Short Track Super Series
All-Tech Race Week: STSS ‘Sunshine Swing’ Storylines, Stars & Sleepers
Written by Chris Moore
LAKE CITY, FL – Finally, race week.
The off-season is over and the much anticipated ‘Sunshine Swing’ at All-Tech Raceway officially kicks off tonight.
The four-day event – presented by Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches – signals the beginning of the 2024 season for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco.
The STSS Modifieds make their fourth appearance in the last five years at the Wendell Durrance owned and promoted half-mile oval, with racing on tap from tonight through Saturday.
The track surface is always a major topic of discussion at All-Tech Raceway. The technical racing surface always provides a curveball that some teams don’t see coming, while others hit it out of the park. Count on the track surface to be a major factor and talking point over the next four nights.
Fonda, N.Y.’s Danny Varin and Canandaigua, N.Y.’s Alex Payne laid down lightning-fast times on Tuesday’s practice night, while drivers like Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson and Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard consistently found themselves near the top of the speed charts all night.
The winner’s share increases each night for the STSS Modifieds over the course of the week. Tonight’s top prize is $5,000, with Thursday’s rising to $6,000, Friday’s total to $8,000, and the grand prize of $10,000 on Saturday night.
Wegner Automotive has also posted a $1,500 championship prize for the ‘Sunshine Swing’ Champion at the end of the week, along with a free pair of sunglasses courtesy of Design for Vision/Sunglass Central.
Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen is the only driver with more than one win to his credit at All-Tech Raceway. Friesen claimed two wins in the inaugural ‘Sunshine Swing’ and another win in last year's event. Friesen will also have the same engine – courtesy of Carol and Alton Palmer – under the hood that he won with last year.
Ransomville, N.Y.’s Erick Rudolph has enjoyed plenty of success with the STSS in the state of Florida. Rudolph is the only other driver with multiple ‘Sunshine Swing’ triumphs. He won the finale in ’20 and also claimed a win in ’21 at Ocala (Fla.) Speedway on his way to the ‘Sunshine Swing’ championship.
Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard appears to have found his stride at All-Tech Raceway in recent years. After picking up his first and only ‘Sunshine Swing’ victory in ’22 at All-Tech, he finished runner-up in both events last season and was again quick in practice last night.
Marc Johnson is in search of his second career STSS win, with his first coming over five years ago. Johnson showed plenty of speed on practice night and finished third in the opener in ’22. Johnson will look to snap the five-year winless drought and kick off 2024 with a bang on the ‘Sunshine Swing.’
Binghamton, N.Y.’s Darren Smith was another driver who turned heads on practice night. The Southern Tier growing star was consistently turning lap times with the likes of Sheppard and Marc Johnson throughout the night. Smith will look to shock the Modified world over the next four nights and make his first appearance in Bicknell Racing Products Victory Lane.
Alex Payne is a name that may not fit on the sleeper list for very long, but for now the young star falls in under the radar. Payne was the fastest car of the night in the final two sessions of practice night – including the night’s fastest time overall. Payne will look to shake off the disappointment from a near win in ’23 in Florida.
ALSO IN ACTION
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman join the Modifieds for the four days of racing action.
With two winners’ shares of $1,500 up for grabs and two more worth $2,500 at the end of the week.
Wegner Automotive has posted a $1,000 championship prize for the ‘Sunshine Swing’ for the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman.
ON THE HORIZON
The STSS will take a month hiatus following the ‘Sunshine Swing’ before opening the Northeast racing season at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway on March 9 for the $8,500-to-win ‘Jake Marine Memorial.’
The following weekend (March 15-16), the 2023 ‘Speed Showcase’ will be made up at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway. The STSS Modifieds go for 75 laps and a $50,000 top prize.
Don’t forget to set your Dirt Draft lineups before the night’s first heat race begins.
Visit www.dirtdraft.com or download the app to join Dirt Draft and compete against thousands of others for the entire 2024 STSS season. A subscription is just $5.99 a month with plenty of prizes up for grabs in the Dirt Draft Speed Shop.
Following along with the STSS on Dirt Draft throughout the ‘24 season will pay one lucky fan dividends at year-end.
The STSS Dirt Draft Champion receives two tickets to the STSS year-end banquet and will be honored with a custom trophy presented by Dirt Draft.
GATES AND PRICES
For a full list of times and prices for the week of racing, click the following link: https://www.shorttracksuperseries.com/downloads/get.aspx?i=900154
HOW TO WATCH
The entire week of racing will be broadcast live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) via the annual subscription.
All-Tech Raceway is located off Interstate 75 at 1024 SW Howell Rd. Lake City, FL 32024. Learn more at www.alltechraceway.com, call 386.754.RACE (7223) or like All-Tech Raceway on Facebook.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail email@example.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook, @ShortTrack_SS on Twitter or @ShortTrackSS on Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by Bob Hilbert Sportswear, FloRacing, American Racer, Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, BDR Speed, NJ Quality Drywall, River Valley Builders, Ollie’s, Penske Racing Shocks, Saint Lawrence Radiology, Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches, Bicknell Racing Products, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Madsen Overhead Doors, Belmont’s Garage, Wegner Automotive, DIG Race Products, ATL, Dirt Draft, Swagger Factory Apparel, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Algonkin Motel LLC, Beyea Custom Headers, Design for Vision, Sunglass Central, Dirt Track Digest TV, DKM Fabrication, EIBACH, Fastline Performance, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Headers & Exhaust Systems, JK Signworks, JLR Technologies, Dave Prime Jr. MAC Tools, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Superior Remodeling, TV 12 Racing Products, VAHLCO Wheels & Wilwood Disc Brakes.
Submitted By: Andrew Reigel