Cold Spell…

The 2012 Speed bowl awards banquet was another success, the drivers and teams were treated to a great time last Saturday night and the champs made us all proud. With the cold of winter upon us it is a good time to start thinking spring, and with that, what spring will bring. Here are some of my fun predictions for 2013 around the racing world. The new Sprint cup cars look a lot better than the COT cars and let us hope they are more competitive too, the “cookie cutter” 1.0 to 2.0 mile tracks are tough to watch with one or two cars running away from the field at most of the races. The Sprint cup series has some work to do to get the fans back to the events, with a lot of the tracks putting huge advertising banners to cover seats that were once filled with fans. Blame it on the economy if you want but folks still love a good close race and will support an action packed show every time and not just sitting there with little or no passing and praying the laps go down to zero so you and yours can head home. With all the cash that teams spend on research and development the races should be very competitive but one tick off and you’re a 20th place car. I believe Denny Hamlin is overdue for a championship in 2013 but I would still like to see Dale Jr. take a title. I think a road course should be added to the chase and even a stop on the Eldora dirt track would be a welcomed addition. The NASCAR CWTS trucks are racing at Eldora this summer for the first time and that should be fun to watch. The Daytona UNHO Battle on the Beach seems like a good idea and it will be interesting to see what kind of support the show gets from the “speed-week” crowd. I always thought they needed some racing early in the week after the Shoot Out, ARCA 200 and qualifying at Daytona both Saturday and Sunday Feb.16-17th, and this could be just the ticket. The track is on the backstretch and is just part of the speedway and launch pad that is already in place. From what I understand a flat .4 mile oval is what they will race on with makeshift back stretch walls. NWMT / NWMST modifieds, K&N series and NASCAR late models will race Monday and Tuesday Feb.18-19….last time the mods raced at Daytona they were on the superspeedway road course combo track (I think) with some wild looking creations….guys like Richie Evans, Geoff Bodine , Merv Treichler, Maynard Troyer, Jerry Cook ,Bugsy Stevens, Jerry Dostie , Tiny Lund , Brian Ross and even Bobby Allison (some of my heroes) were all in action…I think I was in the stands for a couple of those shows with my dad… I just can’t remember the years….would be nice to see cup stars like Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart race in the modified event to help get some new fans on board who may have never seen a true blue modified race. New Smyrna is racing nightly that week as well with the world series of asphalt racing on the fast ½ mile high banked oval…watch for TC to be tough at both tracks. 2013 promises to be another great year at the Speed bowl with close racing as always. Action begins April 5-7th with Bud Blastoff 2013. Some of the drivers I believe getting first time SK wins this year would include Joey Gada ,Craig Lutz, Nichole Morgillo and how about Joe Perry ,he is due , and maybe Jeff Gallup who has come a long way since his start here a couple years ago in the SK’s. We have some great drivers racing weekly and getting those first wins will be tough. Ryan Morgan in the late models would be another choice of mine to see victory lane in 2013, he really looked fast at the end of 2012,and Chris Garside is good no matter what he drives…he could surprise some fans with a win in his new LM this year. Joe Fogarasi in the mini stocks and Bill McNeil in the street stocks are my picks to have a great year and a main event win or wins as well. The ultra- competitive SKLites will be fun to watch with many new drivers coming on board in 2013.Check out overdrive every Saturday to keep up with all the happenings around the racing world @ 3PM on 94.9 News Now….John Gates


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