In The News 2006

Winchell shows the way at Orlando Speedworld


March 18, 2006

Joe Winchell led the Goodyear Challenge LM race flag to flag.Orlando Speedworld kicked off the 2006 racing season with a great night of competition that offered a little bit of everything.

The big event of the evening was the season opener for the Goodyear Challenge Late Models which featured a mix of veterans and young rookies that would eventually lead to some wild racing.

A.J. Currelli topped the 28 car field in time trials with a lap of 13.900 seconds while 2005 Florida Mini Stock Challenge champion Dustin Deschamps was second quick in his first start with the Goodyear Late Models, stopping the clock at 13.964. Sam Watts was third quick at 14.000.

The race would get off to a rocky start as outside pole sitter Don Hess got loose and spun coming off turn four sliding down the track and collecting the car of 2005 Goodyear Challenge champion Rich Clouser. It was a tough start to 2006 for Clouser as his car was towed to the pits and he was credited with last place.

The second attempt was better as veteran Joe Winchell of Davie sped to the early lead from his pole position start, but before lap two could be completed a multi car mess took place in turns three and four that sent several cars to the pits for repairs and eliminated the machines of Charlie Vest and Phil Tapia.

Winchell continued to set a blistering pace until the field was slowed again as Travis Cope and Sam Watts tangled just past the flag stand sending Watts' car hard into the wall. Watts was out while Cope continued.

Winchell again pulled away as Derrick Kelley and fast timer Currelli began to make their presence felt. The two were fighting for fourth when Kelley made a low side move going into turn one, turning Currelli around. Charles Kopach spun to avoid and ended up getting into the wall. An unhappy Kelley went to the back of the pack while Currelli kept his spot.

Hess was still running strong despite damage from the opening lap incident, but running well behind leader Winchell. Third place Chuck Burkhalter was putting the pressure on Hess when Hess got loose going into turn three and spun. Travis Cope had nowhere to go and crashed into Hess' car with both racers being eliminated from the race.

Winchell set the pace through two more caution periods as Currelli moved up and got past Burkhalter for second. The red flag was displayed at lap 82 after Chris Huntoon blew an engine going into turn three and backed into the wall.

Following the restart, Currelli was able to put pressure on Winchell for a couple of laps, but Winchell had his car hooked up and pulled away, slowed only by a lap 94 caution when Deschamps spun out of fourth place.

Winchell raced untouched to the checkered flag with Currelli second and Burkhalter third. Derrick Kelley raced back to fourth at the finish taking advantage of Chuck Abell's last lap spin. Greg Kaouk drove a steady race to grab fifth spot. Rounding out the top ten were Troy Hall, Amanda Gogel, Jeremy Colangelo, Kopach, and Justin Larson. Colangelo earned the Rookie of the Race award as well as the Hard Charger award.


1. #57 Joe Winchell, Davie
2. #2 A.J. Curreli, Daytona Beach
3. #1x Chuck Burkhalter, Clermont
4. #21 Derrick Kelley, Auburndale
5. #31 Greg Kaouk, Southwest Ranches

Travis Cope tops Goodyear Challenge Late Model feature at Bronson Motor Speedway

by Jane Smith

Bronson, Fla. (April 1, 2006) A perfect spring day and night greeted the twenty five drivers who journeyed to Bronson Motor Speedway on April 1 for the second race of the Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series. "Twenty five is the best car count we have ever had at Bronson," said Series Director Scott Jackman.

Qualifying caused a few hot moments before the race as Paul Barnhill's oil line came off as he was out making his lap. This caused a major cleanup effort and a slightly greasy track for the rest of the field to qualify on. But racers are racers and inspite of the "hot" moments, they were ready to race by feature time.

Steve Dorer of Lakeland set fast time for the twenty five car field with a 13.620 followed by Rookies Dustin Deschamps of Brooksville with a 13.674, Justin Larson of Safety Harbor with a 13.678, Rich Clouser of Palm Bay with a 13.708 and Sam Watts of Winter Springs with a 13.708. Dorer pulled the 7 pill which put Travis Cope, son of Bronson Motor Speedway owner Mike Cope, on the pole for the 100 lap event.

