Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – LAKE CITY, FL – For a portion of the 30-lap Short Track Super Series ‘Sunshine Swing’ opener Wednesday night at All-Tech Raceway, it looked as if Darren Smith might be on his way to a victory.
Ultimately, the Binghamton, NY driver had to settle for a third place finish in his Jeremy Smith Racing, Smith Site Development #12, behind winner Matt Sheppard and runner-up Larry Wight.
“It was a good run for us tonight,” Smith said.
After starting in the fifth spot, Smith to the top three before lap four was complete, chasing down early leader Danny Creeden and Sheppard. Sheppard got around the leader by lap five and Smith followed a few laps later.
A restart on lap 10 bunched everyone up and gave Smith a shot at the leader.
“On that restart, the first lap I hit the top side and I gained on Matt (Sheppard) a little bit,” he said. “The next time around, I thought I was going to send it in there and ended up whacking the wall and Larry (Wight) got by me.”
Smith was very happy with his Bicknell machine, but as the race went on, the handling started to fade just a bit.
“We had a real good balanced car tonight,” he said. “It’s just I’d lose the right front a little bit. It’d happen more down in three and four which is a sharper corner but we’re all happy with tonight.”
Wednesday was a great start to the ‘Sunshine Swing’ for Smith who will try and better his position by two on Thursday night for the 35-lap, $6,000-to-win main event. Hot laps will roll off at 6pm with heat races to begin at 7pm.