A trio of veteran Super Late Model racers were involved in accidents on opening night of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), but all were back in time for practice on Saturday.
Ryan Moore set the second-fastest lap of the first round of practice before finishing 10th in final Super Late Model practice. Moore and his team worked overnight to repair hid damaged car after an incident resulting from contact with Jesse Love during the opening night 35-lap feature.
Moore was initially discouraged by the condition of the car after the crash, but after several fellow racers reached out and offered their assistance or services, they went to work to stay in the game.
“It was in pretty rough shape last night,” Moore told Speed51. “Everyone decided they wanted to stay. A lot of competitors came down, guys from the 13 car [of Austin MacDonald] opened up their trailer to whatever we needed, Steven Wallace offered to drive anything down overnight that we needed.
“After all that, we’ve got to keep digging here. We can’t give up and just load it. So we did, we put in the hours last night, we were back here this morning. We got it all unloaded, and I think we’re pretty close to where we were.”
Augie Grill was another driver involved in that incident, left with nowhere to go after Moore hit the outside wall. However, Grill thinks the ordeal may have accidentally improved the car, as he was very pleased with how it performed during practice.
“Surprisingly enough, we are actually a little better right out of the trailer. I don’t know if it bent something in the right spot or what, but we’ve made it a little bit better today.”
David Rogers crashed on the frontstretch after contact with Brad Kossow sent him into the outside wall. The car was damaged heavily on the rear-end, and a small fire started along the frontstretch wall after the impact.
While Rogers believes he and his team could have repaired the car in time for today’s race, they opted instead to go back to their shop and swap out his primary car with the team’s second car, typically set up to race at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
“We actually got lucky and had two cars. It would have been a tough row to hoe to try to get that car ready to come back, which we could have done. It would have been a lot more work. We basically run two cars. I run one here and one at Pensacola when we run there. We found that it was easier to separate and run two completely different cars.
“This is the car we run at the Snowball. Basically, for this reason, we pretty much had it 95 percent ready to come to the racetrack. It was just a matter of taking the wreck home and loading that car up. The boys spent a little bit of time doing the final stuff last night when we got back to the shop, finalized. We just had to bring it over and take it through tech.”
Jesse Love set fastest time in the final Super Late Model practice session of the day, with Max Calles and opening night winner Sammy Smith rounding out the top three.
Racing will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Night Two of the World Series. For updates from New Smyrna Speedway, visit Trackside Now presented by VanDoorn Racing Development.
Fans can also visit Speed51’s Speedweeks Central for all the latest videos, news and more from Florida Speedweeks.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo