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. 

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