(DAYTONA BEACH, FL) #64 Wins Daytona Sportsman Race The ASRS Sportsman Truck Series field rolled into Daytona for a little fun at the beach and then even more fun under the lights at the Daytona International Speedway. Scott Smith came in riding high after a recent surge of momentum has seen his #21 truck to the head of the points standings. Only two other drivers remain in contention and they are the #25 of Kris Titus (-3) and the #15 of Jeremy Banning (-12).
The series had been off since July 30th when Brandon Boyd dominated the field at Eldora winning the pole and then the race. The pole for this race would go to Pat Rusha and his #05 machine. Edward Bray nabbed the outside of the front row followed by points leader Scott Smith in 3rd, Lee Staples in 4th and Michael Cunic in 5th. The big one struck early when the #59 of Tyler Reed made contact with the #34 of Michael Cunic on lap 4. The #34 would slide down the front stretch on his roof in what would prove to be a scary accident. Unfortunately, points contender Jeremy Banning was involved in the wreck and his night was be over early. Kris Titus also received damage in the melee but he would continue on. Points leader Scott Smith lucked out when his #21 made it through the wreck unscathed.
After the wreck, only 11 of the 18 starters of the race were able to stay with the lead pack of cars on the restart. The field of competitive cars would dwindle down to just 7 by the time the field hit the halfway mark as some drivers lost the draft with their extensive damage. The class of the field was the two LA Simsport trucks of Edward Bray and Lee Staples. After a strong qualifying run, both drivers backed up their speed by dominating the field until the second caution flew on lap 24 when the #43 of Steve Buhala came down the track making contact with the #06 of Brandon Boyd. Boyd would make extremely hard contact with the inside wall. Buhala would come back up the track and collect the #5 of Scott Haller. On the ensuing pit stops, it would be Scott Smith that would find himself in the lead for the restart. Bray and Staples would use each other’s help to snatch the win from Smith. Calamity would ensue after the restart as there were several trucks that were wrecked but not badly enough to warrant a caution.
The race came down to five lead pack cars at the end of the race: Staples, Bray, Titus, Kennedy and Smith. Kennedy was the first victim to lose the draft with 4 to go, from there on out it was the LA Simsport tandem of Staples and Bray vs. the #25 of Titus and the points leader Scott smith. With 2 to go, Smith and Titus got to racing for 3rd leaving the battle for the win to the dominant cars of Staples and Bray.
Lee Staples held off his tandem partner for the win, his first in ASRS competition! Edward Bray finished a close second followed by Kris Titus, Scott Smith and John Kennedy. The series will roll into Myrtle Beach on August 27 for some close quarters short track action. Tune in!