“They’re acting crazy out there.”
That was the opinion of David Rogers following a wild and explosive start to the Super Late Model portion of the World Series of Asphalt on Friday night at New Smyrna Speedway.
Rogers was involved in three of the four incidents that ultimately shaped the outcome of the 35-lap opener for the seven-race Speedweeks championship. The action on the track was intense and the aggression meter was pegged much higher than it typically is for Opening Night of the 50th annual event.
Rogers was first involved in a three-car run-in with fellow leaders Cole Anderson and Steve Wallace on Lap 13, which sent Anderson hard into the backstretch outside retaining wall.
Three laps later, Rogers got tagged from behind by Majeski. Despite both drivers slowing from the contact and receiving damage, race control placed them back at the front of the field, in second and third for the restart. One lap into that reset, Rogers was slow and got hit from behind by Stephen Nasse to bring out yet another caution.
Harrison Burton narrowly avoided that incident and thought his fellow contenders were too aggressive all night, given that there’s an entire week of racing still remaining in the event.
“I feel like everyone could probably stand to calm down a little bit,” Burton said. “It’s night one and a bunch of guys are leaving with wrecked race cars and I don’t think that’s very good as an image for us in short track racing.
“Plus it’s a lot of money to build these things so we should take a deep breath before this thing and realize that we have a long week of racing ahead, so wrecking cars on the first night is not good for our image or our wallets.”
Rogers took the sentiment a step further.
“These guys are crazy,” Rogers said. “They’re not racing. They’re just rough. You don’t have to race that way, but I guess they have to. This is their plan this week.”
For what it’s worth, Burton thinks the craziness of Friday night will settle the field down for the rest of the week.
“For the rest of Speedweeks I feel like everyone will calm down after what we saw tonight,” Burton said. “We saw a lot of craziness and wrecks — a lot of guys getting sent to the back.
“I think that will calm them down and the racing will start to get to be a little bit more fun to be a part of.”