The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series visited the New Smyrna Speedway on Tuesday night for round two of their season. The 75 lap event was the second race as a part of the “Florida Swing” and 32 drivers attempted to qualify.
The night got started with Davey Riendeau picking up his first career SARA pole with a lap of 20.389 seconds. The top 10 cars advanced into the Qualifying Dash, and an 8-car invert sent Riendeau back in the pack while Tom Wetmore was inverted to the front. Wetmore jumped into the lead and went on to lead every lap for the Dash win. Only the top 25 cars from Time Trials made the field based on times, with a couple provisionals handed out to make a grid of just 29 cars, sending 3 cars home early.
In the feature event, Tom Wetmore led the field to the green flag but it was Windell Stratton that gained the advantage from the outside groove to take the lead by lap 1. As Stratton began to pull away out front, Wetmore settled into 2nd while the rest of the field were battling it out behind them. By lap 25, Stratton began to approach lapped traffic and as he went to get by the first lapped car, the two made contact sending Stratton into the outside wall and turning him around. Stratton fell back a few spots as a result but the lead was handed over to Wetmore.
Wetmore was able to maintain the lead after a pair of quick restarts, but faced heavy pressure from behind as Stratton, Tyler Price, and Ty Spearman all battled for positions at the front of the field. Spearman was the man on the move in the group and quickly worked his way up into 2nd and then started looking to the inside to get by Wetmore for the lead by lap 50. A few laps later, Spearman was able to gain the advantage and completed the pass on lap 53, just a few laps prior to the third and final caution of the race on lap 56.
On the final restart, Wetmore was able to get a good jump to stay with Spearman as they entered turn one, and the two made contact forcing Spearman up the track. Spearman maintained his position in the outside groove however and was able to hang onto the lead by the exit of turn four. The race stayed green to the finish, and while drivers were battling behind him, Spearman was running away at the front of the field and came around to take the checkered flag, picking up the win by nearly 3 seconds ahead of the pack. The win for Spearman was his 7th career SARA victory.
Behind Spearman, Wetmore was able to hold onto 2nd after leading laps earlier in the race and nearly gaining the advantage on the late restart, but came up one spot short. Hunter Combs slowly picked his way through the top ten after starting back in 11th and cracked the top three late in the race to finish 3rd. After leading laps early in the race, Stratton was also able to hang on near the front of the field and came around to finish 4th. Rounding out the top five was Tyler Price who ran as high as 2nd during the first set of restarts but fell back later in the race to finish 5th.
Just outside the top five, Jim Caudill Jr finished his night in the 6th spot after running solidly inside the top ten all night long. Andy Shuck came from back in the 15th starting spot and eventually started moving his way up through the top ten during the second half of the race to finish 7th. Camaron Hamilton ran up-and-down the back half of the top ten all race before settling in late to finish 8th. Kevin J Myers had to come from back in the 17th starting spot, and recovered from a mid-race incident to finish in 9th. Dale Owen rounded out the top ten as the biggest mover of the race, climbing from the 21st position up to a 10th place finish.
Hunter Combs had the best combined finish in the two Florida Swing races, and used the extra bonus points to take over the points lead and now leads by just 5 points heading into next week’s race at Concord.