A short track is being built on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway and will serve as a venue for a two-day event in 2013 for short-track drivers and teams before the Daytona 500, a NASCAR official said on Wednesday.
Irwindale Speedway in California was the track for the NASCAR All-Star Showdown for eight years. The two days of races included the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and East. It served as a stepping stone for drivers Joey Logano, David Gilliland and Travis Pastrana before they moved up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.
The track in Daytona is proposed as a .4-mile oval. The plan is to have a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race, a Whelen Modified Tour race and a Whelen All-American Series late model race. Series champions and race winners will be invited to compete. All other entrants will have to qualify on time to race in the events.
International drivers from the NASCAR series in Canada, Mexico and Europe will also be invited to the races. A NASCAR official said the short-track races in Daytona are the next step in the evolution of the All-Star Showdown races.
The races will be scheduled the Monday and Tuesday before the Daytona 500, called the dark days of Daytona because no races were scheduled at the track during Speedweeks. They are expected to be run at night.
The NASCAR All-Star Showdown was canceled at Irwindale Speedway in August. The track hosted the Showdown, a nationally televised event, from 2003 to 2010.
The races at Daytona will give short-track drivers and teams across the country a chance to showcase their skills and provide a stage for young drivers, George Silberman, the NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
"From a racing perspective, this is featuring the future stars of the sport at Daytona," Silbermann said. "From a community standpoint, it's reconnecting Speedweeks; it removes Daytona's dark days."
More details about the race and the new track will be made Friday, according to a NASCAR official.