CRA: 2005 SpeedFest announced

USA International Speedway to Host "2005 SpeedFest" in January 2005 Sunoco Super Series, Sunbelt Super Series, Florida Pro Series and Southern All-Stars to Sanction the Historic-Racing Weekend (Lakeland-FL) -- Officials from the CRA/Sunoco...

USA International Speedway to Host "2005 SpeedFest" in January 2005

Sunoco Super Series, Sunbelt Super Series, Florida Pro Series and Southern All-Stars to Sanction the Historic-Racing Weekend

(Lakeland-FL) -- Officials from the CRA/Sunoco Super Series, Sunbelt Super Series, Florida Pro Series, Southern All-Stars and USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida have combined to announce the scheduling of an historic racing event at the beautiful central Florida facility. Super Late Model teams and fans will gather at the tentatively titled "2005 SpeedFest", January 26-29. The event will include three nights of racing, with feature events on all three nights.

The "2005 SpeedFest" for Super Late Models will not only be sanctioned by the four racing organizations, but will also be co-promoted by them, along with USA International Speedway.

"This is a great opportunity for Late Model fans and teams throughout the country," noted USA International Speedway promoter Bill Martino. "Everyone is in need of a mid-winter racing fix throughout the country, and central Florida is a great place for everyone to converge for an awesome three days of racing. We are building this event to be one of the premier events in all of super late model racing."

Tentative plans call for rig parking, registration and open practice on Wednesday, January 26. Thursday will see the first night of racing with the focus on the cars and stars from the Sunbelt Super Series and the Florida Pro Series, with the top 10 qualifiers from each series guaranteed starting positions and the rest of the field open to all late model competitors. Friday night racing will feature the top stars from the Sunoco Super Series and Southern All-Stars, with the top 10 qualifiers from each series guaranteed starting positions and the rest of the field open to all late model competitors.

The weekend will culminate with a 200-lap event on Saturday night featuring ALL the stars and cars trying to make the star-studded starting field.

"The timing is great for an event of this nature," noted SunBelt Super Series promoter Don Nerone. "With the phasing in of the ABC Body rules this year and the complete ABC package in place for 2005, it will make it possible for drivers to come together from all points in the country."

"Many people said it couldn't happen," commented Bert Ashleman, founder of the Florida Pro Series, "getting all these groups to work together. But this group of leaders has really put their heads together to work for the benefit of the racers, fans and promoters. Working together we will make it better for everyone, and USA International Speedway is the perfect place to show it off."

R. J. Scott, founder of the CRA/Sunoco Super Series further noted, "This is something that my partner, Glenn Luckett, and I have wanted to see for a long time. We recognize that all the teams have their different commitments during the regular season, but to put all these guys together for three days of competition in the off season, well--it will be a race fan's dream come true."

Ben Atkinson, promoter of the Southern All-Stars commented, "We got a small taste of what it can be like last year, when the two groups got together for the Patriot 200 at Nashville. It was only 6 inches that determined the winner in that 60 car, North vs. South, one-day All-Star Shoot-Out. Imagine what it will be like when four groups get together for three days of great racing."

Current plans call for $3000-to-win, 100-lap features on Thursday and Friday, and an $8000-to-win, 200-lap feature on Saturday. The purses for the events are scheduled to have solid payouts throughout the entire field, and not just heavy at the top. The "Big Carrot" is still out there, though, with purses, series bonuses, travel bonuses and multiple-win bonuses in place, it will be possible for one driver to take home over $25,000 in cash.

It is important to note that teams do not have to be affiliated with any of the series to compete in the races, but events during SpeedFest have provisional starting positions and bonus monies tied to the four series. It is expected that teams will have to run at least three events with one of the series to be eligible for their series related starting positions or bonus monies. All competitors, however, are welcome to compete for traditional, qualifying-based starting positions on all three nights. A sponsor appears to be in place already to take care of travel bonuses for teams that make the features and travel from longer distances.

"We wanted to give everyone as much advance notice as possible," Martino added. "It is almost a year away, but there is a lot of planning that goes into it for the teams and fans, as well as us as promoters." Information on rules, entry forms and schedules, will be released through these and other channels when they become available in the coming months.

For more information on the series involved and the rest of their schedules, interested parties can visit: www.sunocosuperseries.com, www.southern-allstars.com, www.angelfire.com/fl3/floridaproseries/, or www.fascar.com

-cra-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Bill Martin , Ben Atkinson