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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen All-American Series




Inaugural UNOH “Battle At The Beach”
Trophy Unveiled

Denise DuPont

At the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion’s Award Banquet, President of Daytona International Speedway, Joie Chitwood III, spoke a little about the upcoming “UNOH Battle At The Beach” event for NASCAR regional and Touring Series. “It's our first foray into short-track racing,” Chitwood said. “Now we've got this new two-day event on Monday and Tuesday of race week, and we're really excited.” It took a few years to plan but worth the wait. Daytona International Speedway will now be the first track to feature every level of NASCAR-sanctioned racing at its facility, when the short-track teams join the three national NASCAR and Grand-Am Series at the famed speedway.

Chitwood also unveiled the Inaugural “UNOH Battle At The Beach” trophy as part of the awards activities. The trophy is a replica of the trophy presented to Fonty Flock for winning on the beach circuit at Daytona in 1954. Modified driver Ryan Preece’s eyes lit up when he saw the trophy. As a smile came to his face you knew he was already dreaming of a place for the trophy’s new home.

Preece finished fifth in Whelen All American Series competition. This accomplishment ensured Preece had a starting spot in the Late Model race at the inaugural event. “If I can get a ride it will be real cool, said Preece about the Late Model opportunity. “ I am looking for a ride and I am looking to race. It should be fun. That trophy would look real good in my room. So I will see if I can get a ride for it. I am going to look for the best deal that I can get as far as a car that can be real competitive. We are working on it and I will know in the next month or so if I can do it or not.”

Keith Rocco on the other hand did not seem as optimistic about finding a ride for the Late Model event. “Hopefully I can find something to race with, but the way that our rules to run up north are, We do not really have a place for the cars to fit in and run down here. If something comes up we will try to go but otherwise as it looks right now, it is not looking real good. I have not put much thought into it because I just did not think that I would be going down there. So it has kind of been on the back burner. Just the top ten finishers are allowed to go. You cannot pass it on to another driver or team.”

Woody Pitkat though is now sitting on the side lines a little disappointed that he was not among the guaranteed qualifiers. Pitkat finished eleventh in the NASCAR All-American Series Championship running, one spot out of the guaranteed starting spot. “I called NASCAR seeing if I could be in if Teddy or someone in the top ten could not make the race does anybody move up and the answer was no. We were going to do it anyways with my Late Model guy that owns my car, Bill Snow, really wants to do it but just looking at the rules and I do not know how they are going to police it. It is kind of looks a little wide open right now. Nothing against NASCAR but we might have to wait a year or two to see how it goes. But we will be going there with a modified no matter what with the Hills.”

So pack your bags and get ready to head to the beach to ring in the 2013 race season!

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: December 9, 2012

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