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Casey Roderick came out with the win at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on Friday night in an event largely dominated by Jeff Choquette.

This was only the second time in the past 16 months that Choquette had raced at the Florida half mile but he hadn’t lost the touch that once made him a perennial Snowball Derby threat each December.

But ultimately, the defending Five Flags track champion just wore him out. He attributed his success to having good overall speed and his tire conservation strategy.

“I think it was just me saving my tires early on but you still gotta have a really good car.” Roderick said. “No matter how much you save tires, you still have to have a car that has the right balance and feel. I’ve had a terrible car and saved at the beginning and it still runs just terrible. You can’t fix that. But we’re racing more this season and that’s allowed me to get in a zone and know what I need out of these cars every week.”

Roderick is only running a partial schedule for the Graham Trucking No. 7 Super team but has added a full slate of Pro Late Model events in the legendary Ronnie Sanders Racing No. 18 team.

Choquette had speed too but said the car simply went away after Lap 100 — which would have been fine last season when the races at Pensacola ended at the century mark. Choquette appeared to be glued to the inside line during the early part of the event and that allowed him to guard the position.

But a caution on Lap 102 changed that and Choquette was unable to hold the top spot when Roderick was able to make the outside work on a restart. The final World Crown 300 winner would never look back.

 

Southern Super Series championship leader Donnie Wilson suffered through a myriad of mechanical issues on Friday night with an alternator failure ending his night. With three races remaining, he still holds a sizeable lead and the small car counts ensures his likely championship.

“We feel pretty good and we still have a pretty good point lead,” he said after the race.

Only one Super Late Model race remains at Five Flags Speedway prior to the 49th Derby in December. Roderick hopes his continued success on the Gulf Coast this season will translate to the Super Bowl of Short Track Racing.

“Being as good as we were after 125 laps, that’s a huge plus for the derby,” he said. “You’re running 300 laps and may run 150 laps on one set of tires.”

Results 

  1. Casey Roderick
  2. Zane Smith
  3. Chandler Smith
  4. Jeff Choquette
  5. Noah Gragson
  6. David Rogers
  7. Bubba Pollard
  8. Kyle Plott
  9. Chris Davidson
  10. Ryan Luza
  11. Harrison Burton
  12. Scotty Ellis
  13. Matt Craig
  14. Donnie Wilson
  15. Logan Boyett
  16. Dennis Schoenfeld
  17. Augie Grill
  18. Brad Tilton
  19. Allen Karnes
  20. Wayne Niedecken Jr
  21. Casey Smith
  22. Kenzie Ruston
  23. Ron McDonald
  24. Cole Anderson

Photographer and Auburn University student, Matthew Bishop has over 2 years experience in motorsports photography covering everything from short track racing to NASCAR. Matthew is an AP Freelance Photographer along with with having photos published by USA Today, ESPN.com, Motorsport.com, along with many other websites and publications. Matthew uses his experiences and knowledge of racing to make images that capture the energy, passion, and excitement of racing.

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