Even though the Super Late Models command the most attention during the World Series of Asphalt, the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds commands the most respect.
Historically, it’s the most revered division during Speedweeks.
The entry list is already approaching 20 Modifieds and includes some top talent from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen All-American Series. The week is headlined by Wednesday’s John Blewett III Memorial 76-lap main event and the Richie Evans 100 Memorial, but will also include three other feature races.
Timmy Solomito and Ryan Preece, who combined to win 10 of 16 events on the Whelen Modified Tour last season, are both set for competition. Preece is the defending World Series champion, while Solomito is looking to turn around his New Smyrna luck and capture his first trophy at the 0.500-mile oval.
“Last year, I feel like it helped us quite a bit, we went down there and experimented with a bunch of stuff and found some different things we liked with the car,” Solomito said. “I’m just hoping we can build on last year and find a little bit more speed.”
Other Whelen Modified names on the list include Eric Goodale, Craig Lutz, Ronnie Williams, Kyle Ebersole and Calvin Carroll.
Matt Hirschman, who scored the victory in the prestigious Richie Evans 100 last season and came up just short of the World Series championship, is also set to return this year. Jon McKennedy has also been selected to pilot the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7.
Jimmy Zacharias, who won the 2017 NASCAR New York championship, will be making the trip with two different rides. Zacharias will compete in his modified, but will also be making his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start on Sunday — driving for Ted Marsh.
“I’ve been going down there since I was 10-years-old, and I got my first opportunity to run down there when I was about 14 or 15,” Zacharias said of attending the World Series. “It’s kind of like a little vacation, it’s an opportunity for us to get away every year. This year, I’m tired of finishing second or third.”
Although he has put together a strong list of accolades in his modified of late, Zacharias is also ready to take a next step and make his first career K&N start in the New Smyrna 175.
“Honestly, I never thought the chance would come,” Zacharias said. “I was getting older and in the racing world, I’m considered old. You get to the point where you focus on what you are doing and you are content with that. But I ran into this opportunity with Ted. We are going to go to New Smyrna with that on our mind and see what happens.”
The complete entry list can be viewed below.
- Ronnie Williams
- Joseph Bertuccio III
- Jeffrey Gallup
- Kyle Ebersole
- Ryan Preece
- Timmy Solomito
- Danny Bohn
- Al Emmarino
- Joe DeGracia
- Calvin Carroll
- Nikki Carroll
- Tyler Rypkema
- Kyle Trayner
- Craig Lutz
- Eric Goodale
- Matt Hirschman
- Jimmy Zacharias
- Mike Willis Jr
- Jimmy Blewett
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