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NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

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Track Promoters Meeting Gets Speedweeks Started;Grassroots Racing In The Spotlight At Daytona
Feb 5, 2010 - updated Feb 5th, 2010 10:10pm
Web posted by Jason Christley

Daytona Beach, Fla. --

Dec. 5, 2009

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race tracks from throughout North America were represented at the 2010 Track Operators Meeting in the Daytona 500 Club at Daytona International Speedway on Friday morning.

The event was part of the annual gathering of NASCAR track operators at Speedweeks in Daytona.

The featured speaker was Darrell Waltrip, a three-time champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, who talked about his passion for short track racing.

“You’re the backbone of this business,” said Waltrip, who early in his career was a regular at the fairgrounds speedway in Nashville. “This is where it all starts. This where I learned everything I needed to know – at short tracks.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, who got his start at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, also addressed the track operators in attendance. He talked about the pioneers of the sport who carved tracks out of farm lands and fairgrounds, and helped lay the foundation of NASCAR today.

“It's that spirit that's made this,” said Burton, referring to the Daytona International Speedway around them. “That’s really what the short tracks – the developmental series – is about. And that’s starting a dream and making it a reality. And that reality is here today when we look out this window.

“Short tracks are the heart of racing,” he said. “It’s made what this sport is today.”

The Track Operators Meeting featured presentations by members of the NASCAR Home Tracks staff, with a review of accomplishments for 2009 and plans for the upcoming season.

Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) vice president Bob DeFazio accepted an award from the NASCAR Foundation on behalf of his track for their fund-raising efforts surrounding NASCAR Day in 2009.

Phil Kurze, vice president of motorsports for Whelen, talked about his company’s sponsorship of the racing program for NASCAR-sanctioned tracks.

Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications, commended Whelen for their support and passion for short track racing.

“Phil Kurze and his folks - you talk to short track folks and believing in short track racing - and that goes from the top down,” said Hunter. “We couldn't ask for a better series sponsor.”

Track operators were introduced to Tony Yorkman, sports marketing manager for K&N Engineering, the newly announced sponsor for NASCAR’s top developmental series. The meeting also included representatives from contingency sponsors for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Also addressing the group were NASCAR President Mike Helton and NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell.


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