A near capacity crowd filled the grandstands at Auburndale Speedway to see race number two in the twelve race series of the newly formed Florida United Promoters Late Model Series. This series is the result of six hard working, dedicated race promoters with a common goal of revitalizing late model racing in the Sunshine State.
[media-credit name=”Chuck Green” align=”alignright” width=”272″][/media-credit]Twenty-four teams would make the pull to Auburndale for this race including race one winner Anthony Campi. Odds on favorite, a regular at Auburndale, Jeff Scofield would also expect to contend for the victory. Other notables including the teams of Tim Russell, Joe Winchell, Wayne Anderson, and Joe Boyd would surely be a factor in the outcome of this race.
Auburndale would live up to its reputation as Florida’s’ fastest quarter mile Track with qualifying times below fifteen seconds. Wayne Anderson would post the quickest time, with Tim Russell, Jeff Scofield, Jesse Dutilly, and Joe Winchell rounding out the top five. Per series rules a blind draw among the fastest qualifiers would determine the starting grid for the 100 lap feature event.
The crowd was excited as the cars lined up for the start of the race as local favorite Jeff Scofield was on the pole, and would bring the field to the green. Flanking Scofield on the outside of row one was the car of Tim Russell, the winner of race one, Anthony Campi would start third, fast qualifier Anderson would start on the outside of row four in the eighth position. As the cars came to the green, a four car tangle on the front stretch would cause race officials to rerack and start again. The second attempt would fare better, Scofield would jump out front with Russell on his rear bumper, and again the pace was slowed by a single car spin in turn two. The restart would see Scofield on the point with Russell, Campi, and the ride of Jesse Dutilly all in pursuit. The running order would remain the same through several more yellows, all for single car spins, a restart on lap 40 would see Scofield on the inside, Russell on the outside in a side by side battle for the lead, the two drivers would stay like this for another five laps when Russell was able to clear Scofield with a pass on the outside. Tim would build a three second lead over Scofield and seemed to be on cruise control. At the halfway point the order would be Russell out front, Scofield second, Campi running third, Dutilly fourth, and Daniel Webster rounding out the top five. The running order would remain the same until lap 67 when the red flag came out for a grinding crash in turn one. Steve Doer who was running in the top fifteen drove deep into turn one, slower traffic forced Steve up, and out of the groove, and he slammed the outside wall nearly head on. Everyone held their breath waiting for a sign that Doer was okay, after several minutes Steve exited the car and assisted the wrecker crew to get what was left of the car on a flatbed. Talking with Steve Monday following the incident he told us they were able to salvage the engine, transmission, and seat, the rest of the car would go to scrap. Most importantly, other than being very sore from the impact Steve suffered no injuries from his wreck.
After a thirty minute delay to clean the track, the cars would restart with Russell on the point and Scofield close behind. Again Russell would pull away from his pursuers and would never be challenged again. A late caution would set up a green white checker finish and Russell would not be denied taking the victory. In victory lane Russell thanked his sponsors, family and friends, and gave credit to the promoters that have made this series possible. Jeff Scofield finished second with Daniel Webster Third, Joe Winchell Fourth, and Wayne Anderson completing the top five.
The next stop for the United late model is April 2nd at Lake City Speedway in Lake City Florida.