Morris wins - Symons Champion SAMSULA, FLORIDA - Wayne Morris ended his FASCAR point run Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway in FASCAR Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series Advanced Auto/Discount Auto Parts 100 racing by winning the race, but...
Morris wins - Symons Champion
SAMSULA, FLORIDA - Wayne Morris ended his FASCAR point run Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway in FASCAR Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series Advanced Auto/Discount Auto Parts 100 racing by winning the race, but it still wasn't enough to secure the Goodyear Late Model 2002 championship.
"This is awesome tonight," said Morris of Mulberry, FL, from a very cold Victory Lane.
Morris, driving the Crenshaw Motorsports owned Michael Holley Chevrolet, did everything that could possibly be accomplished by a driver, but it still just wasn't enough to win the inaugural Goodyear Challenge Late Model series title. Morris set fast time, drew the number one starting pill for inversion that placed him on the pole, and then drove on the point for all 100 circuits.
Like the spacecraft "Endeavor" that rocketed by New Smyrna Speedway in its evening launch Saturday night Morris had his Late Model running hot, straight and normal.
"Michael Holley Chevrolet, Crenshaw Motorsports and all the guys (crew) - I owe it all to them," said Morris. "I wouldn't be here without them and I definitely had a rocket ship tonight."
Morris had things speedy enough on the track and opened a 10 car length lead at times, but couldn't completely shake Tim Russell of Longwood, FL, who finished second in his Hamke Race Cars machine. Larry Osteen of Clermont, FL finished third in his Central Florida Auto Express Late Model.
"We had a good run all night," said Russell. "Wayne (Morris) and I had a good race going on and I just needed a long green flag run so that I could catch him."
It was Jerry Symons of New Smyrna, FL driving the Gene Kelly Roofing Chevrolet that is now the 2002 inaugural FASCAR Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series Champion edging Morris by a mere two points after he recovered from a late race tangle.
"It's great to win this championship here at New Smyrna Speedway," said Symons. "I have to thank my whole crew for this title and we had a great season. We also thank Dennis Boyd (engine builder), because he's put a good motor under us all year long."
A lap 86 caution almost changed championship honors for Symons, but he endured this possible late race fiasco by roaring right back into the title hunt after inadvertent contact with Russell.
"Russell's car missed a shift on that restart and I jacked him up pretty good," said Symons. "If we had lost one more spot we would have been done for."
Symons 100 lap race ending finishing spot was the issue and he had to finish fourth or better to secure his second FASCAR title. Symons also claimed a FASCAR Pro Modified championship on Friday night in Orlando, FL.
Morris turned the one-half mile New Smyrna Speedway high-banked oval in 18.576 second or 96.90 mph leading the 25 Late Model car qualifying field on a 41 degree nippy evening.
At 50 laps, Morris was followed by Chris Lawrence of Orange City, FL, Symons and Jerry Artuso of Soo, Ontario.
During lap 75 Russell pressured Morris with Symons closely following.
Symons dropped to seventh during the lap 86 caution, but he quickly recovered and finished fourth.
Morris crossed the stripe followed by Russell, Osteen and Symons.