For the second straight year, several Tour-type Modified teams are planning to begin Florida Speedweeks on the Gulf Coast by visiting the high banks of the quarter-mile Bronson Speedway in Archer. This year’s 50-lap, $2,500 to win show is bringing a few new faces, including New York Modified ace Jimmy Zacharias.
The multi-time New York state champion in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is driving south ready for battle this year.
One year ago, an engine failure during a test session left Zacharias without an engine to compete with for much of Speedweeks after committing to the Bronson “Kick Off to Speedweeks.” This time around, he and his squad are doing their best to make sure they are not held out of the race again.
“I didn’t end up going because we ended up blowing the motor practicing at New Smyrna. We planned on going over and couldn’t go. This year we planned early, we’ve brought two cars. Got one for Bronson and we’ll save the other one for New Smyrna,” Zacharias told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
With last year’s engine failure, the only knowledge Zacharias has of Bronson is limited to footage of last year’s running and the experiences of his competitors.
“I haven’t seen much. I just saw one video of it,” he stated. “It should be alright; it looks like the track should be bigger than it is with the banking. I talked with Jeremy Gerstner, we’re good friends with him. We sold him a car a while back, so he gave me a little insight.”
With the addition of Zacharias and other competitors to the lineup for 2017, he’s hopeful that increased participation will let the event continue to weave its way into Speedweeks lore.
“It’s tough to get everybody to come, but hopefully it could eventually grow into it. It would give everybody a reason to come down for it and then go to New Smyrna and keep going and going.”
Zacharias is not coming in completely flat footed; he tested and raced this past weekend at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC). Despite a few issues at the rear of the car towards the end of last Saturday’s feature, Zacharias is feeling confident with the team already in the State of Florida as of Monday.
“Everything went good at Myrtle Beach. We’re all set, we pulled both cars out when we got to Florida. We’ll work on them a little bit, we’ll do it again, and it will be 100-percent. I feel like we should have a good shot. We always go to a race to win it, it’s no different this time.”
Be sure to follow Speed51.com this coming Saturday, February 18 for coverage of the second running of the “Kickoff to Speedweeks” for Tour-type Modifieds.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos