READY TO BATTLE IN DAYTONA
NASCAR Whelen Southern
Modified Tour Pair
Look Forward To Battle At The Beach
the UNOH Battle At The Beach was unveiled last
February, a pair of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified
Tour drivers knew they had to be a part of it.
Although they were part-time competitors in 2012,
Brian Loftin and Brandon Ward had targeted the
inaugural short-track showcase at Daytona
International Speedway on Feb. 18-19 as an event
they must add to their schedules. When they each
found Victory Lane during the 2012 season, their
plans were cemented.
Race winners and points champions during the 2012
season earned secured starting positions for the
feature race between NASCAR Whelen Modified and
Whelen Southern Modified Tour teams.
Even with his locked-in status via his victory at
Caraway Speedway on April 7, Loftin had planned to
head to Daytona all along.
“I had already had plans to attend anyway,” Loftin
said. “That’s just such a special event with so much
money on the table that if you’ve got a Modified, I
don’t see how you couldn’t take part in it.
“As soon as I heard about the event – being a part
of Daytona Speedweeks – we were definitely planning
on coming down,” Loftin said.
The 2008 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
champion from Lexington, N.C., Loftin has run a
partial schedule the last two seasons since his late
wife, Melissa, passed away from a car accident in
“We haven’t run full-time the past couple of seasons
just because of money and from adjusting to life
since my wife’s passing, but this is definitely a
special event that I knew I wanted to be a part of,”
Loftin’s participation in the inaugural UNOH Battle
At The Beach will launch a 2013 season in which he
intends to the Whelen Southern Modified Tour full
Ward, who intends to run seven Whelen Southern
Modified Tour events in the coming season, had very
similar thoughts to those of Loftin about heading to
the “World Center of Racing” for this special event.
“When they first announced about this Battle At The
Beach race, we were definitely interested and
excited about it and hoped that something would come
together so we could race in it,” Ward said.
Ward, from Winston-Salem, N.C., has run between two
and four races a year on the Whelen Southern
Modified Tour since 2006. His 2012 participation was
highlighted by his first career tour victory at
South Boston Speedway on April 14, which locked him
into the UNOH Battle At The Beach feature.
“Bryan Fishel, our car owner, had never fielded a
car of his own at Daytona, so this is kind of an
important deal for him,” Ward said. “That was kind
of the plan from the start – to try to make it
happen so we could go – and then after winning South
Boston and securing a guaranteed spot, that just
kind of sealed the deal.”
Ward will be one of the few with experience at
Daytona International Speedway. Albeit on the big
track, he competed in a handful of Daytona events in
the former NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series.
He’s looking forward to racing the .4-mile short
track on the DIS backstretch this time around, which
will be a first for every competitor in the event.
“That’s another thing about this race that is going
to make it fun and interesting – it’s going to be
new to everyone,” Ward said. “It’s not like anyone
has had a chance to test there or race there before.
With this new track configuration, it’s going to be
exciting for everyone to unload and try and see what
the race track is all about. It should be a pretty
equal playing field going into it.”
Driver Appearance on Saturday: Fans at
Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 16
are encouraged to come by the Sprint Fan Deck on the
infield to participate in a fan meet-and-greet with
drivers from each of the three NASCAR Home Tracks
series that will be competing in the UNOH Battle At
The Beach. The driver appearance will run from
Battle Events: The NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series Late Models will have qualifying races and a
150-lap feature on Monday, Feb. 18 while the action
on Tuesday, Feb. 19 will include a similar schedule
of qualifying races and 150-lap races for both the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and NASCAR K&N Pro
Series. All three features are non-points races.
Event Coverage: All three UNOH Battle At The
Beach features will be carried live on SPEED, the
Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio while
all practice and qualifying sessions will feature
live streaming video at
Event Tweets: The official Twitter hashtag
for all events surrounding the UNOH Battle At The
Beach is #NASCARBattle. Join the conversation using
the #NASCARBattle hashtag as well as the official
Twitter accounts for NASCAR Home Tracks (@NASCARHomeTrack)
and Daytona International Speedway (@DISupdates).
Additional Info: For more information, please visit
Grandstand and garage admission can be secured via
the website or by calling 1-888-PITSHOP.
Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR