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Opportunity for Local Racers to Shine at Daytona
by Denise DuPont

On Thursday February 17th NASCAR unveiled the addition of regional and touring series to 2013 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. It was disclosed that for the past two years NASCAR and UNOH (University of Northern Ohio) representatives have been working to pull together a plan that would bring local racing to the limelight of Daytona.

The official announcement included information on a Monday and Tuesday venue for NASCAR’s regional and touring series that would fall on February 18th and 19th, 2013. Included in the event are the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified tours, and the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The non-punt events will be televised by Speed providing to the Home Track series well earned media exposure for their inaugural “UNOH Battle At The Beach”.
A temporary flat oval approximately 3/8 to 4/10ths of a mile will be set up on Daytona’s Superstretch (between turn two and three) to host the races.

Phil Kurze, Whelen Engineering Vice President of Motorsports Engineering has worked closely with NASCAR to grow the sport of racing at Home Tracks and its fan base. So it was very appropriate that Kurze be present at this announcement.

“I just cannot wait. I wish it was this Monday and this Tuesday,” said Kurze following the official media release. “I thought that the induction of Richie Evans into the NASCAR Hall of Fame was one of the greatest things for short track racing. This is right up there with it.”

Kurze and Whelen have supported racing at the local home tracks. This is now an opportunity to help them expand their support of racing. “We are going to be able to bring grassroots short track racing to Daytona and have people see what we are all about. We are a member of the NASCAR family and we are the foundation of NASCAR. Having everybody come together and recognize that and have us included in Speedweeks the way that we should be, I am very excited about it.”

Phil Moran, crew chief of the #2 NASCAR Whelen Modified, brought the UNOH sponsored modified to the official “Battle of the Beach” announcement at Daytona International Speedway. “I think that this is great. When you start out in the grass roots as we do with the Modified, K&N Pro Series and Late Models it is a great opportunity to showcase our drivers, our talent that we have on the crew and the people working on the cars.” Moran stated about the proposed plan for Home Track racing at Daytona Speedway.. “There are sometimes that I have a hard time getting guys to come to the races. I do not think that I will have a hard time telling them to come to Daytona. They will be tickled. I am really looking forward to it.”

Reflecting on it does Moran have any concerns about racing at Daytona?
“The proposed track being a flat four-tenths sort of reminds me of Spencer. So as far as I am concerned myself, Todd (Szegedy) is a pretty good driver on a flat track. So I think that we will be OK. “

For more details on the announcement go to NASCAR Home Track http://hometracks.nascar.com.

While Opportunity Knocks at Daytona International Speedway
by Denise DuPont

Running parallel with February Speedweeks at Daytona there has been a yearly tradition for Modifieds to head to Florida to compete in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. Over the years teams have come to New Smyrna to not only compete but to also shake out their equipment for the upcoming race season.

The 2012 World Series tradition has continued with both Tour Type and SK teams running eight nights under the lights. The sparks have been flying and tempers are at bay as modifieds run in the close quarters. In the end we will see if we have a new Champion or if an existing one adds another notch to their belt.

With the official announcement of including the ground pounders in the famous racing on the beach, what were some of the drivers at New Smyrna Speedway feedback on the “Battle At The Beach” opportunity:

Ryan Preece
“That is going to be awesome. Who cares if it on a flat track, it is twenty-thousand to win. I think that it is awesome that we are all going to be able to run Daytona. I think that it is going to be fun. It is going to be real short track racing at its best.”
“I think that it is nice I think that Daytona had a lot to do with it. They needed something to do on Mondays and Tuesdays. I think that it is going to bring a lot of short track people down and it is going to bring it back to how it use to be. Short track racing is where everybody is from and I think that it is important that they keep it alive.”

Patrick Emerling
“I think that it is cool that NASCAR is doing this for us. I hope that the track itself is going to be a good track to race on. Usually flat tracks are my worst type of tracks. I do not like flat tracks.”
“I am also glad that they are giving us some TV time. A purse of twenty-thousand dollars is definitely really good to hear. We usually have purses that are not close to that. So that is pretty good. I think that it will get more people down. But more I would like to know what the purse will be for tenth, eleventh or twelfth spot. When we know more information it will sure get more guys down here”
“So far I have heard some mixed thoughts about it. But I think that most people are pretty excited about it. I will probably be there because we usually come to Florida anyway. We will see how it goes and how it is put together and how things go in our future.”

Kevin Goodale
“It seems like a great opportunity. It might be a bit of a haul to get down there for the race. It will be exciting if nothing else. My brother (Eric Goodale) thinks that it is cool.”
“If we were already down here for New Smyrna racing and run over there to do the race that would be OK. But I do not know. I have not heard all the details and have not looked into it. It should be pretty cool just to be at Daytona with the modifieds to get some publicity. That would be good.”

Eric Goodale
“I do not know. I think I need to win a race first and then I will worry about that. From the announcement it sounds pretty cool. I am interested to see how it all plays out. But I need to win a race first.”
“My 2013 goal is to win a NWMT race and be an automatic locked into a starting spot at Daytona. I definitely do not want to try to qualify. I just want to be a for sure starter if that is the case.”

Cole Powell
“We definitely will be there. We are going to run Bristol this summer and as long as the car is still rolling. Twenty thousand to win – that sounds pretty cool. It is a pretty good purse. There are not that many races that have that kind of purse so we definitely will go to that for sure.”

Ted Christopher
“It sounds good as long as I do not miss many nights here (New Smyrna Speedway World Series). I would like to see all the details though before I decide what to do.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: February 20, 2012

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