Monday, January 28, 2019

Okrzesik Claims SpeedFest 200 in Decisive Win Over NASCAR Champ Busch

Prior to scoring a breakout win at SpeedFest, Connor Okresik put up an impressive showing in Pensacola during the 51st Snowball Derby weekend. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED.com)


CORDELE, Georgia (January 28, 2019) -- Just a few weeks ago, I found myself standing next to a young man at Sunny South Speedway. He was flagging kids younger than him during an open test for groups of go karts, Bandoleros, and the like.

We talked about finishing up school. In May, he will graduate after being homeschooled throughout high school; a move that has afforded him the opportunity to begin a racing career at an age when most of his peers barely have their driver’s license.

We talked about the new engines in Legends cars this year. We talked about mounting cameras in weird places to get interesting perspectives. We talked about how hard his Mom and Dad work at the Speedway the family owns and operates, and how hard his team works to support his racing endeavours.

He’s not very outspoken, and his comments reflect that; responding with modesty and an strong sense of appreciation of the opportunity in front of him.

From humble beginnings at a quirky little quarter mile racetrack in Grand Bay, Alabama, Connor Okresik has begun a climb up the racing ladder in the Deep South racing scene. At each rung he has found success, and on Saturday in Cordele, Georgia, he took the next step by scoring a breakout victory in the SpeedFest 200 at Crisp Motorsports Park.

Okrzesik claimed his first Super Late Model win in fine fashion, besting NASCAR Champion Kyle Busch in a five lap dash where the restart made all the difference.

“I was pretty mad when the caution came out,” Okrzesik told Short Track Scene. “It took me a lap to get my bearings. And then I started to think about what I was going to do on the restart. I knew it would be tough.”

Veteran racer turned Crew Chief and driver coach Mike Garvey was in the youngster’s ear, and gave Okrzesik some intense motivation.

“You need to do whatever it takes to beat him on this restart,” Garvey said on the radio. “This story is going to be even sweeter when you beat Kyle Busch for this one.”

On lap 194 the green flag flew and Okrzesik took off, leaving Busch to battle with Harrison Burton for the second spot. Okrzesik jetted to an 0.80 lead en-route to victory in his Senneker powered machine.

“It feels good,” Okrzesik told Speed51.com.  “I’m like, half the age of Busch or something like that.  There’s a lot of older drivers out there.  Being on a low-budget team, not a shoestring but a lower budget than KBM, Toyota Racing, or any of those guys, it’s really sweet to get this win.”

Okrzesik began to see a noticeable shift in his performance midway through the 2018 season, after his first late model victory in a Show Me the Money Series Pro Late Model race at Montgomery Motor Speedway.

“It’s not just the team, but also me as a driver;  I’ve gotten better,” he said. “Around Montgomery it just clicked.”

From then on Okrzesik has steadily improved and is constantly finding himself among the names at the top of the charts week in, and week out.

During the 51st Snowball Derby, Okrzesik turned heads with a fourth place effort in the Derby, and a third place finish in the Snowflake 100 after starting from the pole.

Kyle Busch was quick to credit Okrzesik on his performance at SpeedFest.

“The 14, Connor and those guys did a great job,” Busch said. “They were hauling butt today.  Fun to see these younger guys going fast and doing well, and sucks to finish second to them.  Overall, we had fun and that’s what it’s about.”

Busch held off Harrison Burton in the final laps to remain in second after starting the day in tenth.

“We were really bad in qualifying,” Busch said.  “Our car was terrible there.  A couple of guys ran some really good laps in the .70s and we were stuck in the .90s.  I knew we were going to have a struggle in qualifying, but once the race started I knew we had a good race car.

“It was always just a little too tight or a little too loose. We tried everything, we wholesaled it, we threw the kitchen sink at it on both pit stops trying to make improvements.”

For Okresik, this win is the start of 2019 racing program that will him once again compete in the Southern Super Series and various other Pro and Super Late Model events.

Plans also include entering in the ARCA 200 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on March 9th. Okrzesik has already turned laps at the famous half-mile in an ARCA car in preparation for that event.

On a personal note, I have to say that I am excited for what a kid like Connor Okresik brings to the racing community. I have seen many in his position in the past that have not maintained the level of composure and appreciation that this young man shows.

Instead of going the route of the spoiled rich kid, Connor has so far chosen to put his nose to the grindstone; all the while thankful to be surrounded by a hard working and passionate network of family and friends that ready to help him rise to the ranks of racing’s elite.

He has an honest to goodness true shot at making it pretty dang far, and it’s exciting to get to play witness to the rise from the ground level.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A correction to Okrzesik's finish in the Snowflake 100. I initially had him as the runner up, however he in fact finished third. For the record, Bubba Pollard finished second to Chase Purdy in that race. (Updated: 1-28-19, 17:23)

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

THOUGHTS: Live Pit Stops Gone for 52nd Snowball Derby in a Needed but Bittersweet Change

With blazing fast stops, the crews from Kyle Busch Motorsports played a huge roll in the success of the team at the 51st Snowball Derby on December 2, 2018. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED.com)

PENSACOLA, Florida (January 27, 2019) -- Five Flags Speedway announced on Saturday that the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby will see the end of live pit stops, instead favoring the controlled pit stop format used at other marquee events around the country. The hope is to help with the added costs of teams bringing in hired, professional pit crews for the 300 lap Super Late Model race.

Event promoter Tim Bryant made the announcement during the driver’s meeting at Saturday’s SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia. During that meeting, Bryant emphasized that this decision was made with drivers and teams in mind.

“We know that the Snowball Derby is a costly event for the teams to participate in,” said Bryant.  “We are in constant search of ways to make it less expensive for competitors. On-track competition has gotten increasingly more competitive over the years.  The importance of length of time on pit road has gone to the extreme. The cost of a high-paid pit crew was never intended for this level of racing. Given the competitiveness of this event and the importance of the event, guys will take any measure necessary to get an edge on the others.  For that reason, we’ve decided to go to the controlled caution format for the 52nd Snowball Derby.  It’s simply in an effort to save teams the money of high-team pit crews.”

