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Business is about to pick up in a big way.
With the offseason officially in the rear-view mirror, New Smyrna Speedway is set to host the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing beginning on Friday night. The nine nights of racing action will mark the 53rd running of the prestigious event, and all of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing (Feb. 8-9 & Feb. 11-16) will once again air via a live stream on FansChoice.TV.
Even though the World Series serves as the kick-off for many race teams, and fans, alike, it isn‘t the first time cars will hit the track this year. In January, as part of a revamped Red Eye 50/50 at New Smyrna, Ryan Moore (Super Late Model) and former NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series champion Mike Skinner (Pro Late Model) opened their season in Victory Lane. Moore is among multiple drivers already entered for the World Series with plenty of momentum on his side.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The contingent of SLM drivers includes some top talent from across the country. Bubba Pollard, one of the top short-track drivers who is known for winning marquee events, will run the full week driving for track local legend David Rogers, who is injured and can‘t compete. Pollard is joined by upcoming star Sam Mayer, who surprised many in 2018, racing to top five finishes in nearly all events during the World Series. He is going back looking for a breakthrough performance to leap towards a championship driving for Wimmer Motorsports.
Five-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West winner Derek Kraus, defending USAC Midget champion Logan Seavey and former K&N Pro Series East winner Spencer Davis are also on the star-studded list.
The World Series culminates with the Orange Blossom Super Late Model 100 on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Over the past few years, the World Series has served as a precursor for young talent ascending to the big stage. NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series champion Christopher Bell picked up his first NASCAR Super Late Model win in his debut at New Smyrna in 2015. Last year, Gander Outdoor Truck competitor Harrison Burton visited Victory Lane, and Stephen Nasse picked up his elusive first World Series SLM crown. The eventual champion in the last eight years won his first and only title at the half-mile, showing that a new champion could be in store.
Tour Type Modified teams will take to the track for the first time on Monday, with five nights of action headlined by two special events on Wednesday (John Blewett Memorial 76) and Friday (Richie Evans 100). Defending World Series champion Matt Hirschman is heading back looking for his second straight crown, while Cup Series driver Ryan Preece, who won three straight titles before Hirschman took him down last season, will run the first three nights of the week. With Preece not running the entire week and focusing his efforts on his Monster Energy Cup Series effort in the Daytona 500, it leaves the door wide-open for someone new to challenge Hirschman for the top, but you might not have to look far.
Five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby is heading back to New Smyrna looking to get his team back into championship form and is looking to score his first World Series crown. Coby also brings a stout lineup of Whelen Modified Tour drivers following closely behind him. Jimmy Blewett, Timmy Solomito, Calvin Carroll, Dave Sapienza, Tommy Catalano and Patrick Emerling are among those entered. Chuck Hossfeld, the 2012 World Series champion, is also returning.
The Pro Late Models, Florida Modifieds, American Auto Sportsman, Pro Truck, Super Stock, Mod Minis and Bombers are all scheduled to compete throughout the week, creating an impressive racing card. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will headline the entire week as they open their season on Sunday, with the running of the New Smyrna 175.
World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing
New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway
Friday, Feb. 8 to Saturday, Feb. 16
7:30 p.m. ET
FansChoice.tv (Live Stream) (Feb. 8-9 & Feb. 11-16)
Half-mile high-banked oval
Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m. ET each night
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: A two-lap time trial style qualifying will be in place throughout the week. Once a driver has taken the green flag the first time by, the time is official. Any division that doesn‘t have qualifying scheduled for a specific night will invert from the previous nights finish. The determination of the qualifying order is done at the pit office by a draw each day. Each night, a fan will draw a number for the invert, ranging from 0-2-4-6-8. Cars must go through pre-qualifying technical inspection and proceed directly to the corresponding qualifying number on the outer (or inner) pit wall. Once a car is through technical inspection, the only item that can be checked is air pressure. Once a car has been on the track, two crew members may go to the car when it returns to check air pressure and stagger, without jacking up the car. No other adjustments may be made prior to the green flag for the race.
The tires a team qualifies on must be the tires a team races on that night. During any impound events teams may not change a tire unless it is flat and approved by an official. Tires will be released from the impound area to teams prior to qualifying. No tire softening or altering agents will be permitted throughout the duration of the week.
A drivers meeting will take place each day, and all drivers are required to attend.
Throughout the week, Super Late Model teams will compete in five 35-lap feature races, one 50-lap event and a 100-lap finale, the Orange Blossom 100. The Pro Late Models will compete in six 35-lap feature events and a 100-lap finale, the Zach Donatti Memorial. The Tour Type Modifieds may enter for technical inspection on Sunday February 11, but will begin racing on Monday. The Tour Modifieds will compete in two 35-lap events, one 50-lap feature and two special events — the 76-lap John Blewett III Memorial on Wednesday and the Richie Evans Memorial 100 on championship Friday night. Practice for the Super Late Models, Sportsman, Pro Late Models and Modifieds is available on Thursday, February 7 from 1-7 p.m.
A cumulative points system will be used to determine the champion of the week in each class. The winner of each event will score 50 points, with the second-place finisher scoring 48, third scoring 46, etc., two points down per position throughout the field.
Pit road speed for the entirety of the week is 35 MPH. Anyone who elects to pit must stay single file behind the pace car under caution and then enter pit road. Any cars that pit must restart at the tail end of the field. No cars may pass the pace car at any time. No weaving on pit road will be tolerated.
At the end of each event, the top three finishes must go to the frontstretch. No crew members may touch or work on the car unless they are directed to do so by officials. Following the post-race media, all three cars must proceed to the technical inspection shed and the driver must drive the car to the scales.
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