It is hard to believe that it is already that time of year again – Race Season! Seems like just yesterday we were telling you about the final chapter of the 2018 season and crowning champions. Here we are just hours away from what we can call the “official” green flag of the year down at the World Center of Racing – others may simply call it Daytona. In just a few short hours ARCA will drop the green flag on their season and go racing for 200-miles and you won’t have to look but too far to see some local names that TWR is very familiar with.
At this point in the game – yes I know that we are a little late to the game per se but this winter was a little different for us here at TWR – I am sure everyone reading this has seen the news about Hampton Roads natives Connor Hall and Brenden Queen getting “the call” and will be racing this afternoon in easily the biggest race of their career. Both Hall and Queen were down at Daytona a few short weeks ago during the ARCA open test following IMSA’s Rolex 24 Hour race for Vizion Motorsports, along with fellow Late Model driver from North Carolina Paul Williamson, obviously impressing those in the garage. Hall, after presenting a deal to Chad Bryant Racing will be piloting the No. 22 Ford while Queen will be in the No. 36 Toyota for Vizion Motorsports.
For those race fans that may not follow the ARCA Series enough, the race will be televised LIVE later this afternoon on FOX Sports 1 at 4:30 PM EST. Not going to be home to watch? Pull the race up on the FOX Sports App! Hall will also be competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener Sunday night at New Smyrna.
You can see what these drivers had to say about getting the chance of a lifetime in an article published yesterday from our friends at Race22 >> Several Late Model Stock Car Drivers Set to Compete at Daytona
Hall & Queen, however, are not the only Virginia drivers spending some time in the Sunshine State. 2013 & 2017 Langley Speedway INEX Legends Champ Spencer Saunders; 2018 INEX Semi-Pro Road Course National Champ Carter Weedon, just to name a few, will all compete in the 2019 Winter Nationals at Citrus County Speedway.
Five races over the course of a week for drivers from all over to not only prove they are the best but to also get a head start on the INEX national points. Something one driver we mentioned above has kept in the back of his mind for the last couple of weeks.
“We have been doing this quite a while,” Saunders told The Weekly Racer as the final touches were being made to the car before loading her up. “We won the 2011 Virginia State Semi-Pro championship, won a race of champions that same year in Vegas, took the 2013 and 2017 track championships at Langley Speedway, the only thing missing from our resume… a national championship. With the year-end national event being held at Carteret County Speedway in October and if we come out of Florida in good shape, I would say yes, we’re going to make a serious run at a national title”
First Saunders will need to get through the weeklong event where the confidence is running rather high through the Saunders Motorsports camp.
“I think the ultimate goal for our team is to go down there and win a couple of races and represent Langley Speedway and the 757 the best way we can,” Saunders commented. “In all reality, if we go down and ran top five or top three and contended for wins every day that we are on track I would be absolutely thrilled with that. I haven’t seen an entry list but I have heard the Pro division is pretty stacked so we are going to have to be on top of our game all week long. I think we have prepared the best car we can and I think we have good enough equipment to go run with the best.”
Defending Semi-Pro Road Course Champion Carter Weedon is another VA driver making the trip down to Florida for the winter nationals; however, he will be making the trip UP to the Pro division. Weedon is going into the week looking to find himself in the tech shed every race and earn a top five finishing position in the points standings.
“I want to make it into tech every race,” Weedon said. “Our goal is to place in the top five in the points standings at the end of the week. The competition in Pro especially is going to be tough.”
Races are scheduled all this week starting later this afternoon with open practice only. Going off of information given to us by a couple of the race teams, official points races will be held on Monday, Tuesday (doubleheader), Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday is scheduled to be an off day or potential rain day. All races, for that matter, will be streamed LIVE from the fine folks over at LegendsNation.com.