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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bent sheet metal, hurt feelings, last-lap action and ecstatic winners.
That’s what the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach promised. And it delivered.
The event, held on the short track on the Superstretch of Daytona International Speedway, will return to the “World Center of Racing” during Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 on Tuesday, Feb. 18. It will highlight a week full of NASCAR racing at Daytona and neighboring New Smyrna Speedway, a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track.
“Fans around the world look forward to Speedweeks to kick off the NASCAR season, and we are proud to be able to present a week of short-track action leading up to the 56th running of the Daytona 500,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of touring & weekly series. “The anticipation for last year’s first UNOH Battle At The Beach was surpassed only by the number of people talking about the electrifying finishes. From New Smyrna to Daytona, and from the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this week provides a direct link between our short tracks and biggest stage, and further amplifies the spotlight on the rising talent throughout NASCAR’s touring and weekly series.”
The UNOH Battle At The Beach will return to Daytona as a championship points event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and special non-points race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour competitors. Both races will be 150 laps under the lights.
“The UNOH Battle At The Beach is a great opportunity for short track racers from around the country to compete on racing’s biggest stage,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re looking forward to some intense competition with two exciting main events.”
“We are extremely excited to partner with Daytona and NASCAR on this premier event,” said Steve Farmer, UNOH vice president of institutional development. “A lot of hard work went into organizing and putting this together, and we’re proud to have UNOH involved in bringing short-track stars to the ‘World Center of Racing.’ We look forward to seeing everybody in Daytona.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season will kick off Sunday, Feb. 16 with a 150-lap championship points race on the banked half-mile at New Smyrna as part of the track’s 48th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
“As we enter our second year as a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track, it’s been great to work together with Daytona and NASCAR to really put together an exciting schedule for our fans and competitors,” Robert Hart, track owner of New Smyrna. “Not only will New Smyrna host its first NASCAR touring series event, but in addition to get NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Whelen Modified special event at Daytona, we will have a full slate of super late model and modified racing that has been a staple of New Smyrna’s World Series.”
New Smyrna will run from Feb. 14-22, highlighted by its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model Division. The division will run six different nights, capping off with the 100-lap 1st Bruce Gowland Memorial on Saturday, Feb. 22. Last year, Ryan Moore edged Kyle Benjamin and Stephen Nasse to win the week-long Super Late Model points title.
New Smyrna will also host modifieds on six nights, culminating with the 100-lap 29th Annual Richie Evans Memorial on Friday, Feb. 21.
Last year at the UNOH Battle At The Beach, rising star Cameron Hayley picked up his first NASCAR win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series portion, while veteran Steve Park scored a popular win in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race.
Daytona International Speedway has reached an agreement with a number of area hotels to secure special room rates during the UNOH Battle At The Beach to make it more affordable for racers and fans to attend the UNOH Battle At The Beach. More information can be found at http://daytonahotelmotel.com/speedway-short-track