Most might refer to the 2011 Daytona 500 as potentially the race of the year even though we're not even a month into the official racing season, and while NASCAR is off to a positive start with the excellent competition in the Cup and Truck Series I think the best stock car race of the year might not even be NASCAR sanctioned.
The Pro All Stars Super Late Model Series has continued to gain momentum each year since adding its presence in the Southeast in 2006 during the demise of the old NASCAR Southeast/All Pro Series, and in 2010 they announced the country's richest asphalt short track race to take place at the Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway on April 9, 2011. The winner will take home, at a minimum, $75,000 for the victory in this 300 lap race. A PASS Series regular will receive a bonus and with supporters signing up to sponsor nearly a third of the race's laps, the victor could easily see a 6 figure payday. The drivers and teams have come calling with over 70 entered from all over the United States and Canada, and more are expected.
As a fan, once this race was announced and it was assured that this event would take place, I began to plan my trip. Now that the preliminary racing events from the winter months have taken place, I'm ready to head South! Before I go into the plans for my trip, I'll briefly recap the latest two events I attended. The 26th Annual Racing Legends Reunion and Car Show took place in late February at the Fairgrounds Mall in Reading, Pennsylvania. I don't recall ever going to this show before and was quite surprised about how much there was to offer and see. Photos can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2067223&id=37801386&l=47282190cc. The following weekend I attended the Laurel Mall Racing Show in Hazleton, Pennsylvania for the second straight year. This show was smaller than the previous year and turned out to be a bit disappointing. Photos from this show can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2067427&id=37801386&l=7b8f986673.
I've done quite a bit of sightseeing in the past, but this trip might be one of the best. In addition to "The Race," there will be a transporter parade through North Wilkesboro, plenty of practice sessions, qualifying, heat races and a 100 lap Modified race to witness from Thursday through Saturday. Outside of North Wilkesboro, my travel plans will include but are not limited to the Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports race shops, the Sam Bass Gallery and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. I like the move of the Hall of Fame induction to January, but I wish they would have done it a year sooner so I could see the second class when I visit. Nevertheless, it's going to be an excellent time!
There's a lot of preparation for a trip like this even as a fan, but I will make sure I tune in to see some NASCAR short track racing with Bristol and Martinsville coming up. I've also been getting back into playing some more poker in recent months and have a couple tournaments coming up for some nice prizes (perhaps some travel money for North Carolina!) Lastly I'll be making my picks and paying close attention to the NCAA College Basketball tournament as always. My pick to win it all is dependent on one player. If Kyrie Irving comes back, I have a feeling Duke will be hard to beat for two championships in a row. If he doesn't, Ohio State will easily be the favorite to win it all.
Next month I'll be back to share photos and videos from North Wilkesboro and preview my next trip which I'm trying to put together for the end of April.
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.