NEW SMYRNA, Fla. — As the 53rd annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing kicked into high-gear on Friday night at New Smyrna Speedway, two drivers ended up with checkered flags in their respective Late Model divisions — but both in completely different fashions.
Anthony Sergi (Super Late Model) and Jeremy Miller (Pro Late Model) were among five drivers to add their names to the record books as winners of the opening night at the Florida half-mile. All eight nights of NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing are airing via a live stream on FansChoice.TV.
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Sergi wasn’t the dominant car in the 35-lap Super Late Model main event, but ran inside the top four early, and was in the right place, at the right time, when it mattered most. Derek Griffith and Carson Kvapil led the field of 22 cars to the green and Kvapil jumped to the early advantage, holding off Griffith through the early stages.
In crunch time, Griffith rolled to the bottom of Kvapil coming to the white flag, but as the duo exited turn two racing for the win, contact sent Kvapil into the outside wall, ending his chances. When Griffith was penalized to the back of the field for the contact, Sergi took advantage — jumping out front as part of the green-white-checkered finish and rolling to the win over track regular Brad May.
— Kyle Rickey (@KyleRRickey) February 9, 2019
“I haven’t had any luck here,” Sergi said. “We did awesome in the Governor’s Cup, but wasn’t lucky with a caution. But tonight, the caution helped me out. It’s just racing. You have ups and downs.”
Sergi opened the week with the checkered flag and has the early advantage in the championship standings. Drivers earn 50 points for a victory, 48 for second, etc., down through the duration of the field. The Super Late Models will compete in six more races throughout the week, including the 100-lap finale on February 16.
In the 35-lap Pro Late Model feature, Jeremy Miller rolled from the pole position and never relinquished the top spot. After fending off an early charge from rising NASCAR K&N Pro Series star Hailie Deegan, Miller continuously opened his advantage at the front of the field and took the checkered flag to open the week. Deegan finished second, followed by Loris Hezemans.
After not being sure he was even going to make the trip to the prestigious World Series, Miller was happy with an opening night triumph — and will hope to carry the momentum towards the rest of the week.
“I was really nervous to come down here,” Miller said. “I asked my car owner if we could come down here and it costs a ton of money to come from where we are. I just didn’t want to disappoint him. I think he is happy now.”
Wayne Parker won the 35-lap Florida Modified feature on Friday night.
Results: World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Night 1:
Super Late Models: 1. Anthony Sergi; 2. Brad May; 3. Derek Kraus; 4. Colin Garrett; 5. Sam Mayer; 6. Ryan Moore; 7. Gabe Sommers; 8. Jett Noland; 9. Bubba Pollard; 10. Alex Labbe; 11. Logan Seavey; 12. Harold Crooms; 13. Jared Irvan; 14. Stephen Weaver Jr.; 15. Chance Jewels; 16. Carson Kvapil; 17. Derek Griffith; 18. Dan Fredrickson; 19. Brent Strelka; 20. Nolan Pope; 21. Jeff Holmgren Jr.; 22. Patrick Thomas.
Pro Late Models: 1. Jeremy Miller; 2. Hailie Deegan; 3. Loris Hezemans; 4. Augie Grill; 5. Sammy Smith; 6. Jamie Skinner; 7. Todd Stone; 8. Nicholas Naugle; 9. Daniel Dye; 10. Harold Crooms; 11. Austin MacDonald; 12. Jerry Artuso; 13. Jerick Johnson; 14. Kevin Folan; 15. Chuck Tuck; 16. Tyler Porter; 17. Dalton Smith; 18. Brandon Oakley; 19. Ware Carson Reed; 20. Chance Jewels