And save money it can. At last year’s Snowball Derby, Wayne Okrzesik, father and team owner of 2019 SpeedFest 200 winner Connor Okrzesik, told PixelatedSPEED that the cost of pit crews was a limiting factor at the Snowball Derby. He admitted that he had what was basically a crew comprised of pit crew “students”, and that the crew paled in comparison to the crews from the likes of Kyle Busch Motorsports.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Stephen Nasse, who became a highlight in the 51st Snowball Derby for all the wrong reasons after an altercation with his own crew member after a botched tire change resulted in Nasse losing a wheel while on the speedway and crashing hard into the wall, destroying his car.

Nasse told Short Track Scene, “There are so many elite pit teams, and only so many of them come to the Derby, so a lot of teams have to settle for mediocre options. So people like me get stuck with those.”

In practice, this format will see the field basically frozen during a caution period. During this time, teams may change tires and do all of the things that are done during a normal pit stop. The difference is, however, that instead of racing to be first off of pit road, teams will retain their position after the completion of their stops. Without the added urgency, teams will not need faster crews, and thus will save the $5,000 plus bills from the professional caliber crews.

There are a few more rules and procedures associated with this format. For instance, teams cannot change tires unless it’s under the controlled caution period (or replacing a flat after official approval). Bubba Pollard found this out the hard way during the SpeedFest 200, coming in to change tires -- then having to return to pit road after being told he could not change the tires because it wasn’t a controlled caution period. The old right sides were put back on his car, resulting in a mountain of lost track position.

While the importance of cost savings is of paramount concern, implementing this format will also result in the loss of one of the layers of competition that has made the Snowball Derby so exciting over the years. For many, watching a full field of race cars swoop down pit lane with teams of crews slinging lug nuts and throwing tires is exhilarating. The race off of pit road could be the race for the win, or at least a vital part of the overall drama of the race.

I for one, will miss live pit stops. I realize I may be in the minority here with my experiences, but let me share why.

As a photojournalist at the Snowball Derby, I’ve had the privilege to find myself mere fee from the heart of the action on pit road. The thrill of cars flying by on pit road, watching them dive into their stalls, and capturing the action of the pit crews has always been one of the most intense experiences I’ve encountered at the race track.

During last year’s Derby, I was hit by a flying lug nut coming off of the car of Derek Kraus during a round of stops. I saved that lug nut as a memento, and know that anyone that has spent enough time on pit road over the years can probably relate. This may sound odd to most, but dodging flying lug nuts is just another aspect of live pit stops, albeit a sometimes painful experience.

In closing, yes, saving teams money whenever possible is a no-brainier. This measure will at the very least free up cash for teams to use in another area, but saying farewell to live pit stops at the Snowball Derby is going to be bittersweet.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

NASCAR Pioneer Glen Wood Passes Away

NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Taken on January 20, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (John Harrelson/ Getty Images)


STUART, Virgina (January 18, 2019) -- The NASCAR community has lost another icon of the sport, as Wood Brothers Racing co-founder Glen Wood has passed away.

Wood had been placed in hospice on January 10th.

Reports of his passing began surfacing on January 12th, however those reports were premature. Wood was able to spend his remaining days at home among family before ultimately passing on January 18th.

Wood Brothers Racing Statement:

“It’s with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of team founder and family patriarch Glen Wood this morning. We want to thank family, friends, our small-town Virginia community of Patrick County, as well as everyone in the NASCAR community for their unwavering support of him, his life, his legacy and everything “Pa” represented. We’ve had some very challenging days but the uplifting words you all have sent truly meant a lot and we thank every one of you for thinking of our family during this difficult time. Funeral arrangements are still pending but it will be a small family service.”

As the co-founder of a team that has seen victory lane at the Daytona 500 five times, Wood had been to every single running of the “Great American Race” up until the 2018 running, wherein Wood opted to stay home amid concerns of a flu virus that was sweeping the country at the time.

Glen Wood was one of NASCAR’s true pioneers of the sport. A former driver from Stuart, Virginia, Wood and brother Leonard founded Wood Brothers Racing in 1950. Wood raced in NASCAR for eleven years from 1953 to 1964, claiming one win in a 50 miler in Winston-Salem in 1963.

Wood shared his memory of the beginnings of the Wood Brothers Racing team on the team’s website. He tells the story of his first race, at Morris Speedway in 1950.

“In 1950, at Morris Speedway, near Martinsville, VA, I was running along pretty good about the middle of the heat race, when they had a wreck in front of me. I was trying to go through a little narrow opening and hooked my left rear wheel on the bumper of one of the other cars. It bent the rear end housing, forcing us to quit. We were towing it behind another car, and got up the road about 10 miles. The wheel was wobbling from being bent and finally broke the axle. That, in turn, let the brake drum down on the pavement. As the wheel came out, it jerked the gas neck out of the tank and the gas spilled down and caught fire. Then, it caught the car afire, and it burned right there in the middle of the road. Finally, we got the car unhooked from it, but we didn’t have fire extinguishers. We had some extra gas cans and extra tires and tools that we were carrying in the racecar. And once in a while, a gas can would blow up in there. We were scared to get close to it because of that. So we let it burn until it burned up about everything. That was the first race I’d ever got to start. So we figured it all might be over.”

Glen Wood is survived by a large family including friends and colleagues throughout the motorsports world.

As part of the the iconic Wood Brothers Racing team, Wood played a vital role in the development of the sport over a sixty plus year career.

Legendary names including Pearson, Waltrip, Bonnet, and Elliot all played a role in the success of the team under Wood’s view.

PixelatedSPEED would like extend sincere condolences to the entire Wood family during this time.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville Gets Double Dose of All American 400s and Welcomes the Greatest Show on Dirt to the 2019 Schedule

2018 Big Machine Records Pro Late Model Series Champion Michael House practicing at Five Flags Speedway during the 51st Snowball Derby Weekend. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)


NASHVILLE, Tennessee (January 16, 2019) -- The Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee is home to some racing’s legendary drivers and hosts one of the crown jewels of late model racing. In 2019, fans will be treated to a double dose of All American action, get dirty with some Outlaws, and enjoy the return of super late models and plus the track’s home pro late model series.

