BITHLO, FLORIDA -- Jacob Warren took a lap 121 lead winning a crash-bang affair by turning out to be a survivor of the fittest and capturing the FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series 125 at Orlando (FL) Speedworld. "We had a second place car,...
BITHLO, FLORIDA -- Jacob Warren took a lap 121 lead winning a crash-bang affair by turning out to be a survivor of the fittest and capturing the FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series 125 at Orlando (FL) Speedworld.
"We had a second place car, but led the last four laps and those are the ones that counted," said Warren of Orlando, FL.
The take-no-prisoners race number six of 14 produced 11 yellow flag cautions that turned many cars into twisted sheet metal with only 12 of 25 race starters finishing on the lead lap. There were no apparent injuries.
Warren took the point when David Rogers, who had led from the pole position, turned his once flying Dodge's switch off during lap 121 for mechanical problems in turn two, ending his once dominant race run.
"I've had the best car several times and had small things take me out so I'll take this win with whatever it took," said Warren.
It was Rogers' second Sunbelt pole in a row, having started there at USA on April 12 only to have his car stop for mechanical reasons. In this race he was flying before disaster struck and had opened a 10 car lead over Warren by lap 105.
"The sad part about it is at about 50 laps I broke a header pipe so I lost horsepower and actually it made the car run a little bit better," said Rogers of Orlando, FL. "We had a real good race car, but you have to be around at the end to win."
B. J. McLeod was fast qualifier turning the three-eighths mile oval in 13.645 seconds for a speed of 98.94 mph to lead a strong competitive field of 25 Super Late Models. McLeod drew number five for inversion, but was done for the night by lap 19.
Rogers was off and running followed by Warren with opening circuit cars slicing and dicing through the balance of the quick moving field for position.
During lap eight Warren jarred Rogers just a bit taking a quick several seconds lead, but backed off when Rogers regained control.
"I've lost races from cheap shots from behind me and I wouldn't do that to him (David Rogers), because he's as clean a racer as you can get," Warren said.
Mario Gosselin went into a spin in turn three and was finished for the evening by lap 19 after another group of cars held too close of a meeting.
"Gosselin got down below and then he came up and hit my left side, both rear and front, and my car just never steered the same after that so I consider finishing second tonight a gift," said Wayne Anderson of Wildwood, FL.
Things sorted out a bit by lap 25 with Rogers still in control followed by Warren and Anderson. Brian Finney was running fourth and Jay Middleton fifth.
Rogers still faced some strong pressure from Warren during lap 40 with Anderson following.
"Tonight I knew it was going to be a survival and sure enough the wrecks happened in front of me, but I dodged them," said Anderson, still FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series point leader.
Middleton moved to fourth in lap 50 changing the top five for the first time in 25 laps with Rogers still in strong control of the race.
At halfway, Rogers was still powering his way on the point with Warren and Anderson following.
Rogers and Warren had too many horses for the best of the rest as the leading duo held a big margin over Anderson, Middleton and Finney in lap 65. The lead pair of cars were the class of the Super Late Model field and were running very strong.
In lap 85, Middleton dropped to fifth as Finney moved to fourth and was quickly chasing after Anderson and the third spot. Finney would finish third.
"The car was pretty good, but was running hot and I had to back off a few times," said Finney. "I could back off and the run him (Anderson) back down."
In lap 113, Rogers still controlled the field followed by Warren and Anderson. Finney was fourth and Middleton fifth.
During lap 121, Rogers slowed and stopped in turn two and Warren picked up the lead followed by Anderson and Finney. Middleton was fourth and Jonny Kay was now fifth.
Warren crossed the stripe followed by Anderson and Finney. Middleton finished fourth and Kay fifth.
Chris Fontaine was the best finishing rookie driver and checked in sixth after a consistent driving effort.
The next FASCAR Sunbelt Super Series race will be June 21 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland.