Orlando Speedworld is Ready for Winternationals
Race Teams From All Across The Country Pounce on Central Florida
Action gets under way Friday night as Orlando Speedworld hosts the 4th Annual Winternationals which run through Saturday, February 17th.

To accommodate local area youngsters who run in the Bandelero classes but still have to attend school during the day, all of the Bandelero features will be run as the final events during the program through Friday.

As of Monday, 72 pre-entries have been received for the INEX/600 Series portion of the Winternationals representing 16 States and one Canadian Province. Over 100 cars and drivers are actually expected to participate.

Florida drivers represent 22 of the pre-entered racers but North Carolina is close behind with 20 drivers entered. Virginia and Georgia have five drivers on the list with at least four more coming from Tennessee.

The Legends Cars will be divided into four groups the year: Pro, Semi-Pro, Masters, and the new Charger class for less-experienced drivers. "A lot of the newer drivers have passed up this event in the past because they didn't feel they could compete with the more experienced drivers," says Legends of Florida Race Director Russ Thomson.
Now they'll be on an even keel competing with each other plus it provides the fans with even more great Legends Car racing to see," he says.

Probably the most competitive class will be the "old guys," the 40 years old and over Masters Division with many recognizable names already entered including Legends Car icons Clay Hair and Cotton Spry of NC, South Carolina's Larry Friddle, Texans Bob Merino and Gene Conley and Canadian Gary Bursey who will be challenged by Florida stand-outs like Andy Logan, Mike Verhaagh, Jimmy Rodriguez, Doug Hall and Bob "Wild Willie" Wilson.

Other notable Legend Car names already entered include veteran racers like Craig Goess, Jr., John Stancill, Brandon Dunn, Ty Dillon, Thomas Hartensveld, Jr., Tom Van Wingerden, Ray Paprota, Scott Knox, Jesse Bunnell, Kyle Beattie, Darrell Wallace, Jr. and many others.

Local drivers already entered include Jimmy Norman, Josh Williams, the father/daughter duo of Tom and Kara Clarke, Shaughn McCormick, Paul Schrein, Jr. and many others including young Chelsea Schilling of Apopka who moves up to the Pro Division for 2007.

Bandeleros will again be divided into their usual age groups representing the Bandit (8-11 year olds), Young Guns (12-15) and Outlaws (16 and over).
The Thunder Roadsters will also be on the card each day.

The Bandelero drivers will be in for a real treat as the Bandelero track has been completely re-paved courtesy of Legends Car driver Leonard Hearndon and his business, Hearndon Construction of Micco, FL. Hearndon's two sons, Kaleb and Leighton will be running in the Bandelero Young Guns and Bandits respectively.
For more information on the 4th Annual Winternationals, you may call the track at (407) 568-1367 or visit www.orlandospeedworld.org on the internet.

PRE-ENTRIES FOR 2007 INEX 600 SERIES WINTERNATIONALS (as of 2/6/07):

LEGENDS CARS:

1 - J.R. Allen, Duluth, GA
1FL - Andy Logan, West Palm Beach, FL
2 - Jimmy Norman, Lake Mary, FL
2 - Tyler Kivett, Prince Frederick, MD
5 - Gene Kirilla, Transfer, PA
6 - Josh Williams, Port Charlotte, FL
7 - Mike Verhaagh, Ft. Myers, FL
7 - Chad Hackenbracht, New Philadelphia, OH
8 - Larry Friddle, Greenville, SC
8 - Scotty Edwards, Richmond, VA
8 - Roger Austin, Nokesville, VA
9 - Carlos "Mercury" Moore, Kannapolis, NC
12 - Corey Smith, Frankfort, KY
12 - Brent Taylor, Chuluota, FL
16 - Cotton Spry, Salisbury, NC
16 - Darrell Wallace, Jr., Kannapolis, NC
17 - Philip Bell, Senoia, GA
19 - Jimmy Rodriguez, West Palm Beach, FL
19 - Gregory Moore, Kannapolis, NC
20 - John Stancill, Ayden, NC
20 - Cameron Patrick, Richmond, VA
20 - Brandon Dunn, Frankfort, KY
21 - Kara Clarke, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
21 - Chris Lemonds, Yorktown, VA
21 - Ty Dillon, Lewisville, NC
21 - C.J. Faison, Iron Station, SC
24 - Parker Hammons, Midland, NC
26 - Matthew Stover, Gastonia, NC
27 - Gene Conley, Lewisville, TX
27W - Bob Wilson, Beverly Hills, FL
29 - Clay Hair, Mount Pleasant, NC
31 - Ray Paprota, Birmingham, AL
33 - Rette Causey, Seaford, VA
34 - Shaughn McCormick, Oviedo, FL
36 - Thomas Hartensveld, Jr., Ringwood, NJ
37 - Leonard Hearndon, Micco, FL
38 - Ryan Moore, Moss Point, MS
42 - Bob Merino, Richardson, TX
55 - Doug Hall, St. Petersburg Beach, FL
66 - Tom Clarke, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
74 - Paul Screin, Jr., Jupiter, FL
75 - Chelsea Schillig, Apopka, FL
78 - Herman Greinig, Addison, IL
81 - Craig Goess, Jr., Greenville, NC
83 - Cary Bursey, Moncton, NB, CA
86 - Scott Knox, Cornelius, NC
87 - Darrell Vance, Tampa, FL
94 - Zach Zimmer, Tigard, OR
96 - Jesse Bunnell, Monroe, NC
96 - Steve Carter, Indian Trail, NC
96R - Kyle Beattie, Indian Trail, NC
99 - Alex Kempf, Vero Beach, FL
-- - Travis Baer, Concord, NC
-- - Bruce Little, Denver, NC
-- - Tom Van Wingerden, Huntsville, NC

BANDELEROS:

1 - Wayne Colvin, Tallahassee, FL
3 - Leighton Hearndon, Micco, FL
8 - Donovan Ponder, Orlando, FL
10 - Grant Crane, Zebulon, GA
12 - Critter Saile, Casselberry, FL
13 - Christopher McKinney, Maynardsville, TN
15 - Mason Massey, Winston, GA
19 - Chad Finchum, Knoxville, TN
23 - Layne Clifton, Seymour, TN
28 - Ryan Glensk, Mooresville, NC
53 - Kaleb Hearndon, Micco, FL
71 - Cody Blackburn, Stanley, NC
80 - Blake Jones, Seiverville, TN
97 - Evan Bell, Buford, GA
99 - Zoey Guignardi, Rockledge, FL
680 - Bruce Walker, Weatherford, TX
-- - Mark Limehouse, Charleston, SC




Friday and Saturday evenings, the 3/8 mile high-banks of Speedworld will host the Pro Challenge, Open Wheel Lite, Florida Cracker Classics and Mini-Cup cars. A special practice session for these divisions will be held Thursday night from 5-10PM with racing at 8PM on Friday night and 7PM on Saturday.

Up to 30 Pro Challenge cars are expected to do battle while good fields are expected in all the other classes with several Classic Car drivers expected from the Maryland area where the weather has been downright frigid. The Classic drivers from that area, who primarily run dirt tracks, will bolt on the asphalt Goodyear Eagles to see if they can out-run the local guys.

After a day of on Sunday, the track will open at 9AM on Monday, February 12th as racers running in the INEX/600 Racing sanctioned events will be allowed to enter the pits and select parking before being turned loose for a day-long practice session that will end at dusk.

Tuesday, February 13th through Saturday the 17th, racing will take place during the day for the first time in the history of the Winternationals which will truly be as it's billed "Fun in the Sun" this year.

"We're doing this for several reasons," says track General Manager Rusty Marcus. "First off, it's warmer. Secondly, many of these competitors look at this as a vacation and it will give them a chance to go over to our sister track New Smyrna Speedway for the events there or just simply have the evening to themselves," he says.

Marcus adds "We are also going to try something to accommodate the New Smyrna fans too. For our Tuesday and Wednesday shows, we are going to honor the rain checks from the previous night's event at New Smyrna Speedway. That means a fan attending the races at New Smyrna on Monday night can drive over to Orlando Speedworld and watch the show Tuesday afternoon for free and still have plenty of time to head back over to New Smyrna for the Tuesday night racing," he says.

"We really want fans to come out to the Winternationals and see this awesome racing. With the field being assembled right now, it will be well worth the drive over, plus they'll get to see twice the racing for one price," he adds.

Practice for all divisions will being daily at 11:30AM with heat races starting at 1:30PM. All racing action is expected to be complete by no later than 6PM.
(Top to Bottom) Legends, Bandeleros and Pro Challenge cars will all be on hand for the Winternationals at Orlando Speedworld.  Speed51.com will be on hand during the races to bring fans full coverage.