NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Ryan Moore knows how to win at New Smyrna Speedway and on Friday evening during the opening night of the 55th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, he reminded everyone he is still a force to be reckoned with.
Moore, the 2013 World Series Super Late Model champion, started from the pole and held off a late challenge from fast qualifier Jett Noland to win the opening 35-lap David Rogers Super Late Model feature of the World Series.
While the stat book will show Moore lead most of the 35-lap event at the half-mile asphalt oval, the reality is he had his work cut out for him. A stacked field of 25 cars started the feature and Moore first had to contend with a challenge from Jake Finch, the son of former NASCAR Cup Series team owner James Finch, during the initial start.
A quick caution with two laps complete stacked the field back up, but Finch spun in front of the field as everyone raced towards turn one. The resulting crash eliminated several contenders, including Finch, Dan Fredrickson and five-time USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson.
Moore held serve at the front of the field during two more quick restarts, fending off a brief challenge from 2019 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National champion Jacob Goede before sailing off into the lead.
Noland was able to chase down and pass Goede for second halfway through the race and was closing in on Moore before the final caution waved with two laps left for a car spun in turn one. However, the restart went Moore’s way and he was able to pull away to his sixth career World Series super late model triumph.
“We’ve been down here a long time and we’ve been good, we’ve been bad, we’ve been all over the board,” said Moore. “We built a new car. There is nothing wrong with our old one by any means, just ready for a new challenge, and we got with Rowdy (Manufacturing) and built this car.
“Just a stellar performance. My best friend Jamie, him and I, we pour our heart and soul into these things. It’s good to get him a win,” Moore continued. “We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with this week.”
Noland fended off a challenge from defending World Series Super Late Model champion Derek Griffith to finish second. Goede and Connor Mosack followed them home in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Moore’s father, 1995 ARCA Menards Series East champion Kelly Moore, was also in the field Friday. He finished 11th.
Noland didn’t leave New Smyrna Speedway empty handed on Friday as he was able to win the first Pro Late Model feature of the week after an intense battle with Swanson that saw Noland take the lead for the first time with two laps left.
Other winners on the opening night of the 55th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing included Matthew Green (Sportsman), Travis Eddy (Florida Modifieds) and Dustin Higdon (Bomber).
Ryan Moore, Jett Noland, Derek Griffith, Jacob Goede, Connor Mosack, Justin Mondeik, Brad May, Sammy Smith, Jake Garcia, R.J. Braun, Kelly Moore, Kris Wright, Michael Hinde, Nick Panitzke, Jade Cretacci, Doug Elliott, Mike Stacy, Daniel Dye, Jesse Love, Patrick Thomas, Ruben Rovelo, Jake Finch, Dan Fredrickson, Kody Swanson, Bubba Pollard.