Auburndale Motor Speedway
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Auburndale Speedway Season Opener Features Seven Classes Saturday Night
by Dave Westerman
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Coming off a very successful Winternationals program last week, Auburndale Speedway is set and ready to begin the 2011 regular racing season with seven divisions seeing action on Saturday night. The Sportsman cars headline the class list this week and will be joined by the Modified Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, V-8 Bombers, Scramblers and the Kids Club.
One of the biggest early-season announcements is that this will be the final season of driving for Lakeland racing veteran Dave Dunkin. Dunkin, who began his racing career back in the late 1960s and has always considered Auburndale his home track, has countless feature wins and track championships here including last years Sportsman title.
Dunkin is hoping for one last championship this year as he will campaign a brand-new Sportsman machine. However, his biggest competition may come from his own teammate. Mark Medeiros, who was runner-up to Dunkin in Sportsman points in 2010 driving his own unsponsored effort, will be behind the wheel of the car that carried Dunkin to the title last year. Dunkin will run his familiar #71 "Blue Goose" while Medeiros will run car #171. The team will have a third car as a back-up.
Long-time local car owner Chuck Harrison plans on fielding four Sportsman machines this year for himself, Brandon "Bones" Duchscherer and sons Chuck, Jr. and Dustin. Richard Elkins, Jr. will be back in action along with Brandon Morris, Lance Daubach, Bart Weatherford and many others.
The Modified Mini Stock class, on the verge of being dropped early last year, saw a big resurgence late in the year and looks to be a very strong division for 2011. Mini Stock class champion Chris Spring will be moving into the Mod Minis while former Mini Stock champion and last years runner-up Fred Harrison, Jr. has a new Mod Mini ready for action. Harrison also plans to branch out and run other tracks this year along with his home track.
Jason Rendell has a new Mod Mini ready to go plus a back-up car. Ashton Hunt will run her first full season in the class and will join a great group of drivers including Bo Collier, Mike Sweet, Dennis Jones, Nathan Florian and many more.
Expect another strong field of cars in the Street Stock class for 2011 headed by defending champion Matt McCrary. Jeff Waterman and his brother Mark will both return to action along with Dave Colpritt, Cody McDuffie, Bobby Mobley, Kyle Hall, Kyle Peters and a host of others.
With the departure of Spring and Harrison from the Mini Stock ranks, the class will be wide open this year and will see a new champion for the first time in several years. A number of new driver/car combos are expected as well as in the V-8 Bomber and Scrambler classes too. A number of new drivers have been added to the Kids Club roster and that class will be an interesting one as well in 2011.
Pit gates open this Saturday at 2PM, grandstands open at 5PM and racing begins at 7PM. Adult admission is still just $12, seniors are admitted for $10, kids 5-12 are $5 and all kids under the age of 5 get in free. A family "four pack" (2 adults and 2 kids aged 5-12) remains at $25. For more information, log on to www.auburndale racing.com powered by Palm Tree Computers.
NOTES: The management of Auburndale Speedway would like to thank all of the drivers, crews and staff for a very successful Winternationals program last week that saw close to 100 Legend Cars and Bandoleros in action over a five day period. U.S. Legends Car International has already announced that Auburndale Speedway will once again be host to the Winternationals in February 2012 and the event should be even bigger that it was this year.
Auburndale Speedway owner/promoter Rex Guy will be absent from the first night of racing at his track this year, but he has a good reason. Guy will accompany his son Johnathan who will be taking part in the first-ever race for the Florida United Promoters Late Model Series at Desoto Super Speedway Saturday night. Between 25-30 cars are expected for the season opener. The second race in the Series will be held at Auburndale Speedway on March 19th.
The Legend Cars and Bandoleros will have the first week of the season off to "recover" from the Winternationals, but look for a strong field for their opening night on March 5th. Several new drivers will be in action in both classes.
The Auburndale Little Racers program is already off to a strong start for 2011 as two new bicycles will be given away to a pair of lucky youngsters on opening night courtesy Stewart's Auto Repair of Winter Haven. All kids aged 10 and under will get an extra ticket as they pass through the gates that makes them eligible for the prizes. One girls bike and one boys bike will be given away. Precision Air of Winter Haven and Aaron's Rent to Own are returning as corporate sponsors and there's more to come. The kids will be having a banner year at Auburndale Speedway.
Drivers are going to be given the opportunity to have their own personal web site at a very low cost through Palm Tree Computers of Oviedo. Look for more information to be available in the next couple of weeks.