Brad May Defends Home Turf on World Series Night One

It's the fourth Super Late Model Speedweeks victory for the local legend.

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Brad May emerged victorious in night one of the Super Late Model World Series of Asphalt but the battle took place directly behind him.

Sammy Smith and Derek Griffith were engaged in a thrilling battle for second. By virtue of a four-car invert, Griffith started on the pole, but was unable to hold off May beside him for longer than two laps. Smith was inverted from second to third and fell to fourth on the initial start.

It didn’t take Smith long to get back around Jesse Love and begin working on the back bumper of Griffith’s No. 12. By Lap 10, Griffith had closed to the back of May, but couldn’t find a way around, and felt the first tap from behind and then several more shortly afterwards.

That allowed May to win by a second and a half at his home track, and it all came down to the initial start.

"I knew it was going to be a hard battle at the beginning," May said. "I like the outside better than the inside for the start. Initially, he got a better run than I did at the start, but I battled hard on the outside, continued to try to hold him the best we could. And the longer we stayed side-by-side, the better it would go. We worked hard, got the lead and that's what I think determined the outcome of the race."

Behind him, Smith gave Griffith several shots and used it to get around for second on Lap 13. Griffith gave a shot right back and retook the position. They stayed nose-to-tail for another dozen laps until Griffith gave Smith the bottom and conceded the position.

Smith began to close on May, but the deficit was too great, and May won by 1.317 seconds.

During the podium presentation, Smith walked over to Griffith behind him and offered something that looked like an apology and that’s exactly what the reigning ARCA East champion did.

"Yeah, I told him 'my bad' because I was just trying to get by him quick," Smith said. "I felt like we had the best car, but I just didn't do it right, and then he hit me back, which was well within his right. Just fought free off, so I couldn't get my run and track position hurt us."

Griffith accepted the apology and understood. Besides, he got his shot in, too.

"Props to him, because it’s harder to do that than rough someone up on the track and then just sit in your trailer," Griffith said. "I appreciate him, and I told him I got him back so we’re even. Sammy is a good kid and he’s come a long way over the last couple of years. His Donnie Wilson setups are so good over the last couple of years and we’re just trying to chase them down."

Griffith said he felt like it could have gone a different way if he could have just found some way to clear May off the green flag.

"It meant a lot because I got right back to him after he passed us," Griffith said. "I probably could have raced him a little harder, roughed him up a little, but I have a lot of respect for him. I couldn’t bring myself to hit him, honestly. He’s a good friend of ours and he’s so good at taking your line away or protecting his line so much that its hard to beat him. Props to those guys."

For May, the victory was his fourth World Series of Asphalt win in a Super Late Model and his 17th across Supers, Pros and Limited Late Models. It was an example of the local legend defending home turf against some of the biggest names in the discipline currently.

"It’s a big deal to beat the best teams in the country because we don’t get competition like this on a weekly show or some of our biggest races," May said. "To start off the World Series with a win, I’ve run a lot of races here and I know how to run this track, you’re still running against some of the smartest people and to win against them is a huge, huge thing for our team."

The Super Late Model World Series will resume on Sunday night with another 35 lap feature at New Smyrna. Several of the top Super Late Model teams have loaded up and will head west to Citrus County Speedway for the $15,000-to-win SRL National season opener.

2022 World Series of Asphalt
Super Late Models Race 1

1. Brad May
2. Sammy Smith
3. Derek Griffith
4. Jesse Love
5. Gabe Sommers
6. Jackson Boone
7. Justin Mondeik
8. Justin Drawdy
9. Jake Finch
10. Michael Hinde
11. Dakota Stroup
12. Max Calles McDonald
13. Austin Thom
14. Tyler Tanner
15. Morgan Hoover
16. Stephen Nasse
17. Patrick Thomas
18. Steve Weaver, Jr.
19. Charlie Ayres

Citrus

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Wheel Man Series at Citrus County

Feb 19, 2022