While the Late Model classes and Tour-type Modifieds normally take the spotlight during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, one driver has been living up to the family name in the Florida Modified division over the last several years. Michigan driver Travis Eddy wrapped up his third Florida Modified championship in four years on Saturday night with his fifth win in seven races.
Eddy’s first two World Series titles came in tight points battles, winning the 2017 crown by just five points over Jeff Choquette and last year’s title via a tiebreaker with Wayne Parker. The 2020 World Series was a different story, winning all but two races during the week and earning the title by 32 points over Parker.
Aside from a mid-week struggle to adapt to the ARCA Menards Series East rubber that was laid down during their event on Monday, it was smooth sailing from the onset of the World Series.
“It’s always nice to get one win because you never know if you’ll get caught up in a wreck or something. When we got that first win on night one that was a relief because we knew we were coming home with something at least,” Eddy told Speed51.com. “Our car was dialed in good enough that we picked up the next two. We got behind the eight-ball a little bit on adjustments because the ARCA cars came in and the track got really rubbered up and temperatures picked up a lot. After that we went to work a little bit and made a few setup changes and brought it right back to just about as good as it was at the beginning of the week.”
Eddy’s father, multi-time ASA National Tour champion Mike Eddy, made the trip to New Smyrna for the World Series several times in the late 70’s and into the 80’s, picking up 13 wins and the Super Late Model championship in 1977. The younger Eddy made his first appearance in the World Series 10 years ago, and now accounts for the bulk of his racing schedule each season.
With the rule differences in the Modifieds between the north and the south, Eddy had to compensate for the changes before he began to have success.
“We’ve been going down there periodically since I think 2010. We go down just because it’s the best week and a half all year, the most fun I get,” he said. “I grew up going racing and everything and that’s the closest to a vacation that I ever get to have. We’ve been making adjustments and working on our car, getting it so it’s more set up for the World Series rules for down there and once we built our new car that was based around the Florida rules instead of trying to swap our northern car over to southern rules, that’s when we started having the most success.”
While he now owns three World Series titles compared to father Mike’s one, he says it’s not something he holds over his father’s head, mentioning the difference in competition the two have faced.
“To me, that doesn’t relate too much because he was racing Super Late Models against some of the best and biggest short track drivers you ever knew back then, but to get to go down there and have success like he did and experience the fun of it all, it’s still a really neat deal.”
With the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in the rearview mirror, Eddy’s chances to get behind the wheel are now few and far in between due to his work schedule. Fans could possibly see him pilot the No.78 in select ICAR All-Star Modified races in 2020, true to his schedule over the past few years.
“I try not to plan too far ahead. I don’t know, it depends on how busy we are at my shop over at Eddy Performance Solutions. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of stuff to work on. Last summer I only ended up racing about five times, so already this year we’ve ran more times than we did all last summer.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51