New Smyrna World Series Brings Jon McKennedy His First Win In NASCAR Sanctioned Event 

Jon McKennedy celebrates victory in the Tour Type Modified feature Monday at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

By Denise DuPont

NEW SMYRNA, Fla. – With all the cold, snow and ice in the Northeast this year one cannot wonder if the weather is a major influence on the car count at New Smyrna Speedway for the 52nd Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing New Smyrna Speedway.

There are thirty-one modifieds that started Monday’s 50 lap feature event.

Through the luck of the invert after qualifying Ryan Preece started on the pole with Chuck Hossfeld on his outside. The race was his to win as Preece had the lead from the first circuit to a red flag on lap 43.

The modifieds sat on the backstretch while the track crew towed the #32 of Tyler Rypkema to the pits and cleaned the track. Race went to yellow and drivers prepared to resume racing. But before the green flag flew, the leader, Preece pulled down pit road. All were in awe because Preece had been so dominate — it appeared it was a runaway race for him.

Preece stopped on pit road, got out of his car and ran to get a look at the rear end of it.

“We had part failure. We just cannot catch a break this week.” said one very disappointed Preece.” I am happy that we got speed but I am not happy with the part. Saturday and then tonight, you do not know how frustrating it is to start off this was this week. We pulled the motor out after practice and put another one in. It has been a long few days. Hopefully we can fix this one and come back out again tomorrow night.”

Preece went from first to twenty-first as fast as the blink of an eye.

Jon McKennedy who was running second to Preece inherited the lead and went on to capture his first ever NASCAR sanctioned win.

“I knew that we would run good. Tommy gets great equipment.” McKennedy exclaimed in victory lane. “I felt extremely comfortable running these cars the last few yeas have been very good to me when I went running Modifieds and [SuperModifieds]. The whole package was there and I am glad that we could capitalize on it today. We were pretty dominant today. P1 in practice and time trials and we won the race.”

So making the trip from Massachusetts to Florida was a reward and win McKennedy will never forget.

“I almost followed him down pit road because we had to all go down pit road earlier,” McKennedy said of inheriting the lead from Preece. “I am glad that I didn’t. I am not sure what happened. Ryan had a good car. We were both pretty even. At times I would catch him and then he would pull away. The race could have gone to me or him. I am glad to have the win. It is a great way to start 2018.”

Kyle Ebersole started the feature race eighth and drove consistently. After the red flag he made his move forward and was in second in two laps. Matt Hirschman on the other hand was backing up on the track.

“I came here hoping that I remembered how to get around this place.” Ebersole said.” We missed the first practice. The car felt pretty good and I went out and had a solid qualifying effort. The car was good all race. I worked the lines and we came out second. I think I will be able to get a win this week. There is a really good crowd of cars here. There are over thirty cars. I did not get much practice. The car was good and I am looking forward to working on it tomorrow. And I think we will have something for them.”

Chuck Hossfeld was running fifth during the last red flag/caution. He had spun the #22 car around on lap 22 so a third place finish was a great come back. “I feel great. We struggled with this car pretty much since we got it. Kevin Cowley came down here to help us and he really got it straightened out. He really helped us out and I feel really confident about the rest of the week.

The rest of my team is awesome so I am not taking anything away from them.”

“Jon is an excellent driver he deserves to win. It was a great finish for us. I will take a top three and we will build on that tomorrow and hopefully do better.”

Matt Hirschman was fourth and Patrick Emerling fifth. While Ronnie William, Danny Bohn, Calvin Carroll, Eric Goodale and Jeff Gallup completed the top ten finishers.

With all the twists and turns in tonight’s actions, we will see what tomorrow night’s race action will be as we go into night two for the modifieds.



  1. Sure Ryan it’s a tough bid. Flying over the railing when you’re just trying to check the setup on a car. And that dadgum part. Not a good start at all and lost winnings for sure.
    The good news is after you stepped out of the broken car it was a pleasant night in the 70’s in Fla and not here. The races don’t really count for anything much and that’s good. And there are several more winners shares to take home so focus and win.
    In the end a bad night in New Smyrna is still better then a good night in Ct in February.

  2. Coming in 16th was Spencer Speedways own Amy Catalano of the famous Spencer Speedway and ROC Catalano’s. No she’s no cupcake just participating, she’s the real deal. Sure would be nice to see her at the Stafford Modified open shows.

  3. Great win by McKennedy and the Baldwin team! I can’t remember reading about that big of a car count in quite some time. Hopefully that carries over to higher counts on the WMT.

  4. darealgoodfella says

    If the photos are correct, the 7NY is running a built motor.


  6. Dolla Dolla $$$$ says

    Isn’t it always cold in the northeast during winter??? I highly doubt that the 31 mods there are because of this…

  7. Dolla Dolla $$$$ says

    Wish they could get the drivers names right… it’s Tyler rypkema… u know the kid that started on the pole last year and drove away from the field???

  8. Crazy in NY says

    Sheriff Ricky Brooks has clean up that town that’s why the cc is up.

  9. darealgoodfella says

    Crazy, remember that challenge a few years ago… the accused packed up and left instead of allowing to be inspected. LOL!

  10. Mark Fisher says

    Dareal you really need to stop living in the past and get a life

  11. darealgoodfella says

    Mark Fisher, you really don’t like those facts brought up at all, do you? Facts are facts. Doesn’t matter when they happened.

  12. i didnt realize that the races at new Smyrna during speedweeks were NASCAR sanctioned… do they count toward National Chanpionship points?

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