Nashville made headlines in the racing world in December after Formosa Productions, Marcus and Bruton Smith in conjunction with Bristol Motor Speedway announced a partnership with the goal of bringing a NASCAR nationally sanctioned event back to the Fairgrounds for the first time in almost two decades. The NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series last visited the venue in 2000. While plans on the exact details of how this return is set to occur are unclear at present time, the notion of NASCAR returning to Nashville has brought a much needed dose of positive attention to the speedway following the postponement of the 34th All American 400 due to inclement weather.

Speaking of the All American 400, fans will be treated to the first of a double dose of crown-jewel super late model racing in 2019 as the aforementioned 34th Annual All American 400 will be contested on the weekend of April 13-14th. After being rained out in November, participating teams will re-qualify and be given a free set of tires, plus a waived entry fee. There are a couple of options that were made available for ticket holding fans; contact the speedway for details.

Super late models return on May 4th with the return of the Southern Super Series. The Southern Super Series will be making it’s third stop of the 2019 season as the Fairgrounds plays host to the Nashville 100.

Following the supers, the 2019 season will roll on and begin a six week program that will span from the middle of May through to November and focus on the core local divisions of the speedway, headlined by the Big Machine Pro Late Models and also including Legends, Trucks, Pure Stocks and more.

Things get dirty on the weekend of May 30th - June 1st when the World of Outlaws visit for the Music City Outlaw Nationals. The quarter-mile track will be covered with dirt for the event, which will feature the WoO Sprint Cars for the first time at Nashville in a race that will be $25,000 to win.

The 2019 season comes to a close with the running of the 35th Annual All American 400 on the weekend of November 2-3. The traditionally scheduled time frame for this historic race will once again feature the stars of the super late model world, which will include pro late models and local divisions.

Log on to http://fairgroundsspeedwaynashville.com or follow the speedway on Facebook for complete details on events being held in 2019.

2019 Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville Schedule:


April 14 -- 34th Annual All American 400 Makeup Race
May 4 -- Nashville 100 - Southern Super Series
May 30 -- Music City Outlaw Nationals - WoO Sprint Cars Night 1
June 1 -- Music City Outlaw Nationals - WoO Sprint Cars Night 2
June 22 -- Weekly Racing Action
July 13 -- Weekly Racing Action
August 10 -- Weekly Racing Action
September 7 -- Weekly Racing Action
October 5 -- Weekly Racing Action
November 3 -- 35th Annual All American 400

PixelatedSPEED would like to wish the entire Wood family good speed and hope to see Glen recover quickly.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Southern Super Series 2019 Racing Schedule Set; Features 10 Races in 7 Places

Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida is the hometrack of the Southern Super Series, as well as the Snowball Derby. Pictured are the pace laps of the 2018 Snowball Derby on December 2, 2018. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

PENSACOLA, Florida (January 13, 2019) -- The Southern Super Series, presented by Sunoco, released it’s 2019 racing schedule on Monday. With ten races, the series will visit seven different venues across the southern United States region.

This year marks the seventh season of the series, which began in 2013. Over the course of those seven years, 76 races have been ran showcasing the talents of 278 different drivers. The Southern Super Series features the top super late model stock cars at some of the nation’s premiere short track venues.

There have been six different champions in the short history of the series. The most recent, 2018 Southern Super Series champion Casey Roderick, won over super late model racing’s top driver currently, Bubba Pollard. Roderick captured the title with a 65 point margin over Pollard, and did so after missing the race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The 2019 season starts off with the 43rd running of the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Opp, Alabama on March 17th. This marks the sixth season featuring the this race as the series’ season opener. Harrison Burton won last year’s Rattler 250.

Next up, round two takes the series to Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway on March 29th for the Rubber & Specialties 125. As the hometrack of the Southern Super Series, Five Flags Speedway will host four of the series’ ten races, also making up the 2019 Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series. Those events bring the series back on June 21st, July 19th, and September 21.

The Southern Super Series will visit two NASCAR tracks in 2019.

On May 4th, Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee will feature the Nashville 100. The Fairgrounds Speedway has been in the headlines recently after announcing that there are plans in the works to bring a NASCAR sanctioned national touring series event, presumably either Xfinity or Trucks, back to the speedway for the first time since 1984.

Following the Nashville 100, the series heads over to nearby Bristol Motor Speedway for the 3rd Annual US Short Track Nationals on June 1st.

Both races in Tennessee will be in combination with other touring series featuring co-sanctioning with the ARCA/CRA Super Series and the CARS Super Late Model Tour.

Deep South favorites Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, Alabama and Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia are both returning to the schedule in 2019.

Montgomery will host the Rumble by the River 125 on July 6th. Then, on August 10th, Cordele will play host to the Lyle Farms 125.

The championship finale of the 2019 Southern Super Series is yet to be announced, but it’s spot on the schedule is set for October 19th. The series has said this will be a prestigious race.

The most notable venue missing from the schedule is the Mobile International Speedway, in Irvington, Alabama. Last year, Mobile set the stage for the series’ season finale with the Mobile 300. In 2019, Mobile is focused on it’s local divisions, omitting all late model racing from it’s schedule.

In all, ten races will make the 2019 Southern Super Series championship. Ten races spanning from March through to October.

“We are confident ten races will allow our teams the opportunity to experience some great racing with our series, while also being able to venture out to race some of the other great Super Late Model events in the country,” said Tim Bryant, Series Director.  “Our landscape includes multiple events with other series and we enjoy working with each and every one of them.  We will have many more details on the season in the coming weeks.”

As always the Southern Super Series will have plenty of NASCAR flavor throughout the season. Over time, the Southern Super Series has become a proving ground for many of NASCAR’s future stars. Daniel Hemric, the first Southern Super Series champion, won his championship in 2013, and used it as a launching platform that led to an opportunity in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, then the Xfinity Series, and beginning this season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Harrison Burton, John Hunter Nemecheck and Chase Elliott are just a few of the drivers that have roots racing in the south.

Throughout the 2019 season, look to PixelatedSPEED.com for complete coverage of the races, the drivers, and teams as the nation’s best super late model drivers wage a war over ten battles on the most fierce battleground… the short track.

2019 Southern Super Series Racing Schedule:


March 17 -- The Rattler 250 - South Alabama Speedway - Opp, Alabama
*March 29 -- Rubber & Specialties 125 - Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, Florida
May 4 -- Nashville 100 - Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville - Nashville, Tennessee
June 1 -- US Short Track Nationals - Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol, Tennessee
*June 21 -- SERF 125 - Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, Florida
July 6 -- Rumble by the River 125 - Montgomery Motor Speedway - Montgomery, Alabama
*July 19 -- Universal Fabricators 125 - Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, Florida
August 10 -- Lyle Farms 125 - Crisp Motorsports Park - Cordele, Georgia
*September 21 -- Deep South Cranes 150 - Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, Florida
October 19 -- Southern Super Series 2019 Finale - TBA

*Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series Championship - Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, Florida

PixelatedSPEED would like to wish the entire Wood family good speed and hope to see Glen recover quickly.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Glen Wood Resting at Home Amid Rumors of Passing

Brothers Leonard Wood and Glen Wood pose for a photo after the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on January 20, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

STUART, Virginia (January 12, 2019) -- NASCAR legend, and Hall of Fame driver and owner Glen Wood is resting at home, a reassuring piece of news after reports of his death hit social media today.

Another Hall of Fame driver, Bobby Allison, posted on Facebook his condolences regarding the passing of the co-founder of NASCAR’s longest running team. That post was quickly removed, however, soon thereafter buzz in the social-sphere picked up the unfortunate misinformation.

Later in the afternoon, Wood Brothers Racing responded with confirmation that Glen is in fact alive, and resting at home.

“We want to thank everyone for their messages of concern and support. As was mentioned yesterday, our Pa (Glenn Wood) isn’t in the best of health at present. He’s at home resting and we again just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words. It means the world to us!”

Grandson Jon Wood, Wood Brothers Director of Business Development, also posted his thanks to fans for their concerns.

“I/we apologize for not responding until now. My grandpa is a private guy and so we just weren’t real sure how to handle it all. Anyway, thanks again...”

Glen Wood raced as a driver in NASCAR from 1950 to 1963 before turning his focus to the team he co-founded with brother Leonard. Wood Brothers Racing  is NASCAR’s longest running team and has amassed 99 victories; the latest coming thanks to Ryan Blaney at Pocono in 2017.

Wood had attended every Daytona 500 in NASCAR history up until last year, when the then 92 year old opted to stay home with concerns of catching a deadly flu strain that was sweeping the country at the time.

Going into 2019, the Wood Brothers are looking to Paul Menard to pick up win number 100 for the team. Menard is entering his second year with the team and joins a list of drivers that include both legends and upstarts that literally span the history of the sport.

PixelatedSPEED would like to wish the entire Wood family good speed and hope to see Glen recover quickly.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Skinner and Moore Dominate Red Eye 50/50

"The Gunslinger," Mike Skinner celebrates winning the Pro Late Model Red Eye 50/50 50 lap feature at New Smyrna Speedway. (Jim Jones/Jim Jones Photography)


NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida (January 12, 2019) -- The 33rd Annual Red Eye 100 50/50 at New Smyrna Speedway took on a new look in 2019. Instead of the traditional 100 lap super late model affair, the race was broken into two 50 lap features; one for super late models, and the other for pro late models. At the end of the night of January 5th, victory lane was visited by two veterans, kicking this racing season off with a bang.

Mike Skinner led wire-to-wire in the pro late model portion of the night. Starting on the pole, Skinner had to contend with a strong effort by Sammy Smith in the first half of the race. Smith, driving for 2018 Snowflake 100 winning team Anthony Campi Racing, saw his bid at the Red Eye fall by the wayside after contact with Todd Stone in turn two on lap 39.

“I really enjoyed getting to work with Anthony Campi Racing,” Smith told Speed51.com. “They are very knowledgeable and a great group of guys. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot in my first Late Model race. Anthony is a great crew chief, coach and helped me get comfortable in the car. Racing with Mike Skinner was a great experience. I was able to take in some things while racing around him that will help me with in future races.”

Skinner had to then fend off a hard charging Brad May late in the feature. May, stayed close, and pulled alongside Skinner on the final lap as the pair crossed the finish line. It was Skinner, the 1995 NASCAR Truck Series Champion, holding off May to the checkered flag.

“Brad was coming,” said The Gunslinger. “He did a really good job on the restarts. I probably overdrove one and two a little bit, but was able to bring it back.”

“We didn’t really have a fast car all day and we did a bunch of changes right before qualifying. This Toyota was just a little bit better than most of them.”

In the Super Late Model 50 lapper, Ryan Moore dominated from drop of the green flag. Unlike the clean, fast-paced Pro Late Model feature, this race was bogged down by multiple cautions. The cautions kept the field tight throughout the first half of the race, which also kept Anthony Sergi in striking distance of Moore. Sergi was able to get briefly find the lead on lap 23 before yet another caution slowed the field back down.

The second half of the race would see a superb battle between Sergi and Brad May, however it was all Ryan Moore up front, cruising to the win.

“For my guys and I to build a car, come down here, qualify second and win the race, I think they should know we’re here,” Moore said in victory lane. “It was a crazy race, a lot more yellows than I wanted to see.  But we had a really good car.  The thing would just pull really hard down the front stretch.”

The Red Eye 50/50 starts off a monstrous year at New Smyrna Speedway that includes over 40 nights of racing.

Next up at NNS is the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing during Speedweeks from February 8th to 16th.

