BITHLO, FLORIDA - Dick Anderson won the FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series Orlando Dodge 125 on Friday night at Orlando Speedworld, but it appeared to be no easy task for the defending FASCAR Sunbelt Series champion. Anderson of Wildwood,...
BITHLO, FLORIDA - Dick Anderson won the FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series Orlando Dodge 125 on Friday night at Orlando Speedworld, but it appeared to be no easy task for the defending FASCAR Sunbelt Series champion.
Anderson of Wildwood, FL, driving the Simmons Construction Chevrolet, also set fast time on the three-eighths mile Orlando oval with a second lap run of 13.465 seconds or 100.26 mph and led 24 starting cars to green.
When Anderson, who won the first five Sunbelt races in 2001, climbed from his ride in the pit area after leading all 125 laps, he looked like he had been in a war. This was the winners first victory of 2002 and he had done all that was necessary for the win.
"The car stayed the same all night," said an apparently tired Anderson. "The field just got worse."
When Anderson drew 0 and started on the pole many thought this race would be history quickly, but not Justin Drawdy of Ft. Pierce, Fl, who finished second, driving the Drawdy Brothers Construction Chevrolet. Drawdy certainly had the right setup and was race-quickest, but dropped off the pace when his tires showed late race wear.
"I ran the car too hard early when I should've saved it for the end," said Drawdy. "Anderson was pushing hard going into the fourth turn and I went after him too soon."
Anderson took the point on the start and by lap 3 was followed by Drawdy, David Rogers of Orlando, FL and James Powell of Astor, FL, driving the Natural Difference ride. Powell would finish third after issuing early challenges of his own on Rogers.
"The car was coming back to us late, but it didn't work out, because it was just too late," said Powell.
Anderson had his car pushing going into turn four with a flying Drawdy just unable to complete a clean pass. Rogers sat back just a couple of car lengths waiting his time.
This same scenario of nose-to-tail racing by the top running Anderson, Drawdy and Rogers, driving his TM Ranch Dodge would be repeated during several cautions, but later in the race Anderson would outlast all his challengers opening a comfortable lead during the waning laps.
Anderson, Drawdy and Rogers were still in control at lap 50 with Powell still waiting his chance for a quick move. Michael Williams of Mims, FL in the South 40 Motorsports ride was running a smooth fifth.
The running order remained the same through several additional race cautions. There were seven total yellow flags.
The running order changed in lap 90 when Rogers took his Dodge into the infield with harmonic balancer problems with Powell, who quickly filled the third place spot.
Anderson crossed the stripe with a comfortable lead with Drawdy and Powell following.
Rounding out the top five were Williams and Mike Good of Lake Mary, FL, drivng the Briar Corporation ride.
The next 2002 FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series 125 will be June 15 at Charlotte County Speedway in Punta Gorda, FL.