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Archive for February, 2012

ASA Stars to Watch in 2012: Shelby Orozco

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Shelby Orozco hopes to leave her footprint in short track racing. She may make an impact behind the wheel or could someday take over the family business. No matter what she is doing, she is catching the eye of young female racers at Havasu 95 Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Lake Havasu City, AZ.

The young driver started racing bandoleros when she was 13-years-old. “I was a handful!” Orozco recalled. “I really thank my family for sticking around during those first few seasons … It wasn’t easy! When I was 16 my grandpa surprised me with a Late Model, and I was absolutely terrified of it! It took me a full season to get comfortable behind the wheel and to find my groove. I am now 18 years old and in my third season in my Late Model and I love it. I am the only female in the Gene Price Late Model Series that runs between Havasu 95 Speedway and I-10 Speedway and that is something I am very proud of today.”

Her grandfather is Bill Rohzon, Promoter of Havasu 95 Speedway. Which runs their season from September to May in order to avoid their very hot summers. So far in their season, she has a fifth and ninth place finish at her family’s track.

Her growth as a driver has impressed her grandfather. “When we put her in a bandolero, she figured it out overnight,” Rohzon said. “When we put her in a late model, it scared her the first year. But I tell you what, she got comfortable the second year and I am very proud of what she has done, especially so far this season.”

One thing she is proud of is how she has become a role model for other female drivers who compete at Havasu. “When I started racing I was the only girl at my home track, and now there are tons of us!” Orozco exclaimed. “Young girls are always telling me I inspired them to become racers, and I’m glad I was able to instill my love of racing into the hearts of other girls.”

Many would think that racing at a track that your family operates would be easy, but Orozco is treated like the other competitors. “It’s definitely not easy! I’m sure everyone thinks it’s a complete walk in the park but it’s not. My grandpa Bill has made sure my brother and I don’t take advantage or abuse what we have. I don’t have unlimited track time, I don’t get special treatment. If I screw up on the track, I’m getting black-flagged or I’m getting disqualified,” Orozco said. “If I screw up at home I’m getting the car taken away. Sure, we still have to buy my tires and buy my gas and I have those races where I only take a tire or two instead of a complete set, or patch up a hole with duct tape instead of buying new body pieces. Having the track has made me so grateful. I get to be a part of something huge!  All of the track employees have become like family, I love being out there. I am so thankful for everything my grandpa and grandma have given me. I truly am blessed.”

With that discipline, she has learned a lot behind the wheel as well. “Patience and respect are the two big ones. As a racer you need to learn when to save your stuff and when to go for it, and that is really one of the hardest things to learn. It’s not always easy being patient, sometimes you just want to ram the guy in front of you to get him out of your way!” Orozco explained. “But that also leads to respect. You can’t hop in a car and expect everyone to respect you and your car and to give you lots of room. My first season in a Late Model, I was so slow that I made sure to stay out of everyone’s way and to give the leaders lots of room. When I came back the second season ready to show them what I could do. The other drivers respected me and knew I would race them clean. It’s a long learning process but it’s something every driver has to go through.”

When she is not behind the wheel, she keeps herself busy. “Outside of the track I am a graphic designer. I started doing web and graphic design in high school and I fell in love with it. Now I’m in charge of all of the design work for Havasu 95 Speedway. My design partner Austin Gabler and I handle our website, we designed it entirely by hand. We created our new logo, and I design all of our famous programs by myself,” Orozco said. “I love being able to combine my love of graphic work with my love of racing. My dream is to one day own my own design shop, Racer’s Edge Design, where I design and print programs, shirts, stickers, websites, everything for racetracks all over the country. I want to one day be a racetrack’s ‘one stop shop!’”

As far as her future goals, it may surprise you. “I’m sure you expect me to say that I want to become a professional race car driver, but that’s not true. Since my family operates Havasu 95 Speedway, not only have I learned how to drive a car I’ve also learned what it takes to open the gates to let that car out on our track,” Orozco explained. “I would love to one day become more prominent in Havasu 95 Speedway, maybe even taking over as promoter many, many years down the road. I have grown to love the business side of racing as much as actually being behind the wheel.”

Fans can learn more about Havasu 95 Speedway by visiting Shelby’s designed website at www.havasu95speedway.com.

To learn more about the ASA Member Tracks and Sanctioned Series in your area, please visit www.asa-racing.com. Follow ASA Racing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/american.speed.assoc and on Twitter at @ASARacing.

You can also look for the nearest ASA Member Track, get the weekend schedule, ASA Series information right on your smartphone by downloading the ASA Racing App for the iPhone and Android phones for free. Just search for ASA Racing on iTunes and the Android Market and get the app today for FREE!

The American Speed Association started as a single racing series in 1968 and is a fast growing racing sanctioning body today. The ASA Member Track program sanctions dirt and asphalt short tracks along with road courses around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information call (386) 258-2221, or send an email to info@asa-racing.com. The latest news and information from all the racetracks and tours involved in the ASA can be found by visiting www.ASA-Racing.com.

ASA®, ASA Racing®, American Speed Association® are registered trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC.

Canadian Cole Powell Nearly Brings Speedweeks Title Back Across the Border From New Smyrna

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

CONCORD, NC – It does not always take a victory to shake a string of bad luck in short track racing. Shaking the proverbial monkey off a driver’s back is accomplished by overcoming the rough patches with some solid results, even if there isn’t a trip to victory lane in the cards.

Canadian Pro Late Model driver Cole Powell was able to get past some recent bad luck during the 46th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. After what has been an anything but pleasant stretch in the last few months of racing the short tracks around Canada and the United States, Powell racked up six top 10 finishes during the World Series at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway. He contended for the week-long Pro Late Model championship, which was not decided until the checkered flag flew. Powell ended up third on the final in the race results and second in the points after several misfortunes on the track.

“I can’t be disappointed about the final night or the whole week,” said Powell after the final night. “I hit the wall about three times tonight, a couple times not of my own making, and bounced off a few cars to get this far tonight so it satisfying to get a strong finish. I learned I drive better when I am a little mad and that made those back-to-the-front runs easier.”

Powell twice had altercations where he found himself going for a wild ride. One came at-speed and another came when he was spun out of second on a late restart. Each time Powell managed to stay focused and return to race with the leaders.

“I have to thank my crew for all their work,” added Powell. “My dad, Rusty, Ryan, Rob, Fred, they all worked hard to make it easy for me. Without my dad working on the car everyday though it would not have gone this smoothly.”

The goals of the week were met by the team’s Pro Late Model efforts as they did everything but go to victory lane. Powell equaled or finished better than his starting spot during every Pro Late Model race during the New Smyrna Speedweeks.

“We started off the week just wanting to be consistent and get top five’s and top 10′s,” recapped Powell “We have to work on the car in qualifying as it’s not the best in two laps, but it does come to me in the longer runs.”

Confidence will be high once again after shaking off the rust and bad-luck bug that left them out of the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 in December at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and again a spectator at SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA) after mechanical problems.

“We had some bad luck in 2011 and we have put that behind us now with these last few races. This has been a lot of fun and the whole crew is joking and having fun this week and that just makes the outcome better when we are all having fun when we work on the cars.”

For more information on Cole Powell contact Elgin Traylor by email at Elgin@51sports.net and be sure to check out his website www.ColePowellRacing.com

ASA Member Track Big Country Speedway To Be Operated by the Wyoming Auto Racing Club in 2012

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Big Country Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Cheyenne, WY, will have new management this season as the
Wyoming Auto Racing Club (WARC) secured the lease for the 2012 season. WARC is looking forward to operating the only asphalt oval in the Cowboy State.

“We have some great plans for the 2012 season at Big Country Speedway,” Pamela Schliske, WARC President said. “Many of our competitors have enjoyed being part of the ASA Member Track program and we felt as a group that it would be valuable to stay with ASA Racing and work together to make this track more successful in 2012. Big Country Speedway is one of eight racetracks in Wyoming. The 1/5-mile asphalt oval welcomes a variety of divisions every Saturday night. Those divisions include: Super Stocks, Warriors, Mod 4’s, Mini Cups, Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, Super Lite Trucks, Legends and High Plain Modifieds. WARC will open their 2012 season at Big Country Speedway on May 5 with the Super Stocks, Mod 4’s, Late Models, and Warriors.

“ASA is proud to sanction the only asphalt oval track in Wyoming,” Dennis Huth, ASA President said. “We look forward to working with Pam, the board members, and competitors in helping Big Country Speedway with a successful 2012 season.”

More information can be found at: http://warconline.com/big-country-speedway/

To learn more about the ASA Member Tracks and Sanctioned Series in your area, please visit www.asa-racing.com. Follow ASA Racing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/american.speed.assoc and on Twitter at @ASA_Racing.

You can also look for the nearest ASA Member Track, get the weekend schedule, ASA Series information right on your smartphone by downloading the ASA Racing App for the iPhone and Android phones for free. Just search for ASA Racing on iTunes and the Android Market and get the app today for FREE.

The American Speed Association started as a single racing series in 1968 and is a fast growing racing sanctioning body today. The ASA Member Track program sanctions dirt and asphalt short tracks along with road courses around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information call (386) 258-2221, or send an email to info@asa-racing.com. The latest news and information from all the racetracks and tours involved in the ASA can be found by visiting www.ASA-Racing.com.

ASA®, ASA Racing®, American Speed Association® are registered trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC.

Kyle Benjamin Becomes Youngest Smyrna Speedweeks Super Late Model Champion

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

EASLEY, SC – Many breakout performances have been the storylines during Florida Speedweeks in February over the years. Whether it was 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne scoring the upset NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win or an unknown rookie like John King winning the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Daytona International Speedway, February in Florida has proven magical for several young drivers.

While his accomplishments occurred on the half-mile New Smyrna Speedway, about 20 minutes away from Daytona, Kyle Benjamin’s performance during the 46th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing has been another highlight on the list of Speedweeks breakouts.

With only one Super Late Model start to his credit before the nine-night World Series, Benjamin turned his experience-building effort at New Smyrna into a championship. He scored three straight wins during Smyrna Speedweeks and never finished lower than sixth in his six races in eight nights to become the youngest Super Late Model Champion in the 46-year history of the New Smyrna World Series.

“We came down here for seat time for the Super Late Model to get ready for the Rattler (March 4th at South Alabama Speedway), but we ended up getting a lot more than seat time,” said Benjamin. “It was a great coming down here. It was a great choice by us to make the trip.

“Three wins and a championship. That’s a pretty good way to start the season.”

Benjamin’s team planned to skip the first few nights of Smyrna Speedweeks and just race the final events to gain experience. Mother Nature aided the title run the first night with a rainout. Then, with Benjamin’s team in New Smyrna, the 14-year-old went out on the track on the second scheduled night of action just to shake the car down. That shake-down effort resulted in a surprising sixth-place effort, spurring the run to the championship.

“We weren’t even supposed to run for points, but I’m glad we made it for that first race. It worked out well. This is definitely my new favorite track. We were pretty fortunate to unload with a good car. We didn’t have to do too much to it.”

To secure the title, Benjamin had to finish ahead of his closest championship rival, Kyle Larson, in the final 100-lap event on Saturday, February 25th. An ill-handling car made it tough, but Benjamin was able to hang on to the No. 71 machine for a sixth-place finish and the title.

“We didn’t have the best car, but we did what we had to do to get the title,” said Benjamin, whose crew later found that three of the four bolts that hold the rear-end of the car together were broken. “It was a great effort all week. The night before, I got taken out by a lapped car and from there I was just trying to get back up there. I knew that in just 30 laps, I wasn’t going to get all the way back up to the front. I just wanted to get back by Larson to get the point lead and have something good come out of the night. That’s what I did and it worked out great.”

Benjamin will have just a few short days to cherish his title. His 2012 season will continue at “The Rattler,” March 2nd through 4th at South Alabama Speedway. Benjamin will be pulling double-duty in the prestigious event with both his No. 71 Super Late Model and Pro Late Model.

For more information on Kyle Benjamin, contact Matt Kentfield at matt@51sports.net. Be sure to “like” Kyle Benjamin on Facebook by searching Kyle Benjamin #71, follow him on Twitter via @KyleBenjamin71 and visit KyleBenjamin.com.