Red Eye 50/50 Pro Late Model Results:


1 5 Mike Skinner
2 9M Brad May
3 1x Todd Stone
4 0 Josh Todd
5 24S Dalton Smith
6 3 Andrew Franzone
7 28 Barry Brooks
8 24 Chance Jewels
9 81 Sammy Smith
10 117 Phillip Bessette
11 72 Bruce Griffin
12 43 Daniel Dye
13 54 Zach Harris


Red Eye 50/50 Super Late Model Results:


1          74        Ryan Moore
2          9M       Brad May
3          20        Anthony Sergi
4          56        Gus Dean
5          5K        Daniel Keene Jr.
6          11        David Rogers
7          28I       Jared Irvan
8          5A        Jerry Artuso
9          32        Harold Crooms
10        2          Brad Bowman
11        17        Tanner Gray
12        12M     Mario Goselin
13        62        John Gerstner
14        59X      Becca Monopoli
15        99        Christian Rose
16        39        Morgan Hoover
17        12K      Brad Kossow
18        67        Colin Allman
19        54        Drew Dollar
20        40        Tovia Grynewicz
21        21        Trey Bayne
22        7          Doug Elliot
23        24D      Dalton Smith
24        1          Todd Stone
25        57        Travis Cope

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019


Friday, January 11, 2019

Joe Gibbs Oldest Son, J.D. Gibbs Passes Away

Joe Gibbs Racing made the announcement of J.D. Gibbs passing late in the evening of January 11, 2019. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer)

UPDATE: I'd like to pass along a link given by Joe Gibbs. The JD Gibbs Legacy website is a tribute dedicated to sharing the memory of this very impressive soul. >> https://jdgibbslegacy.com/ (2-17-18)

By: Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (January 11, 2019) -- Joe Gibbs Racing issued a statement late Friday evening announcing the passing of team Co-Founder, and Co-Chairman, J.D. Gibbs.

Since 2015, Gibbs had been battling a degenerative neurological disease that effect his brain function.

Joe Gibbs Racing Statement:

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joe Gibbs Racing Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, J.D. Gibbs, who passed away earlier tonight at the age of 49 from complications following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease.

Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates everyone's respect for the privacy of the Gibbs family during this difficult time.


Additional information regarding details fro a memorial service will be forthcoming at a future date."

After attending The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, playing as a quarterback, Gibbs began work with a new NASCAR team alongside his father, Washington Redskins Head Coach Joe Gibbs.

It only took a year for Joe Gibbs Racing to find victory lane, with Dale Jarrett in the 1993 Daytona 500. Gibbs was a tire changer on that winning team.

In the mid-1990’s, Gibbs climbed behind the wheel himself, racing first in the NASCAR Busch East Series before moving on to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and later the Busch Series. In 1998, Gibbs hung up his racing helmet to assume the role of JGR President and remained within the executive structure of the team until becoming less active in 2015 due to his medical issues.

Gibbs leaves wife Melissa, and sons: Jackson, Miller, Jason and Taylor, along with brother Coy to continue his memory among the rest of the large Gibbs family.

J.D. Gibbs was 49 years old.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

THOUGHTS: Sauter Being Replaced at GMS for Cheaper Champion Moffitt

Driver Johnny Sauter during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)


PENSACOLA, Florida (January 10, 2019) -- Johnny Sauter was released from GMS Racing’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series No. 21 ride on Wednesday. The news comes just over a month away from the season opening race at Daytona. Brett, Moffitt, 2018 NASCAR Truck Series Champion, is expected to assume the spot vacated by Sauter.

“We cannot thank Johnny enough for his contributions to the growth and success of GMS Racing,” GMS president Mike Beam said in a statement released by the team. “He won the first championship for us and added a lot of trophies to our shop. We wish him all the best for his future endeavors, both in and out of racing.”

Sauter told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Dave Moody that the reasoning behind his departure is financial. He also added that he was told by GMS that Brett Moffitt would be assuming the ride.

“If he’s bringing something, it’s more than I’m bringing,” said Sauter. “Let’s just leave it at that. I don’t pay to race. If I had that kind of money, I’d be racing something else probably. … I had actually heard this rumor about being ousted out of that truck a month ago. I asked some questions and nothing ever was mentioned about it. Yeah, it’s late in the game, Daytona is a month away, there’s not a hell of a lot I can do about it. …. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s an expensive sport. Owners need money not just from sponsors today, but drivers as well

Sauter said that this change was being made due to financial reasons, with most assuming that they are sponsorship related, but are they really?

Brett Moffitt, who won the 2018 NASCAR Truck Series Championship, and did so driving for Hattori Racing Enterprises, found himself without a ride at season’s end because he did not have the funding necessary for his team to continue with him behind the wheel of the No. 16 machine.

While it’s possible that Moffitt has found yet to be announced funding, the more likely scenario is that his salary costs are less than the departing Sauter.

Johnny Sauter had raced with GMS Racing for the past three seasons. The 40 year old driver captured the 2016 Truck Series Championship with the team, and 2018 was a stellar effort with six victories. Thirteen of Sauter’s 23 career Truck Series wins have come with GMS Racing over the past three seasons.

With his recent accomplishments, and overall veteran status in NASCAR at large, it’s safe to say that Sauter expects, and gets, a decent salary… more than likely higher than that of the up and coming Moffitt.

Moffitt, enroute to his Championship, also scored six victories last year.

Is the notion that GMS is making this move because of the cost of the driver unheard of? In short, no.

Just look at Matt Kenseth’s departure from Joe Gibbs Racing. Rather than continuing to fulfill the salary incumbent of a NASCAR Cup Series Champion, JGR opted to let Kenseth go in favor of the younger, less expensive, Erik Jones.

This is all part of an ongoing trend sweeping the NASCAR garage where teams are saying goodbye to the high pay drivers of the heyday of the sport in favor of young, cheaper talent in hopes of building a new era within their operations.

Aside from thanking Sauter for his time with the team, official announcements regarding the next driver in the No. 21 have yet to be made by GMS Racing.

