One of Florida’s fastest growing touring series will be heading to a new race track in 2020. After months of negotiations, the Brandon Ford Wheelman Sportsman Series will be making their debut at New Smyrna Speedway during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing on February 8, with a second date scheduled for Florida Governor’s Cup Weekend.
“It’s based on racers just asking to go there,” Dorer said. “That’s kind of our superspeedway of Florida for all the local racers. A lot of the Wheelman guys have been wanting to go there for a while now and haven’t been able to. So I started talking to them a few years back and Ricky (Brooks), myself, and them, and the rules were just never right. So, I spent a lot of time on the phone with Rusty, and we just weren’t able to get it done. He called me again this past week and let me know that this year their rules were going to be Wheelman rules. So, we were able to put together two races, one during Speedweeks and another during the Governor’s Cup.”
Dorer looks forward to the speedway and the series working together to bring more credibility to the local racing scene.
“I think that gives our series credibility with the superspeedway of Florida being on our schedule, and our series gives credibility to New Smyrna as well,” he said. “We’ll bring in a really good car count with really good drivers and a fan following, so I think everybody gets a win in the deal.”
For Dorer, it’s somewhat of a homecoming bringing his series to the high-banks after being involved in one capacity or another throughout the years.
“I’ve known Robert Hart and raced under his father Clyde years ago,” Dorer continued. “So it’s kind of an honor for us to take the series there. We’ve been the parts dealer there at Speedweeks before with Racecar Engineering, but to take the series there and be a part of their family, with the history of the place is exciting. I think it’s going to be a super competitive race, so I’m excited for the whole thing.”
New Smyrna Speedway General Manager Rusty Marcus shares the same excitement.
“Robert Hart, Jane Hart, and myself are all very excited to have the Wheelman Series come to New Smyrna Speedway,” Marcus said. “We’re looking forward to a great turnout and a fantastic race for all the fans. The Wheelman Series is going to be a great addition to the 2020 World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, and I couldn’t think of a better place to kick off their season.”
With entries flying in every day, the Sportsman field has nearly tripled since the announcement of the partnership between New Smyrna Speedway and the Wheelman Series, which is exciting not just to the fans, but the drivers as well.
“I think this is great for the Wheelman Series and New Smyrna,” said Brooke Storer, a regular competitor with the Wheelman Series. “After a bit of a lackluster Sportsman field at the Red Eye earlier this year, I think it had a lot to do with the different rule packages across the state. With New Smyrna joining in with the Wheelman Series and having the same rules package as Auburndale, Citrus, 4-17, and Showtime Speedway I think the car count will be great. I think all your normal Wheelman competitors will all be there and will all be excited to get there with a great field and put on a good show for Speedweeks.”
With the announcement, the Wheelman Series schedule picks up to 15 races across the state of Florida in 2020 with room built in for more. Fans can follow along all season long on Speed51.
2020 Brandon Ford Wheelman Series Schedule:
Feb 8th – New Smyrna Speedway 50 Laps
Feb 29th – Citrus County Speedway 50 Laps
March 21st – 4-17 Southern Speedway 50 laps
April 11th- 4-17 Southern Speedway 50 laps
April 25th – Citrus County Speedway 50 laps
May 9th – 4-17 Southern Speedway 50 laps
May 30th – Citrus County Speedway 50 laps
June 20th – Citrus County Speedway 50 laps
July 25th – Citrus County Speedway 50 laps
August 8th - Citrus County Speedway 50 laps
Sept 19th – 4-17 Southern Speedway 50 laps
Sept 26th - Citrus County Speedway 50 laps
Oct 31st – Citrus County Speedway 2nd annual High Kick 99
Nov 14th - 4-17 Southern Speedway
TBA – New Smyrna Speedway (Governors Cup Weekend)
- Story by Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent - Twitter: @AJorgensen24
- Photo credit: Speed51