In The News 2007

Winchell Wins Fast Late Models At Charlotte

November 25, 2007

A Limited Late Model race car is 80 inches wide, give or take an inch or two.

With Joe Winchell in front late in a 100-lap race, the No. 15 car seems three times as wide.

It's next to impossible passing the old, wily veteran with the race on the line.

Winchell, the east-coaster who has taken many checkered flags through the years in Punta Gorda, grabbed his first win of 2007 this past Saturday night at Charlotte County Motorsports Park, holding off hard-charging Kevin Macy.

Macy's 19 car was faster through the last 25 laps of the race, but getting around Winchell proved too tough of a task.

"I'd like to thank Kevin for racing me clean even though he was faster at the end," Winchell said of the driver out of Lakeland.

Winchell started on the pole and hung on all 100 laps for the $2,000 winner's share.

But it wasn't as easy as it sounds. Winchell survived a couple of early scares before taking the checkered flag.

One came from the 11 car of Cody Pitts, who rubbed with Winchell on lap three. Pitts got a flat and had to play catchup all race.

The other came on lap 34 when the lapped car of Danny Maddox suddenly pulled in front of Winchell's 15 on the back stretch. Macy roared to the front, but the caution was out and Winchell got his spot back.

Randy Fox of Lehigh Acres was third in the

16-car field. Johnny Kay came back from a near-disastrous brush with lapped car No. 77 driven by Bill Mulder on lap 19. Kay changed a tire, went to the rear and battled back for a fourth-place finish.

Cory Collum of Cape Coral was fifth.

New Smyrna Speedway

New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Oct. 20, 2007

Late Model

1. Doug Moff
2. A.J. Currelli
3. Joe Winchell


Veteran Driver Winchell Still Showing How It's Done

By BILL GREEN Tribune correspondent

August 23, 2007

Dade City's Joe Winchell has settled into local racing for the past 34 years, but there was a time when NASCAR was part of his plan.

'I once was part of a two-car team in 1988 that was preparing to go NASCAR racing,' Winchell said. 'But NASCAR pulled some strings with the car owner. They bumped me for a guy that had been racing in the NASCAR series already and had lost his funding.'

Winchell was disappointed but continued to race the Florida tracks. In 1988 he had moved to the All-Pro Series, and as a rookie Late Model driver he won the Martin Edwards Jr. Memorial at Hialeah.

The early years showed signs of what was to come. He has won seven track championships, including one in 1997 in Late Models.

'Never paid much attention to any other sport after my introduction to Hialeah Speedway in Miami,' said Winchell, 50. 'I was 15 years old and soon began running a '56 Ford in the Cyclone Class in 1973. I ran those Cyclones, Hobby Stocks and Thunder Cars for most of the next 10 years. Winning races and championships has gotten some folks' attention over the years, but still never got me another chance at a NASCAR ride. At this point, I'm happy where I am now and have no plans on changing anything.'

Last weekend Winchell competed in his favorite series, the Goodyear Challenge Series for limited Late Models. He started on the pole and held on for third place.

'While I realize I'm too old for NASCAR now,' Winchell said, 'I still have a thing or two to show these youngsters and a few more races to win.' 


A.J. Curreli tops GCLM 100 at New Smyrna Speedway

by Jane Smith

Samsula, Fla. (August 18, 2007) Just when you think you are going to melt, a slight breeze is felt and things are better. That is how it was at New Smyrna Saturday. Hot, but not as hot as it could be. But inspite of the heat, twenty nine Late Models made their way to New Smyrna Speedway for the Goodyear Challenge Late Model 100.

Qualifying at 6 p.m., it was A.J. Curreli who topped the timing charts with his 18.383 lap. A.J. recently won at Desoto Super Speedway and was still high from that win. Second fastest was Chuck Burkhalter followed by Doug Moff, the points leader in the Goodyear Challenge, Rich Clouser, who runs second in points, and Darren Brown.

