Oviedo, Florida’s Brad May came back on the scene in a big way in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) in 2013. After taking a five-year hiatus from racing following the birth of his son, May got back behind the wheel with the help of his childhood hero, famed Florida late model veteran David Rogers.
“Growing up, since I was three or four years old, I was one of David Rogers’ biggest fans,” said May. “I grew up around him and did a lot of racing and worked with him for a long time. But since I had my son five years ago, we didn’t do a lot of racing and kind of took a break from everything. Then one of his [Rogers’] guys had a racecar that they wanted me to race, and I was always up for that, and that turned into me running his car last Speedweeks. That was probably one of the greatest opportunities of my life.”
Carrying the iconic colors, number and paint scheme of Rogers’ No. 11 machine in the Pro Late Model division at New Smyrna Speedway was one dream come true for May, the next was taking them to victory lane.
“It’s the most proud I’ve ever been inside of a racecar, I’ll tell you that,” said May. “We got three wins in the Pro Late Models last Speedweeks in our first real outing with the car, which was amazing. But there’s only one David Rogers though, and everyone knows that.”
With three New Smyrna Speedway World Series wins already under his belt and a full season of competition back behind the wheel at the central-Florida track, May is now ready to make a run at the title in the nine-night World Series event in 2014 in a division that is known for being on the unpredictable side.
“It’s so different every single night,” said May. “One night it will be a couple of them that are fast and then the next night it will be more that you don’t expect that come from out of town that finally hit on something. I think this year will be probably the best competition we’ve raced with based on the entries. Last year I thought it was really great too though; there were a lot of cars. It’s always a really great time a lot of real good racing.
Following his experience at the event in 2013, May believes he now has the experience necessary to bring home the Pro Late Model title this season.
“We won three races last Speedweeks,” said May. “We crashed in the lead once and we had a valve cover leaking when we were out in the lead once. We had a lot of really good finishes, but a couple things put us out. Brandon Johnson (2013 PLM champion) had a really great week. It’s just about consistency and everything falling into place when there’s so many cars. You have to be consistent but also run good because there are a bunch of good cars.”
When asked if he and his team would rather come out of the gate strong or surge towards the end of the week, May gave the answer any driver would – both.
“I would rather win every race,” said May. “I think the beginning of the week you’re really, really careful. You just try not to make mistakes and tear the car up. If you can make it halfway through the week, definitely the last couple nights, you’re doing well. I felt like last year we got a little more aggressive, and I was doing things to try to win the last couple of nights that I definitely wouldn’t have done at the beginning of the week. You’ve just got to be really careful but aggressive at the same time.
The 2014 edition of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing will feature the addition of a 100-lap feature for the Pro Late Models.
“I think we have a 50 and a 100 this year,” said May. “We’re definitely excited about that. This is definitely the most prepared I’ve been. When I ran my own cars, I don’t feel like I kept my cars up as good as what David’s guys do. They’re able to put me in a really good car, especially for the long races. I really love running the long races for them.”
Speed51.com will be the official live coverage provider for the 48th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing which will run from Friday, February 14 to Saturday, February 22.