Jon McKennedy has won a lot of races and a lot of championships throughout his racing career, but one place that had a zero in the win column was Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway. That all changed after Monday’s 50-lap feature when McKennedy pulled Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s No. 7ny into victory lane.


McKennedy ran in the top three for much of the race before inheriting the lead from Ryan Preece after Preece had a mechanical issue with less than 10 laps to go under caution. McKennedy dealt with one more restart before driving away from Kyle Ebersole and Chuck Hossfeld.


300x250 New Smyrna World Series 2018“I almost followed (Preece) down pit road,” said McKennedy on the FansChoice.TV broadcast. “I’m just glad I didn’t. I’m not sure what happened. Ryan had a good car. Me and him were really even. At times I could gain a little bit and then he’d pull away. The race probably would have come down to me and him either way. I’m just happy to get a win here. It’s a great way to start 2018.”


Preece started from the pole position after a favorable post-qualifying invert. The three-time defending World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing champion had led every lap prior to pulling his car down pit road under caution with just a handful of laps remaining.


“It’s just a tough deal,” said Preece after the race. “I’m just going to blame it on luck. Bad luck, of course. I don’t know what it was. It was just something we couldn’t control.”


Just a couple of weeks prior to heading to Florida, McKennedy inked a deal with Tommy Baldwin Racing to pilot the legendary No. 7ny machine. McKennedy said he expected the team to be strong, but a win right off the bat in their first race together was more than anybody expected.


“I knew we’d run well,” said McKennedy in victory lane. “Tommy has great equipment. He’s a smart guy. I feel really comfortable running these cars. The last couple of years have been really good to me winning with Modifieds and (Supermodifieds). The whole package was there and I’m glad we were able to capitalize on it.”


The Tour-type Modifieds will be in action at New Smyrna Speedway four more times this week.


For an on-demand replay of Monday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Riverhead Building Supply and Anthony Campi Racing, click here.


-By Rob Blount, Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo Credit:


Tour-type Modified 50 Unofficial Results

Pos.      #            Driver

1             7NY       Jon McKennedy

2             5             Kyle Ebersole

3             22          Chuck Hossfeld

4             60          Matt Hirschman

5             07          Patrick Emerling

6             2             Ronnie Williams

7             17          Danny Bohn

8             25          Calvin Carroll

9             58          Eric Goodale

10          4             Jeffrey Gallup

11          83          Mike Willis, Jr.

12          40          Kyle Trayner

13          63          Austin Pickens

14          75          Jeremy Gerstner

15          71M      Matt Montineri

16          64          Amy Catalano

17          23          Joe DeGracia

18          45C        Timmy Catalano

19          10T        Tom Tohn

20          46L        Craig Lutz

21          6             Ryan Preece

22          32          Tyler Rypkema

23          179        Jimmy Blewett

24          16          Timmy Solomito

25          94          Al Ermmarino

26          25N       Nikki Carroll

27          46G       Jeff Goodale

28          71          Jimmy Zacharias

29          33          Ron Silk

30          2X          Tim Lento

31          70          John Gerstner

Preece’s Misfortune Leads to a Night of Firsts for McKennedy