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
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
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.
GOODYEAR CHALLENGE LATE MODEL 100
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
tops Goodyear Challenge Late Model feature at Bronson
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
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
(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
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
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
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.
Goodyear Late Models
Florida Association of Stock Car Auto Racing Results
from USA International Speedway
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
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
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.
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