Jeff Choquette opened the 2018 Super Late Model season by making a statement.
He led all but a single lap on Saturday night to win the Red Eye 100 and was never really challenged. He qualified on the pole, started fourth due to an invert and quickly took the lead from Bubba Pollard on the second lap.
Pollard kept Choquette in sight during the first half of the race, but a broken A-Frame sidelined the 2014 Southern Super Series champion on Lap 52. Without Pollard in the mix, Choquette kept Derrick Griffith around 1.5 seconds for most of the race.
Not even a caution with 20 laps ago could deny Choquette from pulling away from the field. That is three straight 100-lapper victories for the West Palm Beach native at the track 10 miles south of Daytona International Speedway.
“It’s just laps here,” Choquette said. “This place is tricky. We’ve had a lot of success here because I’ve put it a lot time. There are a lot of good teams here. Those guys get around here as well as I do.”
With that said, second place finisher Griffith said Choquette was in a league of his own on Saturday night.
“He was real fast, fast all day, and I was just hoping for one more restart,” Griffith said. “We got one with 20 to go and were on the outside, and sure enough, he took the outside and we were able to swing by (Gus Dean) and we took off from there.
“I need to congratulate those guys but thank mine too. I feel pretty good about second because they’re really good here.”
For most, this was a tune-up race for the upcoming World Series of Asphalt during Daytona Speedweeks in February. Third-place finisher Gus Dean hadn’t even pulled out his Super until this race and was pleased with its pace.
“That makes me pretty proud of the guys and Fury Race Cars for giving us the right direction,” Dean said. “We’re going to try to run a few races during Speedweeks so this gave us a lot of confidence.”
It was the same for Pollard that looked capable of racing with Choquette until his issue. This was the sister car to the one he brought to the Snowball Derby and he planned to bring it back in a couple of weeks until this weekend.
“I’m surprised I didn’t stuff it in the wall when we broke,” Pollard said. “I got lucky there … I feel like we working in certain areas on this car and we got better there, but at the same time, we got worse in others.
“So we need to regroup before we come back.”
As for the winner, he isn’t sure if the World Series is on his plate or not.
“It just depends on what is going on with the company,” Choquette said. “The Jetts are busy. I’m sure we are going to come out for a few days but I don’t know about the full championship yet.”
The complete results for the Red Eye 100 can be found below.
- Jeff Choquette
- Derrick Griffith
- Gus Dean
- Ryan Moore
- David Rogers
- Jared Irvin
- Michael Atwell
- Anthony Sergi
- Jerry Artuso
- Stephen Nasse
- Daniel Keene Jr.
- Dustin Smith
- Brad May
- Sam Mayer
- David Green
- Justin Ashburn
- Joe Graf Jr.
- Bubba Pollard
- Ricky Anderson
- Harold Crooms
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