After an on-track autograph session for the fans and two feature races for the Thunderstocks and Limited Sportsman, it was time for the Goodyear Challenge race to start. But in the first 47 laps of the race, only 12 laps were under green as it was a wreckfest one lap after another. Going out first in the race was Derrick Kelley who ended up with a sway bar thru his radiator that ended his night on lap one which was not completed.

Next to go out was Paul Barnhill of Crestview and Ali Zargaran of Pompano on lap 9. Joe Strehle of Deland lsated a little longer to lap 20. Lap 38 saw Rookie Jeremy Colangelo out of the race. Chuck Abel was out next on lap 40 but was able to make repairs and come back in for just a few laps. Justin Larson was out on lap 41 even though he was able to come back but had to return to the pits with a broken spark plug.

Thru the first 48 laps, it was Travis Cope leading the way for Troy Hall, Rich Clouser, Sam Watts, and A.J. Curreli. The second half things seemed to settle down with Cope on the point followed by Hall, Clouser, Watts, Curreli, Mike Franklin, Joe Winchell, Jeremy Goddard, Dean Ferri, and Greg Kaouk.

On lap 57, Charles Kopach, driving only part of a car, spun for the third time sending him into the pits for the night. The race was restarted on lap 61 with Young Cope taking the lead on the green. The race remained green until lap 73 when the field checked up for a spin and Sam Watts getting the worst end of the deal as he spun avoiding the backend of Rich Clouser. Watts tried to remain in the field but by lap 78 he was done after his good run along with Chuck Burkhalter.

On the restart, Chuck Abel rejoined the field but only made a lap and had to retire into the infield with his damaged machine. Cope remained the leader with Troy Hall and Rich Clouser in second and third. A.J. Curreli was running fourth but found himself being pressured by Mike Franklin now in fifth. Franklin was able to pass Curreli taking over fourth with Joe Winchell following Franklin for fifth as Curreli settled into sixth. The race remained green until lap 95 when Jeremy Goddard spun coming off 4 and cars were going high and low to avoid him.

But on the restart in almost the same spot, Goddard brought out the yellow again as he spun in the same spot. Once more the green came out and it was young Travis Cope in his first feature win in the Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series crossing the checkered followed by Troy Hall, Rich Clouser, Mike Franklin, and Joe Winchell.

In Victory Lane a more proud father and mother could not have been seen by the fans than Mike and Jane Cope. Tears of joy were plenty as they celebrated with their son and the Bronson fans.

1. #26 Travis Cope, Bronson
2. #30 Troy Hall, Coral Springs
3. #9 Rich Clouser, Palm Bay
4. #12 Mike Franklin, High Springs
5. #57 Joe Winchell, Davie

Travis Cope Makes It Three Wins in Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series

(Lake City, Fla. July 9, 2006) - When Travis Cope got up yesterday, it was just a Saturday morning when it was time to go racing. The hauler was packed, the car was ready and Travis and his crew made their way up the road just alittle from Bronson to Columbia Motorsports Park. He practiced the car and it was good. No rain clouds, alot of heat. And in the end, Travis won his third Goodyear Challenge Late Model race.

It was not a good day for everyone. Alli Owens hit the hard concrete walls of Columbia in practice and knocked her car out of the race and hurt her foot. Jacob Warren, driving for Wayne and Tim Clark, looked good in practice but his motor seized and he was out of the race. Chuck Abel had a horse of a different color when his tow vehicle broke down on I-75 and he had to have parts brought to him to even get to Columbia. Abel arrived after qualifying and got only three laps on the track before the green.

Daniel Keene set fast time for the 100 lap event with a 17.257 followed by Travis Cope, Dustin Deschamps, Sam Watts, and Joe Winchell. Keene pulled a three for the inversion putting Dustin Deschamps on the pole. After the on-track autograph session, it was time to race.

