DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 11 2003) - Two months ago the NASCAR Elite Division, Kodak Southeast Series was preparing to qualify for the $48,928 Time Warner Cable 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway when heavy rains moved through the...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 11 2003) - Two months ago the NASCAR Elite Division, Kodak Southeast Series was preparing to qualify for the $48,928 Time Warner Cable 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway when heavy rains moved through the area causing the event to be rescheduled for July 26.
"We wanted to change the annual series stop to a little earlier in the season and get away from the extreme heat we have during the summer months but mother nature didn't cooperate with us," commented Billy Hardee, Myrtle Beach Speedway promoter.
Looking at the rescheduled event on the lighter side, Myrtle Beach Speedway Track Manager Roy Gore said, "The series has been coming to this track in July for so many years that an earlier date was just not in the cards."
"Plus all the vacationers are accustomed to seeing NASCAR racing when they visit here during the summer so we were happy to be able to work out a date with NASCAR to have the series back," stated Gore.
Myrtle Beach is another mainstay of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, and has hosted series events dating back to 1987. This will be the 17th time they have hosted this NASCAR Series since 1991.
Anxious to return to the huge .538-mile oval is Kevin Prince of nearby Wilmington, N. C. Prince has been a series regular since 2000 and will carry the colors of his national sponsor back to Myrtle Beach. Land O'Frost Lunch Meats is Prince's primary sponsor with additional sponsorship from longtime supporter Uncle Yammy's Grillin Sauce.
Despite being plagued with mechanical problems this year, Prince earned his first NASCAR Bud Pole Award at Ocala (Fla) Speedway earlier this month and after six races is 16th in national points and only 82 away from the magical number of being in the top ten.
This event will be race number eight of a 10 race schedule in 2003 and figures to play a very important part in determining the 2003 series champion and the final top ten drivers in points. Entering the Myrtle Beach race 17 drivers have an opportunity to finish in the top ten in points.
The top ten drivers in the final series points in the four NASCAR Elite Divisions will be invited to participate in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway in a nationally televised history making event that will bring national recognition to NASCAR's short track drivers with posted awards of approximately $500,000. The highlight of weekend racing activities will be a 100-lap feature race with $10,000 going to the winner.
Charlie Bradberry and Jeff Fultz appear to be the two front runners in line for this year's championship. Fultz has been to victory lane three times in the first six races with Bradberry adding his name to the NASCAR record books with his first touring series stop in victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway. Bradberry has been the more consistent of the two drivers leading the series in lap completed with 98.90% compared to Fultz at 93.60% and an average finishing position of 6.8 compared to Fultz at 8.4.
Parity certainly has been prevalent with Kodak Southeast Series drivers in 2003 as six different drivers, including Bradberry have started from the pole position. Despite not winning a pole start this year, Fultz has the best average starting position of 4.2 to Bradberry's 10.7.
Another strong factor with the series has been the performance of all four Victory Circle Chassis Rookie-of-the-Year candidates. John Wilkinson III is third in the national points standing through six events with his brother-in- law Terry Mason Jr. only three points behind in fourth. Justin Wakefield is seventh in series points with Cecil Chunn only three points behind Wakefield. Also in the rookie points standing only three points separate all four drivers. These four not only want a top ten finish in the points standing but are also shooting for the $5,000 Award to the top finishing rookie.
Action at Myrtle Beach Speedway gets underway Saturday, July 26, when pit gates open at 10:00 am. Practice will be from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm with qualifying for the Time Warner Cable 150 starting at 6:00 pm. The 150-lap race should take the green flag at 8:30 pm.