For race fans of any sort, big track or short track, there is nothing better than being in the state of Florida for the month of February.
It’s the “unofficial” start of the racing season for everyone from the NASCAR Nextel Cup world all the way to Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadsters to Dirt Late Models, Modifieds and Sprint Cars.
These days, Speedweeks can almost be called “Speedmonth.” Even though its not a part of Speedweeks officially, Super Late Model teams will get the call to USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida on January 25-27 for Speedfest.
After Speedfest, things really start to take shape.
East Bay Raceway Park, located in Tampa, begins their Speedweeks programs with the 360 Sprit Cars on January 24th. East Bay will then run a variety of classes all the way through Feb. 24, just taking a couple of nights off here and there to let everyone regroup. 410 Sprints, Late Models, DIRT Modifieds and Crate Late Models will all take turns on the East Bay Dirt.
Dirt fans will also flock to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida for the track’s Speedweeks festivities. Volusia’s activities begin Feb. 6, with the All Star Sprint Car Series. On Feb 9, the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars will take to the track. The UMP Late Models and World of Outlaw Late Model Series will run at the track from Feb. 12 through Feb. 17.
JAM-PACKED SPEEDWEEKS RAPIDLY APPROACHING by Jeremy Trioano
New Smyrna Speedway Paving Almost Done
company that is doing it now is one of the ones that worked on it 30-years ago.
“From what I hear, a lot of folks are excited to come down here and be racing now.”
Things at New Smyrna Speedway will wrap up with their annual twin-bill of special events. On Friday night, Feb. 16, with the Richie Evans Memorial 100-lapper for the Tour-Type Modifieds. On Saturday night, the Super Late Models will headline the final night of Speedweeks, with the 100-lap Pete Orr Memorial.
Orlando SpeedWorld will host plenty of action during Speedweeks. The track’s “Winternationals” will begin with the Pro Challenge Series on Friday night, Feb. 9 and Saturday night, Feb. 10.
“The great part about these races in Florida being at this time of year is that we’ll get drivers from all of the Pro Challenge regions,” said John Litzinger, Owner and President of Pro Challenge. “Last year, several of our Canadian-region drivers made the trip to Orlando, and I think that because we’re having a four-race series, we’ll get even more Canadians trying to escape the wintertime. We’re expecting drivers from all of the regions trying to come in and take victories, but the guys in the Florida region will not want to give it up easily.”
“The fact that we get to go to New Smyrna during the first weekend of Speedweeks is a great honor for Pro Challenge racing. It will provide more exposure for our competitors and to the series. A lot of the guys from the NASCAR garage go to New Smyrna after the day’s activities in Daytona are finished up, so that is a great place for our young drivers to start off their seasons in front of them.”
Racing action will continue on Feb. 13 through Feb. 17 for the Legends, Bandoleros and Thunder Roadsters.
Jan 24-27, 360 Sprints
Jan 28 – Feb 3, 410 Sprints
Feb 4-10, Late Models
Feb 14-17, Modifieds
Feb 22-24, Crate Late Models
Feb 6-8, All Star Sprints
Feb 9-11 – WoO Sprints
Feb 12-14 & 16 UMP Late Models
Feb 15, 17, WoO Late Models
Feb 9-10 – Pro Challenge
Feb 13-17 - Legends, Bandoleros, Thunder Roadsters
New Smyrna Speedway
Feb 9-17 – SLMs, LMs, Modifieds
Feb 11, 12 – Pro Challenge
Asphalt Speedweeks for the short trackers will begin at Feb 9th at two different Florida tracks.
Things kick off in big fashion at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Florida. The 41st Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing will feature nine-straight nights of Super Late Models, Limited/ASA-Style Late Models, NASCAR Tour-Type Modified and SK Modifieds.
And this year’s “World Series” at New Smyrna will have a little different look to it.
“Robert (Hart, the track owner) had made a decision last year that he was going to have the track repaved before Speedweeks this year,” said Terry Roberts, New Smyrna Speedway’s General Manager. “He is carrying through on that as we speak. We’re doing a lot of renovation work that will put a new face on the old gal.”
In addition to the repaving job, the track is also adding access lanes from the pit road onto the track, a nicer infield parking area and an entirely new landscaped fan parking area.
Terry Roberts looks over the progress of the paving job at New Smyrna Speedway.
“The last time it was paved was back in the 70s. It needed it bad. It was just time. It was really worn out. If it hadn’t rained (Thursday morning), it would have already been done. Now, it looks like they will be finished on Friday.”
That will make the entire week at New Smyrna interesting, including Sunday and Monday (Feb. 11 & 12), when the Pro Challenge Series comes to town for a special two-day show.
“Everyone is concerned about the compound they are putting down. It’s the same compound and mix that they just put at Talladega and it’s the same one they have in turn one at Daytona when they put the tunnel in, and it’s the same mix they have on the road course at Daytona. These people know what they are doing. And the
The crew working on the track surface at New Smyrna are no strangers to racetracks.