, the Berlin, Connecticut champion used a different strategy to accomplish what he set out to do after the result did not work out in Wednesday’s John Blewett III Memorial 76.
Cole Powell jumped out to the early lead while Preece, who out-qualified Chuck Hossfeld for the first time in the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, hung out toward the rear of the field in the opening laps. In fact, Preece was shown in ninth spot halfway through the 100-lap feature.
Spencer Davis charged through the field in his No. 79 Hillbilly Racing entry and stretched his lead out to nearly a half lap, making fans wonder if Preece could catch him and others even if he was saving his equipment. Fortune would not be on Davis’ side though as a yellow would bunch the field and everyone but him would come down pit road for fresh tires.
As the race resumed, Hossfeld and Preece began to make their charge. Hossfeld took the lead on lap 71, but it would only last for one lap as Preece dove low to get the top spot. It was all Preece once again from there, climbing out with his helmet still on with his first Richie Evans Memorial 100 victory and first career World Series championship with the famed Eddie and Connie Partridge team.
“To have my name on a trophy that’s going to have Richie Evans name on it, that’s amazing,” Preece said on the FansChoice.TV powered by Speed51.com broadcast. “I can’t say enough about this TS Haulers crew.”
Even though they decided to switch up the strategy to a more conservative style, Preece felt like they adjusted on the car, a new Troyer concept machine, enough to contend for the win regardless.
“It was a learning experience here in the John Blewett III Memorial and even though we’ve got to change that I really think we had a good car even if we didn’t have to,” Preece said.
2014 Race of Champions Asphalt Modifed Tour champion Chuck Hossfeld capped off a successful week, which included five fast qualifier accolades, with another second-place finish. Despite leaving Florida winless, Hossfeld still had his head held high.
“We were the bridesmaid this week,” Hossfeld recapped. “They might have out-motored us, but they didn’t out-people us. I’ve got a great team. (Preece) just had a good handling car all week. We didn’t win, but I’m proud of everything we accomplished.”
The Long Island gang of Eric Goodale, J.R. Bertuccio, and Justin Bonsignore were involved in an incredible fight for position during the closing laps and rounded out the top-five in that order.
An on-demand video broadcast of Friday night’s action can be viewed on FansChoice.TV powered by Speed51.com. The on-demand video will be available at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday and can be viewed on FansChoice.TV. A full lap-by-lap replay with photos and results can be seen anytime by visiting NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live powered by Speed51.com by clicking here.
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @Aaron_Creed
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
30th Annual Richie Evans Memorial 100 presented by JRi Shocks Results:
|4||2||J.R. Bertuccio, Jr.||100||0|