(Editor’s Note: 51’s Southeast Beat is a regular feature here on Speed51.com powered by JEGS that takes a look at all of the hot news and upcoming short track racing events in the Southeast region. In this edition of Southeast Beat, 51’s Elgin Traylor previews some of the big events that fill the schedule on this July 4th weekend.)
Clyde Hart Memorial Ready to Go
The Clyde Hart Memorial is ready to fire off for the 17th year at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) on Friday, July 3. The event honors the spirit of the track, Clyde Hart, who built the half-mile facility back in the 1960’s. Since then his son Robert Hart and grandson Andrew Hart have kept the tradition alive.
This event has grown like the rest of the New Smyrna Speedway events. Last year Steve Wallace was the first non-Florida driver to capture the event.
This year’s event should feature former winners Steve Wallace, Daniel Keene, Jr., Rich Clouser, Tim Russell and others. Travis Cope is one of the biggest regional drivers who has not tasted victory in this race. 51 has learned that the defending Governor’s Cup 200 winner won’t be racing, which wiLL open the door for the rest of the field.
51 has also learned that track regular Stephen Nasse will also be looking to get his first win in this race. He will be joined by Harrison Burton and several others.
Big Bucks Coming on the Dirt
This weekend will feature some big dollar events on dirt as we kick off July. The Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models will run for $10,000 at 201 Speedway in Kentucky on Friday. Golden Island Speedway (GA) will also have at $10,000-to-win show as a part of the Ultimate Late Model Series. Several other area tracks will be in action for big shows this weekend. Check out the Speed51.com schedule page.
Back for a Quick Summer Show
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be back in action on Saturday for their summertime show before the long fall run. Burt Myers leads the points after his Langley Speedway (VA) win in April. Both defending series champion Andy Seuss and former champion George Brunnhoelzl, III are seeking a way to climb back into the title fight. The Mods will double with the Late Model Stock Cars for the Rusty Harpe Memorial.
Myrtle Beach Offers Spot in 400
On Thursday, July 2 the Late Model Stock cars will be fighting for more than just a trophy at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC). The race winner will have a guaranteed starting spot in the Myrtle Beach 400 later this fall. Already this season at Myrtle Beach, Sam Yarbrough has taken down six wins in just nine races.
Smith Leads the Pack
The Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco is off until the end of July as they get ready for their 2015 five-race stretch run. Casey Smith leads the season long standings with two wins. He’s locked in a tight point battle with Daniel Hemric, Donnie Wilson and Casey Roderick.
While Smith leads the points in SSS, Wilson leads the Blizzard Series points at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and Hemric is on top of the Miller Light Series at Mobile (AL).
Pulliam Smoking the Motor Mile Field
Lee Pulliam has started the 2015 season with six straight wins at Motor Mile Speedway (VA). Pulliam is seeking his fourth crown at Motor Mile and third in a row. Pulliam has double digit wins this season, but elsewhere around the region Greg Edwards at Langley (VA) and Kres VanDyke at Lonesome Pine (TN) have recorded multiple wins at their home tracks.
The Niedecken Family has now won in six decades at Five Flags Speedway (FL). Wayne Niedecken Jr. won the 100-lapper last week stretching the family’s winning ways into a sixth decade. The elder Niedecken won the first Snowball Derby in 1968.
On July 11, Willie Allen will go for his fourth win at Fairground Speedway Nashville (TN) this season. Allen has had a $1,000 bounty place on him by the track in an effort to draw more cars to come and beat him. Allen has won the last five races at Nashville for the Pro Late Model not counting the All American 400.
Bubba Pollard pocketed $36,000 for his win at Evergreen Speedway (WA) in the Summer Showdown. Pollard has four wins this season.
There have been nine winners in 10 races this season on the Carolina Clash tour. Elsewhere Casey Roberts has won four times on Ultimate Super Late Model tour and Randy Weaver has four as well.
Tim Brown has four wins this year at Bowman Gray Stadium and has now taken the points lead by 18 markers over Burt Myers. If Brown wins the title it would be his 10th at the track.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @elgintraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com