It’s been uncommonly cold, and wet, and cloudy, but this is still mid-February in Florida and that means Speedweeks are trucking on full force around Daytona Beach, with major action on the dirt already unreeling itself, amidst some weather woes, on the bullet-fast half-mile dirt at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville. By any subjective measure, last night’s World of Outlaws Sprint finale, captured by David Gravel for his first Volusia win of any kind, was the largest crowd in the track’s history, with two-mile backups in both directions along SR 40 leading to the track. As NASCAR cranks up at the big track, action at Volusia will resume following today’s break for the Super Bowl, which no right-thinking track promoter would ever challenge.
Action at Volusia resumes tomorrow with a mix of classes including the new Xtreme Outlaw Series for non-wing Sprint cars, the World of Outlaws dirt Late Models and the best news for transplanted northeasterners like yours truly, the return to Florida of the Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modifieds. The guy you’re looking at, Stewart Friesen, is the ruling wunderkind of the open-wheel, center-seat stock cars, and will be in action with the other beasts of the northeast right through Saturday, with the week’s full schedule providing particulars. Racing starts at 7 p.m.; we strongly urge an early arrival because the Volusia crowds have been staggering so far.