The sun, the beach, and oh yeah – the dirt track!
It’s all the great things that make up the annual racer’s pilgrimage to the Sunshine State. Of course I’m talking about Speedweeks in Florida, and the 2018 edition of the mega gathering is approaching at a break-neck pace.
Each year it offers race fans a chance to get an early glimpse of what the upcoming season will hold by seeing their favorite drivers burn up tracks throughout the state of Florida. However, for racers it offers that and so much more.
Speedweeks represents the opportunity to get a jump on the race season. It’s a chance to shake down your new car, and work out those inevitable new car bugs before the meat of the racing season fires up back home.
DIRTcar UMP recently announced the Speedweeks 2018 slate for the Modified division, and there will be no shortage of events offered up to quench the need for speed for racers and fans alike. In fact, there will be 14 separate events sanctioned for Modifieds, spanning from late January through early February.
Action commences at “The Clay by the Bay,” also known as East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Florida. January 24-27. The kickoff party will see the Modified warriors chasing glory during the 42nd annual Winter Nationals.
Competitors will then head due north to the tricky, ½-mile oval at North Florida Speedway, which is situated adjacent to Lake City. A three-night stand atop the sandy clay on February 2-4 will reveal which driver can conquer speed in the slickest of conditions.
By the time that the North Florida Speedway swing is completed, racers will hope to have their hot rods dialed in and ready for high-speed action. After all, there’s no room for mistakes at DeLeon Springs, Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park, and that’s exactly where the Modified aces will call home on February 6-12. The 47th annual DIRTcar Nationals will find fields approaching 100 entries each night atop the ½-mile D-shaped track, with many of the nation’s best Modified pilots represented.
The ½-mile gumbo oval can be less than forgiving if your car isn’t just right, and the shear speed of the place tends to separate the men from the boys. It’s a perfect way to put a wrap on Speedweeks each year.
“Speedweeks is like a season within a season,” notes Wisconsin’s Buzzy Adams. “Each year it’s a great way to get me away from the frigid cold of winter, where I live, and it gives me a great opportunity to shake down my new car. My only regret is that because of my businesses, I’m never able to stay for all 14 days, but I always enjoy spending a week or so down there each year.”
One thing is for sure – whether you are a racer or a fan, Speedweeks is a must-see each year. The 2018 edition will be no different, especially if you are a Modified enthusiast.