Story By: BRETT DEYO / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – LAKE CITY, FL – The buzz for the ‘Sunshine Swing’ at Florida’s All-Tech Raceway is getting louder.
The first-time visit by the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco to the half-mile oval located approximately an hour to the south and west of Jacksonville continues to generate excitement as the February 5-8 event grows nearer.
Billy Van Pelt, the 21-time champion of New York’s Toughest Bullring – Woodhull Raceway – has filed an entry for the ‘Sunshine Swing’ events. The Westfield, Pa., driver will be aboard the Patrick Hoopes-fielded No. 10 for three consecutive nights of racing on Sunshine State soil.
Van Pelt is one-third of Hoopes’ three-car STSS Modified team headed to Florida.
Van Pelt’s nephew, rising star Dillon Groover of Beaver Dams, N.Y., will be at the wheel of a Hoopes-backed No. 12x. Groover, a graduate of the Woodhull high banks, recorded numerous top-five finishes last year at Land of Legends Raceway in Canandaigua, N.Y., and competed on Friday nights at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, N.Y.
Like Groover, Hoopes called Outlaw and Land of Legends home. The Ulysses, Pa.-based proprietor of Patrick Hoopes Trucking Inc. will fill out the team’s roster.
A pair of small-block engines and a big-block are in the ‘Sunshine Swing’ arsenal for the Hoopes operation.
Woodhull Raceway star Russell Morseman will make the tow to Florida for the All-Tech events. Morseman, who hails from Addison, N.Y., has set his sights on All-Tech with his immaculate No. 44.
Oxford, N.Y.’s Rusty Smith put his name on the Short Track Super Series win list at Afton (N.Y.) Motorsports Park in October 2017 in the “Working Man’s Race” Short Track SuperNationals. Smith has filed an entry for the ‘Sunshine Swing’ with his No. 34.