With all of the action at Florida Speedweeks in the books, there is finally an opportunity to reflect on the weeks of racing during the month of February. Here are Speed51’s top 10 moments from Florida Speedweeks, highlighting some of the biggest moments from the Sunshine State.
1) Photo Finish in the John Blewett III Memorial 76
The Tour-type Modfieds always put on a great show at the World Series of Asphalt, and Wednesday night’s John Blewett III Memorial was no different. Matt Hirschman and Anthony Nocella battled down to the wire in the 76-lap event, ending in one of the closest finishes you will ever see. Nocella was credited with the win after much deliberation.
2) Potential Finish of the Year at East Bay
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series provided great racing throughout the week at the East Bay Winternationals, but Friday night’s event would take the cake. Three drivers would trade the lead over the final 10 laps, with a photo finish ultimately deciding the winner.
Florida ace Kyle Bronson had built up a sizeable lead before a caution with 10 laps to go changed the outlook on the race. While he did what not many other drivers have done so far in 2020 by holding Brandon Sheppard at bay, Mason Zeigler got the best of him after the two traded the lead three separate times just on the white flag lap.
3) Derek Griffith’s ARCA Debut
The former PASS National champion made his ARCA debut in the ARCA Menards Series East race at New Smyrna Monday night, turning heads all over the racing world in the process. The New Hampshire driver sat on the pole and dominated the race before a late charge through the field netted him a runner-up result.
He would use that momentum to propel him to the World Series Super Late Model title, the first of his career.
4) Underdog Makes New Smyrna Crowd Roar
Attrition in Sunday night’s Pro Late Model feature allowed other drivers to have their chance in the limelight. Local racer David Weaver took full advantage to the circumstances and finished a career-best second, much to the delight of the crowd.
The Plantation, FL driver was greeted with a loud ovation by the crowd as he exited his car on the frontstretch, calling it “the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” And to play to the underdog role, Weaver competed in that race with 100-lap old tires.
5) Jett Noland & Jamie Skinner Collide
The Pro Late Model class always brings drama to the World Series. Saturday night’s feature saw Jett Noland and Jamie Skinner collide, with Skinner getting the raw end of the deal while Noland would go on to win.
Skinner would get retribution the next night, getting into the back of Noland while racing for the lead and sending the young driver hard into the outside wall. Things would settle down after that and Skinner would go on to win the PLM championship.
6) T-Mac’s Emotional Win at Golden Isles
Tim McCreadie led wire-to-wire to win the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series opener at Golden Isles Speedway as part of the Super Bowl of Racing. It was the first win with a new race team, and one that meant everything to the New York driver.
It was an emotional victory lane, as father “Barefoot” Bob McCreadie had been dealing with health problems. He mentioned while being interviewed on the MAVTV broadcast that his father’s health was turning for the better.
7) 19-Year-Old Shocks UMP Mods at Volusia
Around 80 UMP Modified drivers made the trip south to Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals. With current and former NASCAR drivers on hand competing with the top weekly warriors from around the country, an upset winner emerged in the $5,000-to-win Big Gator Championship to conclude their week of racing.
Mississippi driver Spencer Hughes passed former United States Modified Touring Series champion Jason Hughes on the final lap to score the biggest win of his career. The two traded the lead multiple times over the final laps before he made the race-winning move on the outside for the win.
8) Wisconsin Star Earns 100th Career Win
Ty Majeski had inserted himself as one of the top short track racers in the country before joining Niece Motorsports full-time in the NASCAR Truck Series for the 2020 season. However, win No. 100 eluded him for several months before accomplishing the feat in the Super Late Model finale at New Smyrna Speedway last Saturday.
Majeski took the lead from Anthony Sergi with less than 30 laps to go for the Orange Blossom 100 win to hit the century mark in just a few short years.
9) Eddy Continues Family Legacy at New Smyrna
Michigan ASA legend Mike Eddy won his only World Series title in the Super Late Model division in 1977 against some of the top drivers the sport has ever seen. Forty-three years later, son Travis continued his family’s legacy with his third Florida Modified title.
The younger Eddy was dominant throughout the week, winning five of the seven races contested. It brought his World Series feature win total to ten, just three off his father’s mark set in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
10) Gray Crashes Spectacularly in ARCA East Race
A three-wide move just after a late restart ended badly for Tanner Gray, who was forced into the wall on the frontstretch before the car rode on its side for several feet and landed on its wheels.
Gray was uninjured, but the race had to be delayed to make repairs to the catchfence. Defending series champion Sam Mayer would go on to win the race.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51