Currently, GMS Racing will have John Hunter Nemechek in the teams’ No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro SS in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and Sheldon Creed in the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado in the Truck Series. Also announced is a K&N and ARCA effort with Sam Mayer.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Photo Journal - Sunny South Raceway Test Day - January 5, 2019

Driver Andrue Nolen drives a truck version of the Pro Challenge class early in the day at Sunny South on January 5, 2019. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

GRAND BAY, Alabama (January 9, 2019) -- Sunny South Raceway held it's first pre-season test on January 5th as teams prepare for the upcoming 2019 season. The raceway was open to all classes. Sunny South Raceway is geared toward youth, and provides a prime location for young drivers to get their first ever laps on a race track. Champ Karts, Bandoleros, Pro Challenge, Legends and Mini Stocks all took turns running hot laps throughout the day. 

Father Jay Jay Day and Grandfather Jimmy Day push Brantley Day's kart to staging area just before the youngster made his first laps on the race track. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

The Day Racing Team were the first to hit the pavement, with Brantley Day making his debut behind the wheel of a Champ Kart.


Veteran Jay Jay Day leads son Brantley around the track during the young Day's first day on the race track. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

After a few laps following his Dad in a golf kart, Brantley Day then took some laps following his Dad in another kart. The new driver from Theodore, Alabama had the support of a full crew from Day Racing Team and Preslar Brothers Motorsports. Dad Jay Jay also took several laps testing the Gravel Motorsports number 99 Champ Kart throughout the day.

Rookie driver Brantley Day was focused while following his father around the track. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

The focus of the day, however, was on the youth in the pit area. Today was the day that many of these drivers will hold in their memories for the rest of their lives; first day on the race track.

Kart racer Bentley Stewart goes over a checklist prior to hitting the race track. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

Teams took this day to knock the cob webs off of their machines, or in some cases, put the finishing touches on new (or at least new to them) karts and cars.

Young Jaxon Goff puts on his driving gloves in preparation of making some laps. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)
Part of the process that goes along with the "first day" is getting some of the finer details dialed in. Pedal placement, seat adjustments, new suits, new helmets... its all part of the game during this pre-season test.

Son of Pure Stock driver Jerry Goff, Jaxson makes his debut on the track. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)
Jaxon Goff, son of Pure Stock driver Jerry Goff, was another of the many first timers during the day. Goff took laps early, and often, getting as much on track time as possible. By day's end, Goff found himself on the raceway running alongside fellow kart rookie, Brantely Day.

The crew of Nicholas "Cole Trickle" Denton... himself, Mom and Dad. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)
Many of these newly minted race car drivers got their rides via "Santa Claus". Nicholas Denton got a brand new Bandolero for Christmas. While Denton's car was all white for this test, expect the familar "Cole Trickle" paint scheme to adorn the ride come the start of the season.

Bandolero driver Kyler Bean rolls through turn two at Sunny South Raceway. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)
There were a number of Bandoleros on the grounds during the day, including Kyler Bean from Pascagoula, Mississippi behind the wheel of the number 14 Bean Racing machine.

Legends car driver Timothy Watson at speed under an unmarked car during the test. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)
The Legends cars are Sunny South's premiere division. Timothy Watson, Jay Jay Day, Drue Scott, and Caleb Sanford were some of the Legends drivers participating. 


Driver Timothy Watson rolls a tire in his pit area while taking the opportunity to make adjustments after a run on track. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)
The Pro Challenge cars were represented by Dalton Chipley and Andrue Nolen during this test. While the numbers of the Pro Challenge class are smaller, the battles between drivers is always fierce. The track even had a driver or two turn some laps in the "house" car formerly driven by Connor Okrzesik.

Pro Challenge driver Dalton Chipley at speed around the tight, yet fast, Sunny South Raceway. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

Track owner, and promoter, Wayne Okrzesik said that this would be the first of several tests held prior to the start of the regular season. 




PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Raceday: 2019 Red Eye 50/50 - Everything You Need to Know

Seen here during the March 2012 Miller Lite Series weekend in Mobile, Alabama, New Smyrna regular Anthony Sergi has entered the Red Eye 50/50 in a Super Late Model. (Jamie Williams/Finish Line Photography)


NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida (January 5, 2019) -- Racing gets back underway early in Florida as New Smyrna Speedway plays host to a packed Saturday of action headlined by the 33rd Running of the Red Eye 50/50.

Traditionally a 100 lap, Super Late Model event, this year’s running of the Red Eye will feature double-header Pro Late Model and Super Late Model 50 lap races. This is in an effort to better showcase the Pro Late Models and hopefully bring fans to the edge of their seats with a short sprint rather than the longer format, which favored tire saving over pure speed.

Also included on the racing schedule is a full slate of local division features for Modifieds, Sportsman, Super Stocks, Mod Minis, and Bombers.

RELATED: New Smyrna Speedway Kicks Off Massive 2019 Schedule with Red Eye 50/50 and World Series

In last year’s Red Eye 100, West Palm Beach, Florida’s Jeff Choquette led 99 of the 100 laps en-route to a dominating victory. The 32nd running of the Red Eye produced only one caution, for an accident involving Dustin Smith in turn two. Choquette bested Hudson, New Hampshire driver Derek Griffith, North Carolina’s Gus Dean, Maine’s Ryan Moore, and Florida’s David Rogers.

The half-mile speedway, located just minutes from Daytona, and the beach, will have a strong crop of talent to comprise the field. Pre-entries include local standouts Brad May, David Rogers, Anthony Sergi, and Travis Cope.

This race draws in competitors from all across the country. Also entered in the Red Eye 50/50 are Todd Stone from Vermont, Brad Kossow from Wisconsin and Ryan Moore from Maine.

NASCAR Truck Series Champion Mike Skinner returns behind the wheel of a Pro Late Model.

Although not yet listed on the entry list, expect a host of additional drivers, such as the duo 2018 race winner Jeff Choquette and contender Stephen Nasse from Jett Motorsports among others.

