One Pole, One Win Highlight Dominating Weekend for Jay Middleton Florida Youngster Says He Should Have Been Two-For-Two, But A Flat Tire Cost Him LAKE CITY, FL (April 19, 2005) -- The last couple of weeks have been tough for Jay Middleton. ...
One Pole, One Win Highlight Dominating Weekend for Jay Middleton
Florida Youngster Says He Should Have Been Two-For-Two, But A Flat Tire Cost Him
LAKE CITY, FL (April 19, 2005) -- The last couple of weeks have been tough for Jay Middleton. And the best medicine for a tough couple weeks is one really good weekend. With that in mind, Jay's confidence should be completely healed after a win and a pole during last weekend's double-header.
"It is probably the best weekend of the year for us," said Middleton. "We should have won three of the last four races we've run, but we just have had some problems. So we knew we needed a weekend like this and things just worked out well for us. It was a great time and we are now ready for more racing. This was a big boost for this team."
Up to this point, Middleton's season was plagued with hard luck and bizarre happenings. He's been spun, he's had some mechanical trouble and he's even been hit by a car pulling onto the track from pit-road while he was leading a race.
This past weekend is just what the doctored ordered. He took his #74 North Florida Medical Super Late Model to Five Flags Speedway (Pensacola, FL) on Friday night for the first race of the Blizzard Series and won the pole. Then he made the trek to Mobile International Speedway (AL) on Saturday night and dominated the 100-lap Super Late Model show. After qualifying second, Middleton led from flag-to-flag to pick up his first victory of 2005.
"Mobile is a super-fast track," added Middleton. "It was the first time I've seen the place. That place is so nice and smooth that you could run an IRL race on it.
"I figured the track would be really hard to pass on because they just repaved it. People were worried about tires blistering. We never had a problem with the tires in practice. We figured that we could race the whole time on one set of tires and everyone else was planning to come in. Track position at that track is big too. It is a tough place to pass. We were one of only a couple of cars not to pit.
"I didn't think it would be that big of an advantage to pit, but it proved that way. The guys who did pit were quicker for about two laps; that is about all it took to even each other out.
At Five Flags Speedway on Friday night, Middleton led the stellar field to the green after capturing the pole for the night's event. He quickly jumped out to the lead and paced the field for most of the first half of the race before a tire started going down and that forced him to pit.
"We qualified on the pole and led something like the first 45 laps and then we had trouble. We figured the flat still might benefit us since we could come in and change a tire and put a new right rear on the car, but that wasn't the case. I rode around with the flat trying to get in the pits and it wore out the other tires because I was sliding around so much.
"It is funny because people actually thought that I had worn out my tires from running really hard at the start but that wasn't the case at all. I had been running half-throttle and saving my stuff. The car was awesome and I think that we could have won that race easily without the flat tire."
Middleton eventually finished seventh.
The Pensacola and Mobile tracks plan to hold this double-header a couple more times throughout the 2005 campaign and Middleton says he'll certainly return.
"Oh yeah, we are going to come back and we are going to try to win both. We should have done that this weekend, so we'll come back and do it soon enough. I'm psyched about it. I can't wait to go back to both places."
Up next for Middleton will be the ASL race at I-70 Speedway, scheduled for Saturday, April 30th.