Wayne Anderson Charges from Last to First to Win
F.A.S.T. Late Model 100 Lapper at Citrus
Photo courtesy of RE Wing www.rewingphotos.com
2/23/10 by: Phil Schryver Citrus County Speedway, Inverness, FL
The brand new Sunoco Florida All Star Touring series (FAST) had their first race of the year this past Saturday at Citrus County Speedway. The weekend started off with most of the late model teams showing up at the track on Friday for a full day of practice followed by a Barbeque dinner sponsored by Sonnyís Barbeque.
27 Late Models from all over the state of Florida, including 1 driver from New York, were on hand Saturday for the Inaugural event. When all of the cars had qualified, Wayne Anderson, in the #84, had the fast time of 13.551. Second fastest was the #85 of Austin Kirkpatrick with a 13.585, and 3rd was the #09 of Scott Grossenbacher with a time of 13.692. The top 6 cars drew pills to determine that actual starting position.
Also on hand was William Desmond Jr., who drove all the way down from Montgomery Alabama to be part of this special event. Bill has been involved with NASCAR since its conception, including the All Proís series. Bill is currently the Director of Public Relations at Montgomery Motor Speedway, and it was a real pleasure to meet him and to have the chance to work with him that day.
The raceís main sponsor was Race Car Engineering Inc., who is also sponsoring the fantastic Rookie program that the FAST series has in place.
After all of the driver introductions were completed, a special challenge was put out to all of the drivers starting in the top 6 positions. If any of them would volunteer to start from the back and win, they would receive an extra $500 on top of the standard winnings for the night. Wayne Anderson in the #84 and Steve Dorer both took the challenge.
Starting on the pole was the #85 of Austin Kirkpatrick, in 2nd was the #09 of Scott Grossenbacher, Starting 3rd was the #98 of Herb Neuman, who is a 5 time champion at Citrus County Speedway, and 4th was the #119 of Dalton Zehr.
When the green flag dropped, all of the cars got a good clean start, and by lap number 2, the local champion, #98 of Neumann had jumped up to 2nd place. Lap 3 brought out the 1st caution of the day, when a number of cars collected between turns 3 & 4. Included in the mess was the #36 of Gary Padula, #5 of Hans Seth, the #71 of Cody Lane, and the #60 of Gayle Haines.
A couple of interesting rules that are in place with the FAST series include that on any caution, no more than 3 laps will be counted as caution laps, and this is only till there are 25 laps to go, after that no laps will be counted under yellow. Also, drivers can go into their pits to fix their cars and not go a lap down, they just have to start at the tail end of the field before the green is waved again.
When the green flag dropped a second time, the #09 of Grossenbacher was leading, followed by the #98 of Neuman, and in 3rd, the #85 of Kirkpatrick. On lap 8, the 2nd and 3rd place cars, #85 and #98 mad contact going into turn 4, they both spun bringing out the caution and sending both cars to the rear of the field. This put the #119 of Dalton Zehr in 2nd, and the #7 of Raymond Lovelady in 3rd. Another local favorite, the #70 of Jeremy Gerstner had made his way up to 7th place, and Wayne Anderson in the #84 was up to 12th place.
The third caution of the night came when the #98 of Neuman spun out going into turn 3 and ended up on top of a dirt mound in the infield. The car was ok, but the caution once again sent him to the rear of the field.
On lap 25 of the 100 lapper, we had the 5th caution flag caused by the #50 of Perry Lovelady spinning out in turn 4. At this point, the #09 of Grossenbacher was still in the lead, followed by the #119 of Zehr, the #7 of Lovelady still in 3rd. The #70 of Gerstner was now up to 5th place, and the #84 of Anderson was now in 6th.
During laps 29 through 34, there was a great battle going for 5th place between Anderson in the #84 and the #70 of Gerstner. Gerstner was able to hold on to 5th until the yellow flew on lap 34 when the #4 of Alan Bruns and the #10 of Talon Craft got together going into turn 1. At this point Steve Dorer in the #110, who also took the challenge to start in the rear, was now up to 7th position.
After the green was back out, it seemed like the #119 of Zehr was glued to the back bumper of the leader, the #09 of Grossenbacher. By lap #45, the #98 of Neuman had made his way back up to 11th spot.
On lap 50, the #119 of Zehr decided that the #09 of Grossenbacher had led for long enough and tried to get him lose. This move didnít work out too well though because the #09 ended up spinning out and both cars got sent to the back for bringing out the 7th caution of the night.
On the restart the new leader was the #7 of Raymond Lovelady, 2nd was the #86 of Randy Anderson, and the #70 of Gerstner. The #84 of Anderson was now in 4th place. By lap 59, Wayne Anderson in the #84 was finally able to get past the #70 of Gerstner, the #110 of Dorer had now made it up to 4th, and the #98 of Neuman had come all the way back up to 9th position.
By lap 68, the leader, the #7 of Lovelady had about an 8 car length lead over the rest of the pack, but the #84 of Anderson was quickly moving in for the kill in 2nd place. By lap 71, the #110 of Dorer was battling with the #70 of Gerstner for 3rd place and Anderson was now starting to catch the #7 of Lovelady.
Lap 75 brought out the 8th caution of the night when the #55 of Todd Allen spun out on his own. The top 5 at this point were the #7 of Lovelady, #84 of Anderson, #70 of Gerstner, #110 of Dorer, and the #86 of Randy Anderson in 5th.
On the restart both the #7 of Lovelady, and the #84 of Anderson jumped out ahead of the field, then on lap 78 Wayne Anderson jumped to the outside of Lovelady on the backstretch and shot by him to take over the lead. This would be Game Over, and Wayne Anderson went on the win the race, followed by the #07 taking second, #70 3rd, Steve Dorer in the #110 finishing 4th, and the #86 of Randy Anderson, Wayneís son and also the top rookie for the race, coming home 5th
In post race interviews, Wayne said he didnít think he would be able to win from the back because he knew there would be a lot of tough competition. Wayne commended everyone for a lot of clean, good racing, and how talented everyone was. Raymond Lovelady said he didnít get to test the car out as much as he would of liked, since they couldnít make it out till Saturday, but was happy with the finish. The #70, Jeremy Gerstner, said he really had to use up his breaks, battling side by side with Wayne, but also commended Wayne for such clean racing and said they never touched a single time.
The Sunoco FAST Series will be back at Citrus County Speedway on May 1st. For their complete schedule, you can go to www.floridaallstarstour.com