Mark Melchiori // MDM Racepix Photo
By: Eric Huenefeld
Two top Big 8 Late Model Series racers are preparing to make the southern trek to Florida during the month of February, testing their skills against some of the nation’s top short-track racing stars.
South Beloit IL’s Tim Sargent and Roscoe Illinois teenager Austin Nason have both filed entries for the 48th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway near New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The nine day event kicks off Friday February 14 and continues through Saturday February 22.
The ‘World Series’ is part of a busy short track racing scene in the state of Florida during the month of February, full of events on both dirt tracks and asphalt tracks from Tampa Bay to Daytona Beach. The bevy of short track racing, along with the events held at the Daytona International Speedway, help make up the motorsports event known as ‘Speedweeks.’
Sargent, the 2010 Rockford Speedway Late Model Track Champion, looks to be among the contenders during Speedweeks. The 39 year old racer is coming off a solid season, which saw him finish fifth in the 2013 Big 8 Late Model Series point standings. Sargent captured (5) top five finishes in nine Big 8 Series starts this past season, while also pocketing a win at Jefferson (WI) Speedway during the regular season
Nason, who turned 18 in January, makes his first ever trip to Florida for Speedweeks competition. The 2012 Rockford Speedway Late Model Rookie of the Year finished last season fourth in Big 8 Series points with (4) top five finishes, including a pair of runner up finishes at Milwaukee in July and LaCrosse in October. Along with those accomplishments, Nason finished fifth in September’s National Short Track Championship 200 lap Super Late Model race at Rockford, his first race in on of the high powered Super Late Models.
Both drivers are campaigning their automobiles in the Pro Late Model division at New Smyrna. As of February 1, drivers from eight states, two Canadian provinces and the country of Peru filed entries to race a Pro Late Model at New Smyrna Speedway during Speedweeks.
Sargent, Nason and the rest of the Pro Late Model drivers take to the track seven times during the eight night event, including a 50 lap race on Monday February 17 and a 100 lap race on Thursday February 20. Other divisions competing during the ‘World Series’ include the NASCAR K&N East Series, NASCAR Modifieds, Super Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, Sportsman, Mini Stocks, Super Stocks and Pro Trucks.
For more information on the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car racing, please visit www.newsmyrnaspeedway.org. To follow Sargent and Nason during their stay in Florida, please visit www.speed51.com for live updates each race day.