Wins Opening Night Super Late Feature at New Smyrna
By Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR
NEW SMYRNA, Fla. – Steven Wallace won the first trophy of the 50th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
The 29-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina, native won the 35-lap Super Late Model feature after using the night’s three cautions to his advantage to power past his competition.
“Our Jet Tools Chevy was very good tonight,” said Wallace, who started fifth after the invert of the top eight qualifiers. “We just kind of worked our way back up to the front. Some action happened off Turn 1 – the two leaders ran into each other and wrecked each other off Turn 2 – and I inherited the lead.”
Wallace gained control on Lap 16 and held off a charging Ty Majeski and Harrison Burton through two more cautions to come out on top five.
The son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Walllace won the Super Late Model championship two years ago at New Smyrna.
“The car was really fast tonight – we were able to get up top and carry a lot of momentum,” said Wallace. “It just feels real good to come out of the box, the first night with a win; we feel we’re going to have a pretty good World Series.”
The race went green the last 17 laps, allowing Wallace to pull away from Majeski.
“We battled a lot at the Governor’s Cup and he raced me clean. I tried to do the same to him (but) we didn’t quite have the car to go up there and battle with him,” said Majeski. “Some of the guys we thought we were going to have to race with in points had issues tonight. I feel very fortunate to keep the car in one piece, especially these early days in the week.”
Burton, the 15-year-old son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, started in the rear of the field after needing to make a mechanical fix after qualifying. He managed to pick his way to a podium finish.
“I just tried to stay out of the wrecks and slowly work our way up,” Burton said. “It’s important to keep your head down in these races and not get in a wreck.”
Tyler Ankrum and Martin Latullipe rounded out the top five.
Dalton Armstrong was sixth, followed by David Garbo Jr., defending New Smyrna World Series Super Late Model champ Zane Smith, Christian Eckes and Derek Thorn.
Todd Gilliland, who started on the pole, finished 24th. Cole Anderson, who won the Red-Eye 100 and Orange Blossom 100 at New Smyrna, was also among those involved in a wreck and he finished 25th.
Cameron Ray won the inaugural Florida Modified feature of the week.
Daniel Keene Jr. started the week strong, taking home the Pro Late Model win.
Patrick Thomas capped of the first night at New Smyrna earning the Sportsman feature victory.
Racing continues tomorrow, highlighted by the week’s second 35-lap Super Late Model feature. Saturday’s racing, as well as Feb. 15-20, are airing live on FansChoice.TV, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET each night.