Entry List (as of January 3, 2019)


Super Late Models:
1 Todd Stone
2 Brad Bowman
7 Doug Elliott
9M Brad May
11 David Rogers
12 Brad Kossow
17 Tanner Gray
20 Anthony Sergi
21 Trey Bayne
32 Harold Crooms
40 Tovia Grynewicz
54 Drew Dollar
57 Travis Cope
59X Becca Monopoli
62 John Gerstner
67 Colin Allmän
74 Ryan Moore

Pro Late Models:
0 Josh Todd
1 Todd Stone
3 Andrew Franzone
5 Mike Skinner
9M Brad May
22 Drew Dollar
24 Chance Jewels
32 Harold Crooms
43 Daniel Dye
54 Zach Harris
81 Sammy Smith
117 Phillip Bessette

A complete listing of local division entries can be found on the New Smyrna website

33rd Annual Red Eye 50/50 Schedule


(Times in Eastern)
11:00 AM -- Pit Gate/Tech/Fuel/Tires/Registration Opens
2:00 PM  -- Driver’s Meeting
2:30 PM -- Super Late Model Practice (45 mins)
3:20 PM -- Pro Late Model Practice (45 mins)
4:10 PM -- Local Division Practices
6:30 PM -- Super Late Model and Pro Late Model Qualifying
7:15 PM -- Pre-Race Ceremonies
7:30 PM -- RACING BEGINS

Modifieds: 25 laps
Super Stock: 25 laps
PRO LATE MODELS: 50 laps
***Intermission***
Sportsman: 25 laps
Mod Mini: 25 laps
SUPER LATE MODELS: 50 laps
Bombers: 20 laps
Ground Pounders: 20 laps

Complete event details, ticket prices, and more can be found at the New Smyrna Speedway website, http://newsmyrnaspeedway.org

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Friday, January 4, 2019

iRacing’s Elite to Battle in NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series for $100K in 2019

Driver Ray Alfalla clinched a spot into the championship race after a 12th place run at Dover in October 2018. He would go on to win his fourth NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series championship. (Slip Angle Motorsports Image)


BEDFORD, Massachusetts (January 4, 2019) -- Celebrating 10 seasons of competition, the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series, or NPAS, is set to roll in 2019 with an 18 race schedule that will have 40 of sim-racing’s most elite racers vying for a chance to dethrone four-time Champion Ray Alfalla, and take home the lion’s share of an unprecedented prize purse.

Representing the iRacing Motorsports Simulation platform’s Driver’s World Championship for Class-A oval racing, the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series is official sanctioned by NASCAR, and is the highest level of esports competition for the 70 year old sanctioning body. Drivers will compete in simulated versions of the Chevy, Ford and Toyota Gen-6 cars being raced on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit.

The season starts on February 12, 2019 at Daytona International Speedway, and runs through November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The series will visit a complete sampling of the venues that the real life NASCAR series has to offer, and will include a four race playoff comprised of events at Darlington Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Charlotte ROVAL, and Homestead-Miami Speedway, to decide the 2019 Champion.

Drivers are racing for an unprecedented $100,000 in prize money, as part of an increase in purses across the top levels of the iRacing platform.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to increase the prize pool to $100,000,” said Anthony Gardner, President, iRacing.com. “Working closely with NASCAR, as well as a great partner like PEAK Antifreeze, we have been able to elevate the series to a whole new level.”

Over the course of ten years of NASCAR involvement, what is now known as NPAS has seen tremendous growth, adding legitimacy to esports genre with drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. participating. Sim-racing teams are made up of an entire crew of individuals working together to produce advanced setups that could rival some of their real life counterparts. The continued rise of the genre has resulted in the berth of the NASCAR Ignite Series, a Legends Car series focused on young drivers, and the NASCAR Heat Pro League, based on the NASCAR Heat console game.

In 2014, Old World Industries PEAK Antifreeze signed on as the title sponsor of the series, and has continued to increase its involvement over the years.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to celebrate the 10th season of the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series with our partners at NASCAR and iRacing,” said Bryan Emrich, Chief Marketing Officer for Old World Industries. “We have a storied history in motorsports and over the past five years as title sponsor we have authentically engaged and connected with racing enthusiasts competing at the highest level of sim-racing.”
All 18 rounds of the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series will be broadcast live on the iRacing eSports Network (www.youtube.com/iracing-esports-network) as well as on www.iRacing.com and www.nascar.com.

PixelatedSPEED.com will be providing NPAS related content throughout the season as part of the PixelatedSPEED commitment to sim-racing.

iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations, headquartered in Bedford, MA, was founded in September of 2004 by David Kaemmer, co-founder of Papyrus Racing Games, and John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. iRacing.com’s mission is to create the world’s leading and most authentic PC-based racing simulation and grow a new branch of motorsport through real-time, online competition – otherwise known as simracing.  iRacing now has over 70,000 members and growing every day.

2019 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series powered by iRacing Schedule:


February 12 -- Daytona International Speedway
February 26 -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 12 -- Auto Club Speedway
March 26 -- Texas Motor Speedway
April 9 -- Richmond Raceway
April 23 -- Talladega Superspeedway
May 7 -- Kansas Speedway
May 21 -- Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 11 -- Sonoma Raceway
June 25 -- Chicagoland Speedway
July 9 -- Kentucky Speedway
July 23 -- Pocono Raceway
August 6 -- Michigan International Speedway
August 20 -- Bristol Motor Speedway

Playoffs:

August 27 -- Darlington Raceway
September 10 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway
September 24 -- Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL
October 8 -- Homestead-Miami Speedway

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019




Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Smyrna Speedway Kicks Off Massive 2019 Schedule with Red Eye 50/50 and World Series

Driver David Rogers, a regular at New Smyrna Speedway, practices for the 51st Snowball Derby in Pensacola in December 2018. (PixelatedSPEED Photo)


NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida (January 2, 2019) -- New Smyrna Speedway, just five miles from New Smyrna Beach and only minutes away from Daytona International Speedway, will play host to over 40 nights of racing in 2019… the bulk as a part of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series weekly racing program. The schedule begins this weekend, January 5th, with the Red Eye 50/50 and stretches through to November 9th with the Florida Governor’s Cup 200.

The first race of this monstrous schedule is the Red Eye 50/50 on January 5, 2019. Traditionally a 100 lap Super Late Model event, this year’s edition will feature a new format. Two 50 lap features, one for Super Late Models and the other for Pro Late Models, will headline a weekend of racing that will also include races for The American Auto Sportsman, Super Stocks, Mod Minis, Florida Modifieds, Bombers, and Ground Pounders.

Track Manager Rusty Marcus said this is an attempt to provide more exposure for the growing Pro Late Model class, and spotlight the home track divisions as well.

“We got some up and coming Pro Lates,” said Marcus. “The Pro Late Model class has been bigger than what it’s been the last few years, they expressed interest in wanting to be a part of it.”

“It upsets me at times when we have a big show at our race track,” he added. “I consider the track the home of our drivers and I don’t like when somebody invites you to their home but you are not allowed to come. So we’ve invited all of our regular divisions to be a part of the Red Eye, which I think will be more exciting for the fans.”

Following the Red Eye 50/50, NNS ramps up for Speedweeks 2019 and the traditional World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing during the month of February. Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Sportsman, Super Stocks, Trucks and more will compete over the course of nine nights of racing.

A myriad of specials will be held during the week in various classes. The World Series will once again play host to the season opening event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with a 175 lap contest on night three, February 10th. The night will also feature the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series. The John Blewett III Memorial will headline night six with a 76 lap race for the Tour-Type Modifieds on February 13th. Night eight, February 15th, will include the Richie Evans Memorial Tour Modified 100 and the Zack Donatti Memorial Pro Late Model 100. The week will close on night nine with the Orange Blossom 100 for the Super Late Models.

After the extensive World Series has concluded, New Smyrna shifts gears and ventures into the heart of their racing season with over 20 weeks of racing under the NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing program. Most weeks will feature a combination of Late Models, Sportsman, Super Stocks, Bombers, Trucks, and Mod Minis.

The season wraps up in November with the 54th Annual Florida Governor’s Cup 200 for the Super Late Models. Full details of that weekend have not yet been finalized.

For full details on all of these events, ticket information and more, hit up the New Smyrna Speedway website, http://www.newsmyrnaspeedway.org, and follow the speedway on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NewSmyrnaSpeedway.

Editor’s Note: Normally I like to include the track’s schedule as a part of the post, however, New Smyrna Speedway’s 2019 schedule is so massive, I don’t feel as those I can adequately present it here on PixelatedSPEED at this time, or at least in this post. With that said, I refer you all to the New Smyrna Speedway schedule announcement post on the track’s website. Thank you.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Welcome to PixelatedSPEED - A Look at 2019 Coverage

Driver Kason Plott pilots a Super Late Model during practice for the 51st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on December 1, 2018. (PixelatedSPEED Photo)


PENSACOLA, Florida (January 1, 2019) -- With 2018 in the books, it’s time to focus on the new year and all the racing ahead. Using the success of last year as a foundation, in 2019 PixelatedSPEED is hoping to continue to build by providing informative, entertaining content to the reader and viewer. This will be achieved by mandating a mission statement, providing consistency, developing new content, and continuing to improve in all areas. There is a lot to be done, so let’s get to work!

The primary mission of PixelatedSPEED is to provide unique and entertaining content in a consistent manner while upholding the highest journalism practices and standards.

As Editor-in-Chief of PixelatedSPEED, I pledge to provide accurate, informative stories and information in a timely manner. While getting the “scoop” is nice, doing so much be done while upholding journalistic standards. It’s not worth getting first, unless I’m getting it right.

I’m setting a goal of having at least one post, photo, or video published per week. The ultimate goal is to have content published daily, but you must crawl before you can walk; walk before you can run.

What can you expect to see on PixelatedSPEED in 2019? Plenty. Articles focused on providing the basic who, what, when, where, why, and how will make up the bulk of what can be found here. Photo journals and videos will also find and increasing presence throughout the season, while one-on-one interviews will continue to highlight the people that drive the sport each week.

PixelatedSPEED will be on location at several events throughout 2019 in the Deep South region. While Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida is “homebase” for PixelatedSPEED, look for coverage from Mobile International Speedway, Montgomery Motor Speedway, South Alabama Speedway and more. There are plans to attend events ranging from the weekly shows here locally to kart races, dirt races, and maybe even a drag race or two.

Additionally, various columns and features will continue or debut on PixelatedSPEED in 2019.

The “PixelatedPICK” will continue this season. This column, planned for Friday’s, is where I pick the winner of a specific event. Also included will be a tally of the wins and loses of these picks. This will be a standard part of PixelatedSPEED’s NASCAR coverage, but will be seen throughout many series and events this season. I encourage the readers to get involved, sharing who they think will win, and why, in the comments.

I’m bringing back a feature from the old days of The Speedzine called “Stickin’ With”. As part of NASCAR coverage, Stickin’ With follows along with a driver that hasn’t won, either in sometime or ever. This will be presented in either a pre or post race format, and will stick with the featured driver until they reach victory lane before moving on to the next driver.
In a brand new feature, PixelatedSPEED will spend “A Day With” a driver or team and chronicle the day’s events, as seen from their perspective. This will be presented in either a photo journal or video format with an accompanying article.

PixelatedSPEED will also be developing various side projects in 2019. Namely, an official Facebook group called “Pixelated Speed Digest” and a website dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of our sport called “Speed Historian.”

Finally, PixelatedSPEED will always be on the lookout for opportunities to branch out and cover some of the genres that would be considered “outside the wheelhouse,” yet still firmly cemented in the concept of going fast. Examples of this include air shows, car shows, monster truck events, drag racing, and more.

I’m really excited about the journey ahead here at PixelatedSPEED in 2019 and invite you all to tag along with me. Follow along by bookmarking this website in your browser, liking on Facebook, following on Twitter and interacting in the comments of all these platforms.

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. http://facebook.com/PixelatedSPEED & http://twitter.com/PixelatedSPEED 

PixelatedSPEED is a part of the Gravel Network. Copyright - 2018, 2019

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