46th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway
kicked off Friday, February 17th and ended fast with a rainout. Heavy rain
came out of nowhere just the first event, the Florida Modifieds, took their
On Saturday, February 18th everyone returned to the track ready to race. The
Modifieds were qualified by Friday’s times and driver’s energy ran high as
they prepared to be the first feature event. The field of modifieds was one
of the smallest that I can remember in years. With a limited field of cars,
SK Modifieds took the green as a combined field. As the green flew, Chuck
Hossfeld led the field taking the lead. He maintained his lead until a red
flag and long caution interrupted his forward momentum.
The red flag was brought out when Ryan Preece hit the front stretch wall
hard after a race encounter with Ted Christopher. At the time, both drivers
had been racing for third.
After hitting the wall, Preece slid down the front stretch in bed of flames
with his badly damaged car. The cars of Kevin Goodale and Dave Cranmer were
collected up and spun as they tried to avoid the mishap. The sight was
scary. The drivers were all safe as Preece ran from his flaming car to the
pits. With the adrenaline still flowing Preece ran back on the track to
check out the condition of the family owned #40 modified. As the tow truck
lifted what was left of Preece’s car and brought it to the pits we all saw
and knew the damage was severe.
The race continued with the laps clicking off fast. On lap 17 a late race
caution came out when Jimmy Zacharias spun the #17 car in turn two.
The short sprint was now all that Ted Christopher needed to make his move to
the front. On the race restart Christopher passed the then leader Daniel
Hemric. After that there was no stopping Christopher. He took the checkers
to add another Speedweek Victory to his race portfolio. “The first night of
the race you try to figure the car likes and what out the track is doing.
Daniel and those guys definitively had it together, but you can never give
up. They do not pay at lap 17, they pay at lap 25!” said Christopher from
When asked about the crash on Lap 8 that took Ryan Preece prematurely out of
the race here is what Christopher had to say:” I do not know what happened.
I was in front of it. He (Preece) probably took my rear quarter and touched
a little bit. He can believe what he wants but I did not do it on purpose. “
Catching up with Ryan Preece he gave his side of what happened during the
accident: “He (Ted Christopher) came up like I was not even there. I do not
know what his deal is. I have been wrecked by him a lot. I try to race him
clean. I just do not know. I know that we have a wrecked race car which is a
lot of money for our family. We are done for the week. I hope that he likes
racing against five cars. Because that is all that you are going to get when
you race here against him.”
So watch the clips from Ryan Preece’s in car camera and the shots or live
on the web and make your own opinion on what happened. Here's one view:
See you back on Monday with more excitement with Modified racing at New
Smyrna Speedway. Rumor has it that Ryan Preece will return to the track with
his grandfather’s 2X modified and not to be cut short on the chance for a