SOMERTON, Ariz. – official release — Rick Rarer/SprintCarNews.com photo —
When Ryan Smith plugged in the coordinates to Cocopah Speedway, his GPS system winced.
Smith, who hails from Kunkletown, Pa., and is a part of the famed Pennsylvania Posse, is in the process of traveling across the country to compete in the inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown this weekend.
“It said it will take one day and 13 hours of driving,” he said. “It’s about 2,500 miles. I’ve had people ask me why I’d want to go across the country to go racing. It’s January. It’s snowing at home. Let’s go racing.”
The 410ci sprint car event, which is slated to feature approximately 50 elite competitors, kicks off this Friday and Saturday at the 3/8-mile oval in Southwest Arizona. It also includes races on Tuesday, Jan. 6, and Friday and Saturday, Jan. 9-10. The four weekend races pay $12,000 to win and $1,000 to start with the midweek show paying $5,000 to win. There is also a points fund for the top five in the standings following the five races.
“My goal is to make three-quarters of the shows,” he said. “That’d be a good week. It’s going to be tough. There’s a lot of good cars and good competition. You have to have a little luck on your side, too. I have a lot of support from Pennsylvania, including Bob Miller from Grandview Speedway, so hopefully we have a strong showing.”
In addition to hitting the major events in Central Pennsylvania, Smith said he is aiming to travel more in 2015 starting with the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown.
“I’d like to get to some new tracks this year and try some things,” he said. “We ended the season pretty good and started getting going in October. This race track suits my driving style. You only live once and I’ve got the crew to go and the resources to do it so we decided to go for it.”
CREDIT: Inside Line Promotions