The prelude to the 53rd Annual Florida Governor’s Cup went off without a hitch for young Cole Anderson Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway. The Minnesota native led practice, put his No. 97 on the pole in qualifying and dominated all but 16 laps of the 100-lap Pro Late Model feature.
“It was definitely a dream come true,” Anderson told Speed51.com in victory lane. “I mean this car was really good. I can’t thank ATF and Gunslinger enough, they prepared a really great race car. We got out front, which was good for us because we lost brakes on like lap 20, and once we got around Brad (May) the brakes started to go numb. I was just trying to baby it from there on out. It was for sure a handful at the later stage of the race.”
Anderson’s victory Saturday night was his ninth of the year at New Smyrna Speedway.
When asked about what the race meant to his career after coming home second last year Anderson didn’t mince words.
“It means a lot. This is probably one of our last races here at New Smyrna,” Anderson stated. “We don’t have a ride lined up for next year. There’s not enough sponsorship. This is definitely something we’ve been wanting to check off. We came so close last year after leading 97 laps to come home second. To finally cap it off this year and get the Governor’s Cup 100 win it means a lot and hopefully we can carry that momentum to the Snowflake.”
Brad May applied pressure in the closing laps of the race, but not by design.
“On the start I got high on the outside and bounced it off the wall,” May explained. “It definitely didn’t help us at all, but it didn’t seem to hurt the car too bad. It seemed like after that it was bottoming out really bad, but the longer we ran the better it got and it stopped bottoming out. Then Cole got by us, ran us good, had fun racing with him a couple laps, and just gave it all we had. I just kept going as hard as I could be hoping I could pressure him. But he was far enough ahead I don’t think he was hurting his car too bad.”
Jeff Choquette finished third in what was a test session for his Jett Concrete crew.
“We were just getting our car ready for the Snowflake. We sent our good motor off to get it refreshed for the Snowflake race and we had this one at the shop,” Choquette said. “We didn’t know what it was going to do. It felt a little down on power, but nonetheless it was a good shakedown race. We’ll move on to the Snowball and see if we can’t do a couple better there.”
On a night that brought 100 green flag laps of Pro Late Model racing, it can only be a good omen for tomorrow’s festivities as New Smyrna Speedway celebrates the 53rd rendition of the Florida Governor’s Cup.
Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage will kick off at 11 a.m. ET with the green flag set to fly at 1:15 p.m.
-Story by Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Florida State Editor – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Pro Late Model 100 Unofficial Results
New Smyrna Speedway – New Smyrna Beach, Florida – November 10, 2018