The 2024 edition of Gabe Sommers Racing’s now annual trip to New Smyrna Speedway’s
World Series of Asphalt was not without difficulty, as the team suffered setbacks early in the
week due to mechanical failure. A massive turnaround in both luck and on track speed would
help salvage their momentum as the week came to a close.

Opening night, Friday February 9th, was a great opportunity to shake down the No. 15 in traffic
and really see what it could accomplish in a race situation. Thirty five cars attempted qualifying,
with Gabe able to lock down a 13th place effort in a very tight field. In the feature, the GSR crew
held their own against a tough field of competitors as they continued to chase a setup that could
move forward in the field with ease. While still looking for a little more on night one, Gabe was
able to climb to 11th place by the end of the 35 lap feature.

After Friday’s opening night action, the No. 15 would next take the track on Sunday the 11th.
Another 35 lap sprint would be in the cards for Gabe and the crew, making short run speed a
necessity to be successful in the format. A 17th place qualifying effort would not necessarily be
what the team was looking for, but Sommers’ night was about to take a spiral. Working his way
to 12th early in the feature, something started to sound and feel off in the motor. 21 laps into the
race, the team’s suspicions were confirmed as Gabe brought the No. 15 to pit road with an
engine gone sour. Ultimately this would place Gabe in the 29th position by the checkered flag.

Switching gears for the upcoming ASA STARS National Tour race on Tuesday, GSR would roll
out their new chassis for Monday’s practice sessions, with a fresh look of green, black, and
chrome, with branding from partner Meristem Crop Performance blanketing the majority of the
machine. The new car had speed, and plenty of it. Driver and crew were both very happy with
the results of the practice sessions as they looked ahead to 200 laps of Super Late Model

Tuesday came, and the speed of the car stayed constant throughout the day as track conditions
began to change from a warm afternoon to cooler weather by the time the evening’s qualifying
session was expected to begin. Unfortunately, as Gabe was ready to fire off and begin his
qualifying attempt, the ignition box malfunctioned and stopped him in his tracks. With no posted
time, the No. 15 would have been subjected to starting from the rear of the last chance qualifier,
and risk damaging the only remaining car they had for the week after losing a motor Sunday
night. The team made the tough decision to sit out of the last chance qualifier, and effectively
loaded up early to save the car.

The following day was a return to the 35 lap feature structure, making for a quick and hectic
Valentine’s Day event for GSR. With the ignition box replaced, the car gone through with a fine
tooth comb, and an eye on escaping the bad luck, Gabe was ready to move forward and start
fresh for the second half of the World Series of Asphalt. Putting their focus on race pace during
most of the day’s practice sessions, qualifying speed was mostly a question mark for the team
as dusk fell on the speedway, and qualifying commenced. Gabe was able to impress in
qualifying, timing in at the fourth position, less than a tenth off of quick time. Rolling off from the
outside of the second row in the feature, Gabe was able to slot into a podium spot by the fifth
lap of the race, and stayed there until the checkered flag flew, working his way to a third place
finish and cleaning the slate of early gremlins.

With severe weather in the forecast for Saturday’s Orange Blossom 100, the final event of the
WSOA, the finale was bumped up to Thursday night, making sure that teams would be able to
participate in the famous marquee event without the threat of a downpour. Rolling into the day
with newfound momentum, Gabe was ready to tackle the Orange Blossom 100 and a stout field
of competitors. Qualifying fifth of seventeen cars that took time, everything appeared to be on
the up and up for the night’s festivities. Gabe would waste no time once the green flag flew for
the 100 lap main event, hustling his No. 15 to third place by the ninth circuit. He’d remain within
striking distance of the two leaders, holding his spot and developing a strategy to find a way to
hopefully grab the lead. Back to back cautions for lone spinners in the back bunched the field
up, and a bottleneck into turn three on the second restart forced Sommers to check up hard to
avoid contact, sinking him back to sixth place. Clawing his way back into the top five, Gabe set
his sights on the single car immediately in front of him. For fifty laps he would look for gaps of
open space, but wouldn’t be able to get by without getting physical and causing trouble, which
he elected not to do. Nonetheless, Gabe held on to fifth place with ease, and would end his
World Series efforts with a second straight top five finish.

As we head back to the chilly confines of Wisconsin, we look ahead to a potential return to the
southeastern region in March, looking to get some more track time at these marquee events
with opportunities to strengthen our program and bring more eyes to Gabe Sommers Racing.
Stay tuned on our social media channels, or on to find out more
about where we are headed and how you can watch the action!