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Pete Orr Orange Blossom 100
by Denise DuPont

The 10th Annual Pete Orr Orange Blossom 100 Race continued pre-season track activity at New Smyrna Speedway on Saturday, February 11, 2012. There were twenty cars registered to compete in the memorial event, but when the cars hit the track the field was down two cars. Spencer Dailey and Cole Powell dropped out of competition with problems during practice.

Pre-race ceremonies included the awarding of the 2012 Pete Orr Sportsmanship award. The 2012 prestigious award was given to Pitero Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi is the grandson of Emerson Fittipaldi and the youngest champion in the racing family. Fittipaldi won his first race in 2011 behind the wheel of a Limited Late Model car at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC). Pete Orrís son, Bobby Orr, has worked with the young Fittipaldi and felt he was a good fit for the sportsmanship honor.

K&N Pro Series Driver, Ben Kennedy, dominated the 100 green lap Pete Orr memorial race leading lap after lap. But just when it looked as though Kennedy had it all wrapped up with a perfect race, the momentum was broken with a late race caution on lap 98.

Anthony Sergi had spun right in front of the leaders coming out of turn four. The fields of cars avoided Sergiís car, but the yellow flag was thrown. This set the stage for a Green, White, Check finish and the tension was high among the top five drivers as they now all saw the checkered flags in their future.

During the first re-start Kyle Larson spun the wheels on his Super Late Model. Cars behind and around him checked up to avoid Larson but the incident took its toll. Three of the top six competitors tangled and damage took them to pit road, out of the race. With front runners Jeff Scofield, Matt Tifft and Bobby Good watching from the sidelines the second Green, White, checker start occurred. Kyle Larson raced Ben Kennedy hard for the lead not spinning his tires this time. On the last lap Larson brought his car door-to-door with Kennedyís car coming into turn four. He then managed to sneak by Kennedy coming off of turn four to win the race.

Kyle Larson is an aspiring Kart, Midget and Sprint car champion and this was his first ever time behind the wheel of a stock type car and I am sure not the last!

New Smyrna Speedway will now get ready for 46th Annual World Series of Asphalt Racing as the northern Modified make their way to Florida. Race teams will roll into New Smyrna Speedway on Thursday, February 16th as practice and tech procedures begin. Teams will spend eight nights warming up and beginning their 2012 race plans. Right now there are 15 NASCAR type and 9 SK mods registered to race. As the northeast finally gets the cold winter blast we will see how many more teams pack-up and head south for some warmth and fun racing.

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: February 12, 2012

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