Our newest member to the world of stockcar racing, Ricky Carmichael, was sixth fastest followed by Earl Beckner, who was running his ASA car and just returned from the ASA race at Orange County Speedway in North Caroline. Chad Akins, John Ripley and Joe Winchell completed the top ten.

All five cars passed tech with Curreli pulling the nine pill for the inversion. But Earl Beckner decided not to run in his qualifying position and dropped to the rear putting Joe Winchell on the pole with John Ripley on the outside. Fans gathered around the Late Models for their on-track autograph session and to get up close to the cars and drivers. Then it was time to go with Ms. Katlyn Clouser, daughter of Rich Clouser, giving the command "daddy and drivers, START YOUR ENGINES."

Joe Winchell quickly jumped to the point but before a lap was down, there was a massive pile-up in turns 3 and 4 involving Chuck Abell, Greg Kaouk, Jeremy Goddard, Brandon Thomson, J.R. McMickel, Daniel Keene, Jr., and Richard Douglas. Abell, Keene, and Douglas had major damage and were out of the race. Kaouk had sheet metal damage and was able to return.

Since no lap was down, a complete restart was in order as Winchell took the point followed by Ripley, Chad Akins, Ricky Carmichael, and Darren Brown. But another short run as Chuck Burkhalter and Ricky Carmichel get together with Burkhalter spining in turns 3 and 4 breaking a control arm and finds himself out of the race. Carmichael is sent to the rear for the restart.

Winchell takes the point once again on lap 5 followed by Akins, Ripley, Brown and Curreli. Curreli wastes no time as he passes both Ripley and Akins and takes over third. Brown finds a mirror full of Moff who passes Brown and takes over fourth when the caution comes out once again for Earl Beckner who finds himself against the turn 1-2 wall. Beckner is fine but also done for the night.

On the restart Curreli takes over the lead from Winchell but once again the caution comes out one lap later for Greg Kaouk who spins in turns 1 and 2. Winchell is put back in the lead for the restart on lap 21 followed by Curreli, Akins, Moff, and Justin Larson. But once again as the racing gets hot, the caution comes out on lap 29 for Drew Brannon who has spun in turns 3 and 4.

On the restart Curreli proves he does have the fastest car as he passes Winchell for the lead followed by Winchell, Moff, Akins and Larson. Completing the top ten are Brown, Clouser, Thomson, Ripley and Steve Gill.

Dustin Deschamps brings out the next caution on lap 42 when he goes hard into the turn 2 wall. Deschamps is fine but done for the night. Twenty one of the twenty nine cars are left for the restart as Curreli leads the way over Winchell, Moff, Larson and Akins.

Brown, who is the top rookie in points in the Goodyear Challenge Series, now puts pressure on Akins for fifth but Akins holds. Moff looks high and low on Winchell for second but Winchell holds.
Jeremy Colangelo retires his car on lap 68 as the crowd watches his crew slowly push the 05 back into the pits. Running order is Curreli, Winchell, Moff, Larson, and Brown.

Winchell, Moff, and Larson are running nose to tail as Curreli set sails in the front on lap 72. Moff goes to the outside, Winchell on the inside as Moff takes over second on lap 77. Suddenly the caution comes out for Larson as Drew Brannon goes into the pits. Brannon has gotten over-heated and finds he must exit the car before he passes out. Brannon was fine but need water and cooling off.

With Larson out of the top five, Curreli takes the point on the restart followed by Moff, Winchell, Clouser and Brown. With no further cautions, Curreli leads the way and takes the checkered followed by Doug Moff, Joe Winchell, Rich Clouser and Darren Brown.

