Danny Vandoorne moved one step closer to winning the inaugural Short Track Simulation Circuit (STSC) championship, winning the Emory Bennett Memorial at New Smyrna Speedway.
The win marks Vandoorne’s third trip to victory lane in 14 STSC races, and also pushed him ahead of Kurt Gunnabee in the points for the first time this season. Gunnabee finished 23rd, and now sits 66 points behind Vandoorne in the title hunt.
Vandoorne dominated the race, leading 71 of the 80 laps around the half-mile in Samsula, Florida. He has now led 279 laps this season, accounting for 23 percent of the laps contested in the STSC.
Ultimately, that has been the story between Vandoorne and Gunnabee throughout the season. Gunnabee has led the points for most of the season until now as a model of consistency, with seven top-ten finishes while making every single A-Main this season. Vandoorne has been more mercurial, with three wins but also three DNFs and a missed A-Main.
Luis Cabrera Perez finished second in the Emory Bennett Memorial after starting on the pole and leading the first eight laps. Charlotte Bowey continued her second-half improvement by finishing third, with Borsepher NaNa fourth and Alex Light rounding out the top five.
From a series standpoint beyond the title hunt, the biggest takeaway from the event was the series’ largest field of participants, as several competitors sought early seat time in preparation for full rookie campaigns next season. STSC officials held a “Rookie Showcase” event prior to the C-Main, with the top-five finishers earning a spot in the C-Main. Spark Spencer III won the Rookie Showcase, while Cooter Bigsby shined in the C-Main by charging up to 11th in the 24-car field over 20 laps.
The STSC’s inaugural season will conclude at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway with the Oktoberfest STSC Championships. Along with crowning the series’ first champion, a $10,000 bonus will be paid out to the winner of the season finale.