WATERFORD – Jeff Smith has a reputation as one of the cleaner drivers at the Waterford Speedbowl.
In a full contact battle over the final two laps, Smith came out on top of a dramatic duel with Dillon Moltz in the 30-lap Late Model feature Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl.
It was the first victory of the season for Smith, of Old Lyme. Moltz, of Waterford, held on for second and Rich Staskowski of Hope Valley, R.I. was third.
Smith said he took Moltz’s reputation as an aggressive driver into account when planning strategy for the final lap.
Smith lined up in the front with Moltz second for a restart with two laps remaining. Coming to the white flag Moltz, riding the outside lane, held the advantage slightly at the start-finish line. The two went door-to-door down the backstretch on the final lap.
In turn four Smith went up the track, keeping Moltz from getting a final run off the last corner. The two cars bounced fenders coming to the checkered flag, with Smith holding off the charge of Moltz. After the checkered flag Moltz ended up spinning in turn two.
“We kind of just had a little rubbing contact out there and luckily it paid off for us,” Smith said. “I wasn’t sure who was going to get it at the end. I just kept my foot into it until I crossed the [finish] line. I didn’t care which way I was going.”
Said Moltz: “I’m not really sure what was going on there. White flag lap, he did what he had to do. He just kept running me up, running me up. I don’t know what happened. He was sideways, I was up in the fence and I got wrecked after the start finish line.”
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