Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Speed Shift Preview: Stout Field Assembles for Winter Nationals

Let the season begin! It's time to kick tires and light fires in sunny Florida...

The field assembling at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL this weekend for the annual Bubba Army Winter Nationals is as stout as it's ever been, and then some!  Fans from all over will be able to catch an early glimpse of not only some of their weekly and regional crate late model heroes, a collection of drivers from all over the east coast, but also will get to catch a few national drivers in the mix this weekend.

Pat Mille Photo

Three nights of racing are on tap with $2,000 to win, 40 lap main events on tap for Thursday and Friday and a 100-Lap $10,000 prize up for grabs on Saturday!  2016's final night winner, Dennis "Rambo" Franklin returns to the scene this week where he'll be met with stiff resistance. We'll break down what to expect in terms of contenders and what to look for...

Strong Northeast Contingent:

Expect a strong field of drivers from RUSH Late Model territory, maybe not a huge chunk of total cars for the week, but there's no weak links among anybody coming down.

Max Blair: One of the best in regional Crate and Super Late Model racing in Western, PA, Blair has won his fair share of high profile crate races in the past few years and also weekly at Eriez Speedway in Super Lates.  Winner of TDN's Pennsylvania Weekly Super Late Model Championship as determined by top five finishes in the state, Blair has to be considered a favorite to finish on the podium on any or all of the three nights of action:

Mike Pegher Jr.: Former Fastrak Champion in 2011 where he won $30,000 in the final three day championships, Pegher Jr. has been almost as good as Blair in Crates in the Western, PA territory. He's turned his attention more towards Super Lates in recent years where he's had some success, but nonetheless will be force to be reckoned with here.

Will Thomas: Thomas has been one of the best and consistent weekly drivers in RUSH history and has won his fair share of touring races to boot. A strong driver that actually wheels an asphalt modified when he's not on dirt in his spare time. A podium finish for him here would surprise nobody.

Also expect Logan Roberson, Ryan Scott, Jamie Wrightsman and Morgantown, Wv pilot Brian Swank.

Always In The Hunt: 

These guys always seem to be there, and seem to be in the hunt, no matter where they race in Fastrak/Nesmith/SECA action

Dennis "Rambo" Franklin: South Carolina Crate and Super Late Model legend Rambo Franklin has been taking home large novelty checks at these events for years and is the defending champion. He'll be tough to keep off the podium.

Mark Whitener: He's picked up wins here in the past, and looks ready as ever to take one or two more this year, a great dark horse pic for the $10,000 prize on Saturday night!

Ronnie Johnson: Veteran Tennessee wheelman can never be counted out anywhere he goes.

Walker Arthur: He's further proof that green cars are no bad luck charm at all. The Virginia native can get it done in both Supers and Crates.

Trent Ivey: He's a sleeper, but a real up and comer. Ivey contends in the Charlotte metro area where the competition is tough, and he's come out a SECA champion before in 2015.

Pat Miller Photo

Keep An Eye On These Guys: 

National touring drivers have been known to make a stop here to shake down their cars before their regular seasons begin, and to try to take home some extra cash on the side. This year is no exception.

Josh Richards: It won't be the familiar #1 Valvoline Rocket House Car, it'll be the #17 and he won a preliminary night feature last year. He'll be tough to keep out of victory lane at least once again this year.

Brandon Sheppard: BShepp makes an appearance.  We have round one of Richards vs. Sheppard...what more could you ask for?

Hudson O'Neal: Son of Indiana legend Don O'Neal, Hudson makes a visit here after having turned heads in Super Late Model Action in 2016 with a tremendous performance at the World 100

Home Cooking: 

Defending home turf this week....

Kyle Bronson: It doesn't matter if he's in a Super Late, Crate Late or UMP Modified, Bronson can get it done just about anywhere against anybody. He's won here in the past, knows the terrain, and will be as fast as any car out there.

Keith Nobisch: He's as good as Bronson can be in this event, enough said.

Ivedent Lloyd: Legendary pilot would love to win one in front of the home crowd, and can get the job done.


Thursday, January 26- 7:15 PM
Friday, January 27- 7:15 PM
Saturday, January 28-7:15 PM

SpeedShift TV Order Information: 

All three nights of racing will be available at Speed Shift TV, a worldwide leader in pay per view racing and our official partner in bringing you the action across DIRT nation!

This week, there's a great deal on the three day pass. You can see every night of the Bubba Army Winter Nationals for just $49.95! To order your events CLICK HERE!

History: (Feature Winners) 

Josh Richards
Dennis Franklin
Kyle Bronson


Mark Whitener
Max Blair
Keith Nobisch
Walker Arthur

Ronny Lee Hollingsworth
Ronny Lee Hollingsworth
Kyle Bronson

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