In the heart of December, Super Late Model teams are already planning for the 2019 season, which is now only weeks away, and the traditional wintertime events that come with it. Long known as the winter destination for racing in the Southwest, Tucson Speedway is already getting ready to welcome the best in the West to the Arizona desert for the 6th Chilly Willy 150.
Spread over three nights from Thursday, January 24 to Saturday, January 26, the Chilly Willy has produced racing moments that have lasted deep into the long racing season. Last season’s edition was especially true with Chris Eggleston edging Preston Peltier by 0.127 seconds.
It was a conclusion that capped off a weekend which saw over 40 Super Late Models duel for money and trophies over an action-packed trio of nights. Tucson Speedway promoter John Lashley expects more of the same next month.
“It was a real dogfight at the end. It looked like any two could win, but it was good racing with a great finish and we’re real thankful that we had over 40 cars come out for the race. This year is looking pretty positive with a lot of good racers that want to come out,” Lashley told Speed51.com.
It is still very early for race commitments, but already the word on the telephone has been positive with former Chilly Willy winners Owen and Tayler Riddle expected to compete for their second victories.
Canadian great Darrell Midgley is already in the state as well, with November’s Turkey Shoot winner Brett Yackey and champion father Bruce Yackey set to return.
Also among the expected drivers, the same racer who is fresh off his win the 51st Snowball Derby, NASCAR XFINITY Series rookie Noah Gragson.
“We’re just calling around, seeing who’s going to be here, but there’s going to be a lot of guys that want to race the hotdogs that have already expressed interest. Especially when you got the winner of the Snowball Derby coming, people say, ‘I want to race that guy,'" said Lashley.
While the Chilly Willy has provided a stage for great short track racing, it also provides a great getaway for both teams and fans to the North and East, trying to escape the grip of “Old Man Winter.”
“No matter what your purpose for coming is, race teams or fans; it’s a journey to get here but the weather and the show is great. We just have to give the racers and the fans a show that will continue to fill the stands that will make the racers feel loved, and make sure we give them three days of good old NASCAR racing.”
Be sure to stay with Speed51.com for more on the Chilly Willy 150 and visit the Tucson Speedway website to get your tickets today.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor - Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com