ROUGEMONT, N.C. — Brandon Ward, driver of the New Day Motorsports No. 19, has always enjoyed racing at the three-eighths mile Orange County Speedway. On Saturday night he enjoyed it even more in victory lane after winning the Orange Blossom 125 Southern Modified Racing Series (SMRS) feature. It was his career-first win in the series.
A fast race car and a well-executed pit stop were the keys to victory for the 36-year-old Winston-Salem driver.
The fast race car was established early by winning the $150 Precision Spindle Pole Award in the afternoon. Ward started the race in the fourth spot, based on a re-draw among the top six qualifiers.
In the first half of the race Ward stayed solidly inside the top-10; a lap 75 caution flag gave him the opportunity to lead. Quick pit work by the crew got him off pit road first and once back on track that fast race car took over and Ward controlled the last 50 laps of the race.
“That pitstop was real important,” said Ward in victory lane following the $3,000 win. “I just can’t thank my crew enough. The pit stop is crucial in this deal; it’s all about making the right adjustments and getting on and off pit road.”
Ward becomes the second winner in the two SMRS races thus far this year. It was his second-career victory at the track as he scored a late model stock win back in 2006 at the popular speedway.
Danny Bohn led the first 75 laps and finished second. James Civali wheeled his car to third with Jason Myers and Jeremy Gerstner completing the top five.
The Southern Modified Racing Series is right back in action Saturday night (April 1st) at Concord Speedway for the Spring Explosion 125.
Orange Blossom 125 Southern Modified Racing Series Feature:
1. Brandon Ward, Winston-Salem, N.C.
2. Danny Bohn, Freehold, N.J.
3. James Civali, Meriden, Ct.
4. Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C.
5. Jeremy Gerstner, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
6. Bobby Measmer Jr, Concord, N.C.
7. Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C.
8. Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, N.Y.
9. Gary Putnam, Concord, N.C.
10. Joe Degracia, Lyndhurst, N.J.
11. Mike Norman, Fayetteville, Tenn.
12. Jimmy Wallace, Reedy Creek, N.C.
13. Tom Buzze, Maiden, N.C.
14. Ryan Preece, Berlin, Ct.
15. Tim Brown, Cana, Va.
16. J.R. Bertuccio, Centerrach, N.Y.
CREDIT: Southern Modified Racing Series