SEBRING, FLORIDA -- FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series driver James Powell III won the Alan Jay Automotive Network Speedfest road race Sunday at Sebring International Raceway in a one-hour combined Super Late Model and Goodyear Challenge...
SEBRING, FLORIDA -- FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series driver James Powell III won the Alan Jay Automotive Network Speedfest road race Sunday at Sebring International Raceway in a one-hour combined Super Late Model and Goodyear Challenge Series Late Model race.
There were 23 Super Late Models and 13 Goodyear Challenge Late Models making up a 36 car total starting field on a 1.85 mile modified eight turn road course.
Mike Bresnahan of LeCanto, FL turned fast time in his Sunbelt Super Late Model on the 1.85 modified eight turn road course in his Gulf to Lake Sales car in 1 minute 12.408 seconds.
Goodyear Challenge Series driver Brent O'Neil of Pembroke Park, FL set quick time in his ROL Gaskets ride turning the course in 1 minute 13.472 seconds. O'Neil qualified sixth overall.
Powell of Astor, FL had just too much in his A Natural Difference Chevrolet taking the lead for good in lap 26 of 30 laps to secure his second straight Sebring career victory. Powell also won Sebring in 2001 with FASCAR.
It was career Sunbelt win number seven for Powell, who had his Late Model up to 160 mph into a right hand flat corner. That would be turn six with about a one-half mile distance to number seven, but what about problems in turns?
"What you've got to do is try to get the gear right so you can get off the corner good," said Powell. We've been working with the gear to get the right combination. We were able to get down that long straightaway real well".
Sean Murphy of Ft. Lauderdale, FL drove his Crenshaw Motorsports prepared ride to a Goodyear Challenge Series win and a sixth place overall finishing effort in this combined Super Late Model and Late Model field. Murphy took the Goodyear Late Model lead in lap 16 and finished ahead of 18 Super Late Model cars.
"The win felt great," said Murphy, who has several years of road racing school experience in Europe.
"The team needed a win. We had a little downfall on Friday -- broke a motor and sent it to Progressive and they fixed it for us and got us here racing this afternoon. They're one of the main reasons we did win," Murphy said.
There were also some little trick situations for many drivers with the weather.
"The main surprise was toward the end of the race when rain played a trick on us when it started to come in on the north side of the track about 45 minutes into the race -- it was a real late shower," concluded Murphy.
Bresnahan finished second and has won two previous Sunbelt events. The track switching from concrete to asphalt at times did give him a little trouble.
"Yeah, it (track) really does, because the concrete here at Sebring is super rough," said Bresnahan. "The car's constantly jumping out from under you and it definitely keeps you on your toes, but this is one of the most fun tracks you can run on."
Eric Black of Vero Beach, FL was the third place Sunbelt Super Late Model finisher in his MB Enterprises car.
"I didn't get any practice in until yesterday (Saturday), so I just showed up and all I did was qualify," said Black. "I got one lap and qualified 16th, but I knew I could come forward and finish in the top three."
It was a tough day for Sunbelt point leader Dick Anderson of Wildwood, FL, who finished 29th with mechanical problems.
O'Neil finished second in Goodyear Challenge Series racing and seventh overall by just staying out of trouble.
"Absolute racing experience kept us out of trouble and we had a good car and setup," said O'Neil, who has SCCA racing experience.
Tony Amico of Clearwater, FL drove his Executive Racing School Chevrolet to a third place finish and 11th overall. He is doing the racing job well, but were there any road race problems?
"No, once the tires got hot we were a little loose," said Amico. "Other than that, it was great!
The next FASCAR Sunbelt Super Series and Goodyear Challenge Series race will be at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL, on Oct. 19th