Blountsville, TN(February 1, 2013) – Nate Monteith is looking forward to heading to the Daytona International Speedway, but it’s not the first time Monteith has raced at the World Center of Speed.  The two-time Kingsport Speedway champion is confident about his chances of winning the UNOH Battle at the Beach.

Monteith has around 67 career Late Model Stock Car victories and four championships, winning two championships at Lonesome Pine Raceway (2008 and 2009) and two at Kingsport (2011 and 2012).  Monteith’s 2012 season resulting in 10 wins at Kingsport Speedway resulted in a NASCAR Whelen All American Series Tennessee State Championship.

Monteith’s trip to Daytona for the UNOH Battle at the Beach won’t be his first time racing at the legendary Daytona International Speedway.  Monteith ran in the ARCA race at Daytona in 2002 where he finished eighth in the rain-shortened event.  This time, Monteith will be competing on a 4/10 mile temporary course set up along the Daytona Superstretch in a straight-rail chassis out of the Billy Hess race shop.  While he normally runs Late Model Stock Cars, Monteith isn’t concerned at all about running a straight rail chassis.

“First night I sat in a straight rail was at Newport and I broke the track record, sat on the pole and won the race that night,” Monteith said.  “Trying to compare a Late Model Stock Car to straight-rail is a very hard task.  The cars are completely different.  Comparing a late model to straight rail is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

“At first, I’m sure they’re eyeing things to adjust to make the cars more equal.  We’ll have to take it as it comes.  Main reason we’re not running a Late Model is because Blake Jones will be in our Late Model at Kingsport this season and the season opening race at Kingsport is on March 9th.  With Daytona being at the end of February and the Kingsport opener at the beginning of March, we just didn’t want to take a chance on tearing up the car Blake Jones is running.  That was my first decision.

“Second reason is, I’ve been looking at running a limited schedule myself and didn’t want a conflict of interest with Blake. I’ve had success with Super Late Models so we’ll get a straight-rail and run some PASS events and some other events like the Snowball and other prestigious events I’ve always wanted to run.”

Monteith, echoing thoughts of some of the other competitors, said the layout of the Daytona course will probably favor guys from Langley Speedway more than anyone else.

“I’ve run on some fairly flat racetracks before.  You know, Langley Speedway racers definitely have the most advantage as far as track similarity standpoint.  Running Goodyear tires probably puts the advantage back in our court a little.  We have a lot of experience and have collected a lot of data running Goodyears.  A racetrack is a racetrack in my eyes.”

Monteith said he doesn’t intend to have problems adjusting to the Daytona configuration, saying most racecar drivers should be able to adapt to a racetrack in a short amount of time.

“You can get on the track and make it work,” Monteith stated.  “If it takes you days to adapt to a racetrack, you probably don’t have the talent to be there.”

Monteith also said he doesn’t expect drivers like Lee Pulliam to have a hard time adjusting to running a straight-rail chassis at Daytona.

“It’s not going to be different for guys like Lee, they’re racers,” Monteith explained.  “If you’ve got the talent and you’re a real racecar driver, it doesn’t matter the car or the track; the cream rises to the top.”

Daytona is the first race of the season for Monteith.  He intends to run a limited schedule in 2013 in a Super Late Model and wants to run other races such as the Snowball Derby and the All American 400.  He also says running a straight-rail at Daytona gives him a jump if NASCAR does change the rules package in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series in the future to where they’d combine the Late Models and Super Late Model divisions.

“If some money comes along, we’ll look at doing some truck stuff,” Monteith said.  “Only things I have planned are the Denny Hamlin race if it happens and the Thanksgiving Classic, All American 400 and the Snowball Derby.  Those are a couple big races I’m looking at running.  The rules adjustments with NASCAR, blending in Straight Rails with Late Models, it gives us a head start to get working on the car and get working on them and adapt and be competitive if that change does happen. With Kingsport trying it out, I think a big change is coming.  Lynn Carroll wants a motor package that works and cut costs…  The NASCAR Late Model world is getting ready to see a lot of big changes coming.”

Monteith is confident in his chances of winning at Daytona, saying he’s already preparing his victory celebrations.

“We’re confident,” Monteith exclaimed. “We’ve been planning our victory celebration plans for after the race.  We’re confident enough to prepare our victory strategy.  We’re confident in trying to win the thing.  We’ve put a lot of time and effort in to the car we’re brining, morale’s high.  If we don’t unload top two or three, we’ll be disappointed.”

Monteith certainly has the confidence entering Daytona.  The NASCAR Whelen All American Series portion of the UNOH Battle at the Beach will be held on February 18th and will have coverage leading up to the event and of the race itself.