Sammy Smith and the Kyle Busch Motorsports team proved Friday night that they will be a force during the 54th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. The 15-year-old racer from Iowa took the lead from Derek Griffith on a lap 4 restart and never looked back en route to his first career Super Late Model victory.
Smith announced earlier this week his plans to compete in 20+ Super Late Model races with the Kyle Busch Motorsports team, with his first seven races coming over the next nine nights at New Smyrna. After recording some of the fastest laps in practice leading into Friday’s 35-lap, Smith was able to seal the deal in the first race with his new team.
“I just can’t thank all of these guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports enough; TMC Communication Dialing, Sinclair Tractor and Toyota for all the help,” Smith said on the NBC Track Pass broadcast.
Smith returns to New Smyrna Speedway this year after winning the Pro Late Model championship with Anthony Campi Racing in 2019. He’ll be looking to join Jeff Choquette as the only drivers to win both the Pro Late Model and Super Late Model titles during Florida Speedweeks.
“I think it’s really important to just try to back it up, keep getting these top fives and wins and we’ll be there,” Smith said.
After winning a tiebreaker for the sixth qualifying spot and benefiting from a six-car invert, Griffith led the field of 18 Super Late Models to the green flag. The New Hampshire driver jumped out to the early lead before a extended red flag period slowed the field on lap 4. On the ensuing restart, Smith took the lead from Griffith and never looked back.
“He was really good. We hurt the clutch today at some point in time. I grabbed a gear on that first restart and it ran right off the rev limiter down the whole frontstretch. The same thing happened on the second restart and he got ahead of us there,” Griffith said. “After that, their guys were good enough to stay up front. We’ve been fighting a little bit of tightness all day, but we made a ton of gains for the feature. Finishing second to KBM isn’t a bad thing by any means. We’ll change a clutch out, and hopefully that’s the issue. Good first night of Speedweeks, we’re not in the wall and everything is good.”
Brad May set fast time in qualifying and started from the sixth position after the invert. He slowly picked his way towards the front before ultimately finishing third. After the quick 35-lap race, May was left wishing he had an opportunity to challenge the top two.
“I think so. The car was really good. The car has been really good here. The long runs it’s really good,” May said. “We try to save a little bit in case there is a caution, so that you have something, but the chances of getting a caution once you’re all spread out is pretty slim. I started running as hard as I could at the end and we were slowly catching them but once they’re so far out it’s hard to make that ground up.”
Anthony Sergi, who recently won a 50-lap race at Citrus County Speedway, finished fourth. Nova Scotia’s Austin MacDonald completed the top five.
A full video recap from Night #1 of the World Series will be available soon on the Speed51 Network. Find a full list of videos, stories, results and more from the week by visiting Speedweeks Central on Speed51.com.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Content Manager – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51 / Kyler Hope
Super Late Models – Night #1 Unofficial Results
|14||112W||Steve Weaver, Jr.||20|