"TANGERINE TOURNAMENT" RETURNS TO FLORIDA 7 USAC FORD FOCUS DATES SET AT 4 TRACKS The United States Auto Club, fresh from its successful December 1-2 "Mopar-PRI Sprint & Midget Classic" at Orlando Speedworld, has announced it is ...
"TANGERINE TOURNAMENT" RETURNS TO FLORIDA
7 USAC FORD FOCUS DATES SET AT 4 TRACKS
The United States Auto Club, fresh from its successful December 1-2 "Mopar-PRI Sprint & Midget Classic" at Orlando Speedworld, has announced it is returning to Florida in full force this winter, with seven Ford Focus events at four tracks, comprising a revival of the "Tangerine Midget Tournament."
In 1957, USAC Midget participants competed in 11 races on Florida speedways for the inaugural "Tangerine Midget Tournament" title, won by Speedway, Ind.'s Andy Linden. This year, East Bay Raceway in Tampa, Orlando Speedworld, Citrus County Speedway in Inverness and DeSoto Super Speedway in Bradenton serve as the venues for what promises to be an exciting seven-race series to determine Linden's successor.
The series debuts Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1 at the 1/3-mile dirt East Bay oval, then continues Feb. 10 at Orlando's 1/3-mile pavement. Citrus County's 3/8-mile paved oval hosts a Feb. 11 date, while Orlando and DeSoto close out the campaign Feb. 17 and 18 respectively. DeSoto features a 3/8-mile pavement oval.
Just as in 1957, the "Tangerine Midget Tournament" will offer a mixture of dirt and pavement racing. Orlando and Tampa actually hosted four of the 1957 races, all won by Linden, although the tracks were not the same as this year. Other 1957 events were won by Jimmy Knight (Pensacola), Sonny McDaniel (Fort Pierce), Al Keller (Haileah and West Palm Beach), Al Alpern (Lakeland), Leroy Warriner (Fort Pierce) and Len Duncan (Jacksonville).
Don Rehm, who will serve as USAC's new Florida Ford Focus Series Coordinator, will oversee the "Tangerine Midget Tournament" and looks forward to a great series: "I'm really excited about this," he says. "USAC has been away from Florida for a few years and fans were treated to some great racing at Orlando recently. We hope to give them more of the same when the Focuses perform this January and February."
The Florida region is yet another extension of USAC's popular Ford Focus racing operations, following closely on the heels of 2005 expansions into Oklahoma and the Northeast. "We were happy with the turnout of fans at Orlando," says National Ford Focus Coordinator Eric Bunn. "We've anticipated this Florida expansion and are now pleased that we can offer more of this type of competition to the Sunshine State. The Tangerine Midget Tournament should become an annual highlight of our winter activities." <pre> 2006 USAC "Tangerine Midget Tournament" Schedule Jan. 30 Tampa, FL East Bay Raceway Jan. 31 Tampa, FL East Bay Raceway Feb. 1 Tampa, FL East Bay Raceway Feb. 10 Orlando, FL Orlando Speedworld Speedway Feb. 11 Inverness, FL Citrus County Speedway Feb. 17 Orlando, FL Orlando Speedworld Speedway Feb. 18 Bradenton DeSoto Super Speedway