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Daytona adding short track races to its Speedweeks 2013

6:10 PM, Feb 17, 2012   |    comments
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Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Daytona International Speedway will include short track races to its Speedweeks activities, starting in 2013, NASCAR and track officials announced on Friday.

The 2.5-mile superspeedway will host a two-day event labeled as the "UNOH Battle at the Beach." A temporary oval -- tentatively slated to be 0.4-mile in length -- will be setup along Daytona's backstretch. The inaugural event, scheduled for February 18-19, 2013, will include three non-point special races: the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified tours, and the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

"This is all about the stars of tomorrow vying for glory at Daytona International Speedway," said George Silbermann, who is NASCAR's vice president of regional and touring series. "During two days and nights of intense competition, fans will be able to see today's aces of short track racing and some great young talent."

The criteria for setting the field in the event include: winners of the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West events as well as the series champions will automatically be locked into that series' race at Daytona next year.

Additionally, winners of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races this season and series champions will be locked into the Modified event.

The top-10 finishers in this year's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings will earn a starting spot in the Late Model race.

And the champions of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, NASCAR Toyota Series from Mexico, and Euro Racecar NASCAR Touring Series this season will earn a protected starting spot in whichever one of the three 2013 Daytona races they choose to run.

The remaining spots in next year's features at Daytona will be filled through time trials and heat races.

"Grassroots short track racing is the foundation of this great sport, and we are thrilled to give these young drivers the opportunity to fight for a win at the 'World Center of Racing'," track president Joie Chitwood said. "Many of NASCAR's greatest stars cut their teeth on short tracks around the country, and we look forward to hosting the stars of tomorrow in 2013."

Event entitlement sponsor, the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH), has been heavily involved with NASCAR's grassroots racing programs.

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