Jeff Choquette continued his strong season of Pro Late Model competition Friday night at Five Flags Speedway (FL). The driver from West Palm Beach, Florida carried the day, setting fast time in practice and qualifying before going on to win both Allen Turner PLM Twin 50s.
Choquette’s early afternoon performance topping the charts would foreshadow his later success. He started 18th in the first 50-lapper after the invert, behind a list of heavy hitters including Wayne Niedecken Jr., Justin South and Casey Roderick.
Working his way up through the field, it would be a three-wide pass sandwiching himself and leader Bret Holmes with lapped traffic that would determine the finish. Choquette squeezed into first position with 36 laps complete, piloting the No. 9 machine straight into Victory Lane.
“These races are tricky,” Choquette said. “You have to save a lot to be there for the second 50. The first 50, which I think I ran a little bit too hard in, was definitely easier than the second.”
The succeeding feature started Choquette on the pole alongside Casey Roderick who would miss a shift coming to the green flag. Choquette maintained a sizeable advantage over Roderick until lapped traffic evened out the playing field later in the race.
“That was a good little race,” said Roderick. “I thought we might have a chance at the end with the lapped cars where they were. It looked like he was leaking fluid; my nose was pretty oiled up. I don’t know if that affected anything, but we were definitely getting too free up off the corners trying to get a good run on him.”
Victory Lane welcomed Choquette for a second time, with Roderick and Holmes taking respectable podium finishes.
“I’m glad we could finish on the podium and extend our points lead,” Holmes said. “We had a good race, finishing third both times. We’re right there, these top three cars were all really close. Just need to go back to the shop and improve, I think we’ll be a lot better the next race.”
Despite commenting that the latter of the two 50-lappers held more difficulty, Choquette ran the caution-free race from start to finish, never relinquishing his lead to the other competitors. Choquette credited his Jett Motorsports crew for their hard work and believing in him after over a year long absence from the racing scene.
“The Jett Concrete family pours their heart and soul into this thing, busting their butt to get here on the weekends,” Choquette stated. “Sitting here in Victory Lane, it feels pretty good.”
All of this hard work, Choquette told Speed51.com, is in preparation for the bigger upcoming events in the fall including the All-American 400, Governor’s Cup and Snowball Derby.
Choquette is confident that his team has the right formula for continued success this season.
“It’s all about good cars and good people, people that have faith in you.”
-By Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Allen Turner Pro Late Model Race #1 Unofficial Results
|5||99||Wayne Niedecken Jr|
Allen Turner Pro Late Model Race #2 Unofficial Results
|11||99||Wayne Niedecken Jr|