Deschamps found his hands full from the beginning as he and Cope went side-by-side for the point. It took Cope little time to show his stuff as he led the way over Deschamps, Keene, Watts and Winchell. Being the "old pro" of the top five, Winchell spent no time getting around Watts for fourth as Watts went to fifth followed by Troy Hall, Rich Clouser, A.J. Curreli, Justin Larson and Jeremy Colangelo.

 Only 8 laps down, Abel ended his crazy night as he spun in turns 1 and 2 ending up against the wall. Abel was fine but disappointed with little practice time to shake down his car before the race. Not a very good Saturday night.

Cope holds the point as the race goes back green followed by Deschamps, Keene, Winchell and Watts. Keene and Deschamps are doing some very hard racing for second as they touch with Keene going sideways and spinning in turns 1 and 2. Keene is sent to the rear for the restart for bringing out the yellow. Deschamps remains in second.

 VWith Keene in the rear, top five are now Cope, Deschamps, Winchell, Troy Hall, and Sam Watts. Suddenly Rich Clouser begins to go backwards ending up in ninth. Clouser slows on the backstretch almost to a stop when the yellow comes out for the ailing car to get to the pits. Clouser had a tire go down but his machine was running hot, too hot to continue racing and Clouser was done for the night.

A brief green until the next yellow when Justin Larson spins in turns 1 and 2.

At this time Matt Martin (66) pits to have his hood straightened that has some damage and is back on the track with John Coffman also getting crew attention several times.

The green goes back out with Cope, Winchell, Deschamps, Hall, Watts, Curreli, Colangelo, Charles Kopach, Daniel Keene, Greg Kaouk, Dean Ferri and Matt Martin on the track. As Keene is working his way back up front, he and Kopach touch sending Kopach in a spin. Both cars are fine but must restart in the rear.

Halfway shows Cope, Winchell, Deschamps, Hall and Watts as your top five but Watts begins now to put the heat on Hall passing Hall for fourth. The top five continue racing hard as Hall gets loose and slides backwards to seventh putting Curreli in fifth and Colangelo in sixth. Hall now finds a hard charging Keene giving him small "love" kisses but Hall holds. Keene tries again on the outside and this time makes it and takes over seventh. Running order is Cope, Winchell, Watts, Deschamps, Curreli, Colangelo, Keene, Kaouk, Hall, Martin and Kopach.

Colangelo gets a good run on Curreli and takes over fifth as Curreli goes to sixth. Winchell, with the help of a lap car, passes Cope for the lead but Cope is not going for that and repasses Winchell and takes back his throne.

Colangelo then puts the heat on Deschamps taking over fifth as Deschamps finds himself in fifth. The caution comes out on lap 91 for Charles Kopach who has spun in turn 4.

With only 9 laps to go, Cope knows he has to have a good restart to hold off Winchell who is right on his tail.

Cope gets a good start followed by Winchell, Watts, Colangelo and Deschamps. Curreli puts the heat on Deschamps as Deschamps slides backwards with Curreli now in fifth.

Cope takes the checkered for his third win of 2006 in the Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series followed by Joe Winchell, Sam Watts, Jeremy Colangelo and A.J. Curreli.



2006 FASCAR 

Goodyear Late Models

  Orlando Joe Winchell
  Bronson Travis Cope
  New Smyrna Brad May
  Columbia Rich Clouser
  Citrus County Travis Cope
  USA International Brad May
  Bronson Joe Winchell
  Columbia Travis Cope
  New Smyrna A.J. Curreli
  USA International Brad May
  New Smyrna Jamie Skinner
  Orlando A.J. Curreli


Florida Association of Stock Car Auto Racing Results from USA International Speedway

June 3, 2006

LAKELAND, Fla. -- On a hot, sunny afternoon, the FASCAR Late Models went out for their qualifying at USA International in Lakeland. Twenty nine of the best Late Models in Florida came to try their luck and skill against USA but before qualifying even began, two had to withdraw from the race. Dr. Ali Zargaran of Pompano with a slightly damaged car from hot laps and Paul Barnhill of Crestview with a blown engine.

