A few years ago, the now-defunct Sunbelt Super Late Model Series was the place for drivers to race at different venues across the state of Florida. One of their big venues was USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL and raced at more facilities such as New Smyrna, Orlando, Auburndale, Ocala and more. In 2008 both USA International Speedway and the series ended and a major touring Super Late Model Series in Florida were no more.
Fast forward to 2011. A rookie series, the Florida United Promoters Late Model Series, had a strong debut at tracks throughout Central Florida. A successful year of “united promoters” of several facilities working to make a home for Super Late Model racing, the series is ready to make the next step.
This season, the promoters of Auburndale Speedway, Citrus County Speedway, Desoto Super Speedway, Orlando SpeedWorld and New Smyrna Speedway that make up the FUPLMS, have brought in Rick Williams to be the series director for an idea that is working in Florida.
“I have come on board to help give the promoters some direction,” said Williams, who was at last week’s Red-Eye 100 at New Smyrna with open arms to all the Late Model teams. “They (the promoters) were running all these tracks and had no series director. I offered up my services and we are going to try and bring this thing up to the next level. We have our schedule together for 2012. We are working on some series sponsors and some contingency sponsors as well.”
The FUPLMS had the right idea of starting small last year. The 12-race schedule produced over 100 cars and eight different winners.
“We just want to make it a better series overall,” added Williams. “Florida doesn’t have a touring series for the Super Late Models and that’s what we are trying to get to.”
Right now the series consists Late Models with two-barrel carburetor engines. The 2012 season will again have 12 races at five different races tracks in Florida. In an effort to draw cars from the outside, Williams has been looking elsewhere to keep things even or close enough to draw cars.
“Engine rules are all over the place,” said Williams. “I have looked at CRA and I have looked at PASS and they both have tremendous success with their series. We are looking at different things and we are trying to get to that level of competition.”
Once again they will have backing from Sunoco Race Fuels and Hoosier Tires. Rules utilizing those companies’ products make the series similar to the Bright House Challenge Series at New Smyrna and the open shows run at New Smyrna and Orlando SpeedWorld.
“It’s going to grow,” said Williams. “People are excited and are asking and calling about it. We’ll see where we are at with our opening event on March 3rd at Desoto Super Speedway.”