Oklahoma’s Tyler Thomas and the Tim Russell Driver Development group have shown glimmers of excellence in his foray into asphalt racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), but victory had escaped him in the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing leading up to the final night of action. It looked to be that way once again for the two-time fast qualifier, but fortune would be on his side in the end.
Thomas started from the front row with Wednesday winner Matt Wallace in the Pro Late Model 35. The two of them were involved in a fierce battle for the lead with charging Michael Lira, who had been involved in wrecks that twice destroyed his car earlier in the week. The team regrouped and brought out their “Ole Blue” car from the shop to seek redemption. Lira would gain the top spot after passing Thomas and then an off the pace Wallace for what looked to be his first World Series victory.
Unfortunately for the excited Lira, the ARCA Racing Series competitor was disqualified due to a left side weight infraction in post-race technical inspection. Thomas thus was named the official winner, a first in a stock car for the Midget racer.
Dalton Armstrong had already broken through with his first two career victories throughout the week and stayed out of trouble for a second-place in the official finishing order. It was good enough to name the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour regular the division champion.
“This is unreal for me,” Armstrong said on the FansChoice.TV powered by Speed51.com broadcast. “First win and on top of that going back up for the second win and the championship, hats off to these guys. That’s an honor.”
“Asphalt Mafia” Wins the Florida Modified Battle, Tim Moore Wins the War
Position changes on the track proved pivotal in the final Florida Modified 35-lap feature Saturday night. Doug Moff easily drove his immaculately prepared car known as the “Asphalt Mafia” around the outside of Tank Tucker for the lead on lap 10, but it was the battle between the two point leaders behind them later on that would decide the division championship.
Opening night winner Tim Moore had a difficult time getting around fourth-place runner Ricky Moxley as the laps continued to click off in an event that saw almost double the amount of competitors as the previous night. Moore finally cleared Moxley and immediately found his way to the back of Kevyn Terry, who was the point leader heading into the final race. The two duked it out for third for a handful of laps and with some slight contact the faster Moore made his way by. The final point margin was a tie, but due to Terry’s winless record Moore was crowned his first World Series championship.
“I’ve been coming here for six years for Speedweeks and working our tails off to make this happen,” Moore said. “A lot of hard work and dedication is needed to make this happen. We got a win and we had one night we broke but other than that we got top-four finishes every night. Car was pretty good all week and I am super excited.”
Moff went on for his third straight victory, a feat that was a display of perseverance due to mechanical woes prior to those performances.
“We worked real hard on this car,” Moff mentioned. “We got a fourth and a third early in the week and weren’t the fastest car. Then we had a couple gremlins get us the next two nights and then three in a row. If you’ve got to finish one out this is the way to finish it out.”
After a truly disappointing week, Tucker returned from a couple nights absence to finish second. Moore, Terry and Moxley rounded out the top five.
Morris Adds to Resume with Win in Sportsman Special
The local Sportsman division capped off the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing and fast qualifier Brandon Morris patiently navigated from 10th to the lead and the eventual win after a close battle with Austin Howell.
Morris, coming off a Super Stock win at the 2014 Snowball Derby, needed to fight off experienced competitor Sean Bass in the closing laps. Bass, Aaron Williamson, Robert Kuhn, and Dave Helliwell rounded out the top five.
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent -Twitter: @Aaron_Creed
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
|4||01||Derek Scott, Jr.||35||0|
|8||71||Earl Beckner, Jr.||49||0|
|15||60||Richard Fiore, Jr.||25||0|
|17||5||Dan Church, Jr.||23||0|
|20||25||Timmy Todd, Jr.||1||0|