NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL- 2-time OSCAAR Super Late Model tour champion Brandon Watson returned to New Smyrna Speedway for the first time in almost 2 years, for his Super Late Model debut at the Central Florida half-mile.
Watson, a former World Series of Asphalt winner in the Pro Late Model division, showed no signs of rust as he re-acclimated himself to the track. After hovering near the top of the speed charts through the afternoon’s practice sessions, Watson time trialed 10th quickest with a time of 17.756 seconds.
“We weren’t sure what we were going to get here”, opined Watson. “It’s the first time this car has been to New Smyrna, but it was fast right off the trailer”.
In the 35-lap feature event, Watson appeared strong early, jumping to the 8th spot on lap-15.
As the laps waned, Watson’s car would begin to fade, as the third-generation star had his hands busy with a tight condition that worsened as the race continued.
“We had a great start tonight, I felt real comfortable through the first half of the event”, said Watson in post-race debriefing. “We started to fade at the end after the car tightened up. I had my hands full through the final 10-laps”.
With only 5 starts scheduled through the 8-night mini-season, Watson maintains the team’s goal is a solid run in February 22nd’s 100-lap grand finale.
“Our entire team is focused on Saturday’s 100-lapper. Tonight, we may not have made enough changes to the car as the track transitioned from day to night, but we’ll be sure to adjust for that as the week continues”, confirmed the Stayner, ON standout.
“The goal, obviously, is to have a strong run and contend for wins every night”, continued Watson. “But, in the grand scheme of things, we’ll be building on everything we learn right up until the final night of racing on February 22nd”.
Brandon Watson’s World Series effort is sponsored by Royal Distributing, Shear Metal Products, Barrie Frame & Alignment and Knightworks Design.
By Spencer Lewis