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
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
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.