61 days to Merrittville’s 61st Season and the Spri g Sizzler

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Thorold, Ontario – For the first time in its history, the Daytona 500 was rain delayed a day. Whether you watch it on the couch . in the stands . at work or wherever – then you can rejoice in knowing the Merrittville Speedway’s 61st consecutive season is just 61 days away from the time the checkered flag falls in the Sunshine State!

There’s no better way to enjoy all the action with a 2012 Grandstand Season Pass with two options available. Reserved or General Admission Season Tickets offer a savings of more than $100.00 and possibly more last season with the number of events that were completed!

Beginning with Saturday April 28th’s Annual Spring Sizzler, Grandstand Season Tickets are good for all events. A Reserved Ticket which includes a Club Castropignano Pasta Dinner for the Monday August 6th 3rd Annual Bob St. Amand Senior Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series 100 presented by L. St. Amand Enterprises is an economical $270.00 for Adults while the Student and Senior rate is $250.00.

General Admission Season Tickets for Adults are $250.00 with the price $230.00 for Students and Seniors.

With either option – race fans with Season Tickets do not have to wait in Ticket Lines each event and with a Reserved Seat – you can pick your favorite seat . and it’s yours for the entire season . from start to finish!

Fast approaching as well is the deadline for Merrittville Speedway’s Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Teams’ options for 2012 Memberships and Season Passes.

“On March 31st . the Spring Sizzler will be less than one month away,” reminds (Merrittville Speedway GM) Erica Bicknell-Jones, “that will be the ultimate deadline . the next day some choices will become unavailable and that’s no April Fool’s joke!”

Merrittville Speedway’s Winter Office located in Bicknell Racing Products will be open Saturday March 31st from 10:00 to 2:00 for Race Teams and Race Fans alike.

Drivers, Crew Members and Car Owners can purchase Merrittville Pit Memberships until March 31st for $60.00. From April 1st forward they are still available but at the $75.00 Rate.

Individuals wishing to purchase a Pit Season Pass which includes membership have only until March 31st to do as they will not be available after that date. A Pit Season Pass is $375.00.

Drivers that completed 75% or more of their respective events in 2011are eligible for a 2012 Driver VIP Pass at a considerable savings and good for all events from May 5th to September 1st.

For eligible competitors in the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Division – a 2012 Driver VIP Pass is $200.00 while for Hoosier Stocks, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite, Original Pizza Logs Sportsman and Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Divisions – the fee is $250.00.

DIRTcar Memberships Forms will also be available.

For 2012, Pit Pricing will be as follows – Merrittville Members . $20.00, DIRTcar Members . $25.00 and for Non Members . $30.00 at each weekly event. Pricing may vary on Special Events.

Merrittville Speedway’s Winter Office is open Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 in addition to the Saturday March 31st hours at Bicknell Racing Products which is located at 117 Cushman Road in St. Catharines Ontario.

In the coming weeks as the Count Down to Green continues – keep visiting our award winning Rick Smyth-mastered web site – merrittvillespeedway.com for all the news – it all contributes to make the Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series at Merrittville Speedway – one of the best on dirt!

Tuesday Nights – it’s the stars of tomorrow today in the Lucas Oil Weekly Karting Series.

Visit the Merrittville Speedway Race Car Shows at the Seaway Mall (the week of March 19th) and the Pen Centre (the week of March 26th) to see some of the new race cars up close and to get your 2012 Merrittville Speedway Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Schedule Card!

For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 61st Consecutive Season in 2012 including the 2012 and the Spring Sizzler – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com <http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/> . Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville).

Join us this season on a Saturday Night for a LUCAS OIL WEEKLY RACING SERIES EVENT featuring FIVE Divisions with local heroes and up and coming new stars. Make your plans . call your friends and maybe even get a carpool together and enjoy a staycation at the speedway with plenty of free parking and camping spots – a night at the races is so much fun and so close to home!

Your Local Dirt Track is where it’s at!!! Merrittville Speedway ‘The Best Family Entertainment in Niagara.”