The next event for the Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series will be at USA International in Lakeland on September 1. For more information on the Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series go to


1. #2 A. J. Curreli, Daytona Beach
2. #46 Doug Moff, Ft. Meyers
3. #57 Joe Winchell, Dade City
4. #9 Rich Clouser, Palm Bay
5. #53 Darren Brown, Ormond

Moff tucks win 3 under his belt at Desoto Super Speedway

Bradenton, Fla. (May 26, 2007) It was Joe Winchell who topped the 21 car field in qualifying at the Goodyear Challenge/Turner Tree and Landscape Late Model 100 Saturday night at Desoto Super Speedway. Winchell ran a very good 14.901 which was good enough to top the field. Completing the top five were Doug Moff, Justin Larson, JR McMickel and Jesse Dutilly. Winchell was on a roll as he drew the 0 pill starting the field straight up for 100 laps of excitement.

As the green was waved, Winchell took the point followed by Moff, Larson, Gill and Dutilly. But it was a short green as on lap 5 there was a massive pile-up on the front stretch involving Rich Clouser, Daniel Keene, Sr., Dwayne Barrus, and Greg Kaouk. Some were able to pit and bring out damaged cars for alittle more action where others were in the pits for a long time before being able to return. Just one of those racing things as they say.

Once the cars were finally cleared, it was back to racing as Winchell lead the way over Moff, Larson, Gill and Dutilly. But it did not take Moff long until he was able to pass Winchell on lap 15 and take the lead and build quit a space between him and Winchell. Lap 19, McMickel looks to pass Dutilly for fifth but Dutilly holds strong. There is no way he is giving up his position. Suddenly on lap 24 Dustin Chisolm slows and enters pit road, his night done. Also exciting the track is Barrus who is also done for the night after suffering damage in the first wreck of the night.

Once Moff got the lead, he began to build space between him and the second place car of Winchell. There was no catching him. By lap 30 it was Moff, Winchell, Justin Larson, Steve Gill, Jess Dutilly, JR McMickel, Darren Brown and Daniel Keene on the lead lap.

It was more mechanical problems than damage that took some of the cars out of the race. Jeremy Colangelo left the field on lap 52 with motor problems. On lap 53, Drew Brannon had a wild spin on the frontstretch but was able to continue but only for alittle while.

On the restart, Moff took the point but it was very short as McMickel and Dutilly get together fighting for the fifth place position and bring out the caution. Both cars are fine but sent to the rear for the restart. This changes the front running five to Moff, Winchell, Larson, Gill and now young Darren Brown.

Lap 67 sees Drew Brannon have more bad luck as he comes off 4 and hits the backstretch wall with a large thump felt in the stands. Brannon is fine but the same can't be said about his car which is now definitely done for the night.

At this time, second in points going into the race Rich Closuer returns sixty laps down but running in the conclusion of the race. Rich definitely has a beautiful modified now instead of a Late Model but it does run.

Just when you think it is almost over and safe, the caution comes out again on lap 73 for JR McMickel and Lonnie Miller who get together hard on the backstretch. Both are fine but done for the night.

The race goes back green on lap 76 with Moff leading the way over the 12 car field left still standing. Dutilly, who had been sent to the rear when he and McMickel brought out the caution, has made his way back up to the top five as he passes Brown for fifth.

With the laps slowing ending, it is the Justin Larson/Joe Winchell show as Larson tries his best to rattle Winchell's cage but Winchell has nothing to do with it. Justin looks and tries everything to pass Winchell for second but Winchell is an old master and knows the tricks of the trade. Winchell, as only Joe Winchell can, did not let the pressure get to him and came home second as Moff took the checkered for this third win in the Goodyear Challenge Late Model 2007 season.

Moff, as any good man will do, thanked his wife for all her help as he took home the trophy and she picked up the money. One footnote, it was great and a pleasure seeing Daniel Keene Sr. back behind the wheel of a racecar although it was too short lived. It has been too long since the fans have seen father and son racing together. It was a true pleasure for the fans.

The next Goodyear Challenge Late Model 100 will be June 9 when they go for 100 laps of Late Model action at Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City. For more informaiton on the Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series go to


1. #46 Doug Moff, Ft. Myers
2. #57 Joe Winchell, Davie
3. #88 Justin Larson, Safety Harbor
4. #5 Steve Gill, Bradenton
5. #30 Jesse Dutilly, Bradenton