It was the 1997 Hooters ProCup Rookie of the year Brad May of Orlando who went out and set fast time for the 100 lap event with a 21.625. Completing the top five were Rich Clouser of Palm Bay, Jacob Warren of Orlando, Mike Franklin of High Springs, and A.J. Curreli of Daytona Beach. May pulled the number 3 pill for the inversion putting Jacob Warren on the pole. Warren was wheeling the
Tim Clark of Cocoa Late Model for the event.

Warren took the point on the initial green but before lap 2 was down, Dewayne Barrus of New Smyrna brought out the yellow when he spun in turn 1 and retired his car for the night. The field went back green on lap 6 with Warren, May, Clouser, Franklin and Curreli in the top five. By lap 8, May was on the back bumper of Warren for the lead and by lap 9, May has the pont as Warren goes to secoond.

Chris Fontaine puts pressure on Curreli , they touch, but both hold their on. On lap 17 we see the caution come out for Sam Watts, Chris Fontaine and Doug Moff who have gotten together on the backstretch. The race is red flagged not for an injured driver but for gas on the track. All three cars are done for the night.

As lap 21 shows the green, May takes the point followed by Warren, Clouser, Franklin, and Joe Winchell. Matt Martin begins to slow and goes slowly down the backstretch onto pit road. The crew quickly looks at the ailing car but it is determined that it is done for the night. Lap 28 Mike Hovis puts pressure on Curreli in sixth and takes the position as Curreli goes to seventh. Obviously Curreli has problems and pits on lap 31 for crew attention but must also retire his car for the night. Lap 33 Charlie Vest retires his car for the night. Winchell passes Franklin for fourth as Franklin goes to fifth.

Lap 38 sees the caution once again for Justin Larson who has a fire under the hood and has stopped in turns 1 and 2. The safety crew get to the car quickly and Larson is fine but also done for the night. The running order is May, Warren, Clouser, Winchell, Franklin, Hovis, Chuck Burkhalter, Dustin Deschamps, Troy Hall, Travis Cope, Jeremy Colangelo, Red Vann, Chuck Abell, Jeremy Goddard, Dean Ferri and Ali Owens.

On the restart May holds the point but Hovis, who was running sixth begins to slide backwards to ninth. Halfway point sees 16 cars still on the track as May leads the way. The next caution comes out on lap 56 when Jeremy Goddard spins in turn . 2. Just as the race goes back green, the yellow is shown again when Troy Hall's engine lets go collecting Hovis and Chuck Abell in the oil. Hovis has too much damage to return but Abell although has some damage is not bad enough to retire him.

Lap 64 sees the green once again as May leads the way followed by Clouser who now has pressure from Winchell. Winchell is able to make the move and take over third with Chuck Burkhalter moving to fourth and Clouser settling into fifth. Clouser looks high and low to pass Burkhalter but Burkhalter holds the position each time. This cat and mouse chase continues for many laps between Burkhalter and Clouser. On lap 85 Goddard has a flat rear tire and must pit for a new tire.

Lap 92 Burkhalter and Clouser are still going for the same position as they get too close and Clouser touches the rear of Burkhalter sending him straight into the turn 1 wall. Burkhalter definitely has his bell rung since he hit the wall hard but seems to be okay but is done for the night. Clouser is sent to the rear of the lead lap cars for the restart.

With 14 cars left for the last 8 laps, it is May, Winchell, Warren, Colangelo, and Franklin. Warren takes back the second spot from Winchell as Winchell settles into third. Clouser is on the charge back to the front and passes Franklin for fifth. With no other cautions, May sets sail for the checkered and wins USA International followed by Jacob Warren, Joe Winchell, Jeremy Colangelo, and Rich Clouser.

1. #10 Brad May, Orlando
2. #8 Jacob Warren, Orlando
3. #57 Joe Winchell, Davie
4. #05 Jeremy Colangelo, Deland
5. #9 Rich Clouser, Palm Bay