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10. August 2020
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New Smyrna Speedway
is an 1/2-mile asphalt oval racetrack located near New Smyrna Beach, Florida, that races the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series every Saturday night. It also has a smaller track, known as “Little New Smyrna Speedway” in the infield. This track races Quarter midgets on Friday nights.
New Smyrna Speedway plays host to the annual
World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing
, featuring nine consecutive nights of racing that runs during Speedweeks every February. The World Series has seen many of the current and former top names in NASCAR competing on the high-banked half-mile including Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Geoff Bodine, Rick Wilson, Richie Evans, Jimmy Spencer, Pete Hamilton and more, and continually draws the top talent from around the United States and Canada.
The event features NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds, ‘SK’ Type Modifieds, Florida/IMCA Type Modifieds, Super Late Models, Late Models, Crate Engine Late Models, Winged Sprint Cars, and Pro-Trucks. Only Geoff Bodine and Ryan Newman have won a championship at the annual event, and gone on in their career to win the Daytona 500.
New Smyrna Speedway also hosts the annual
Florida Governor’s Cup 200
Super Late Model race each November. Regarded as the second most prestigious Super Late Model race in Florida only behind the Snowball Derby and is among the elite short track racing events in the Country.
The racing surface was repaved in January 2007.
Since the repaving project, the track has seen quite a few NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series teams use it for testing. Teams test for places such as Martinsville, Richmond and even Phoenix. The recent testing ban instituted by NASCAR has increased the draw of teams that test at the high-banked half-mile. Names that have tested there include Newman, Stewart, Martin, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Ragan, Danica Patrick and more.
In 1966, Auto Racing Enterprises, Inc., leased and broke ground on what was to become “Daytona Raceway,” in Samsula, Florida. The organizations secretary, Benny Corbin, designed the half-mile dirt oval with 13 degree banks and construction was completed by the East Coast Paving Company out of Palatka.
After months of delays, leadership of Auto Racing Enterprises, Inc., shifted to Dr. Dan Epps and the track held its first event on April 23, 1967. The Sunday afternoon races provided space for 4,000 race fans with an admission price of $2 for adults, $1 for students, and free entry for children. The opening heats and the feature Sportsman division event were both won by 27-year-old Budweiser route salesman Jimmy Sapp of Gainesville. Charley Brown of St. Augustine took the checkered for the late model division. However, following the second week of operations, the track shut down for three weeks due to “powder dry” conditions of the track. Despite installing sprinklers systems, using water trucks, and starting races later in the day, dust issues persisted.
Facing an unrelenting drought, the dirt oval became asphalt and the first race on the new surface was held on Labor Day of the same year with a 200 lap feature. Racing continued through the end of the season in November.
New Smyrna Speedway
Following disagreements with the members of Auto Racing Enterprises Inc., Benny Corbin and Dan Epps founded Florida Motor Speedways Inc., and leased the property. started the 1968 season with another major change. In an effort to avoid confusion with the nearby Daytona International Speedway (often referred to as the Daytona Raceway), the track changed its name to New Smyrna Speedway.
Afterwards, Corbin partnered with racing promoters Bob Bartel and Ed Otto to launch the
World Series of Asphalt Auto Racing
at New Smyrna Speedway.
The track’s schedule traditionally starts the new NASCAR Whelen All-American Series club racing championship. Drivers across the country participate in the track’s annual Red Eye 100, the first weekend of January, where drivers can earn points towards the annual national and Florida state championships.
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