Copper Hill, VA(February 23, 2012) — is now ready to begin helping you preview the 2012 season as we start to take a look at not only some of the changes that the upcoming season has to offer, but we’ll also take a look in our crystal ball and give you a look at what we think the 2012 season will look like.

With that, we’ll start with a fan requested feature that we’ve done in the past, but are resurrecting for this season, the Top Must See Races of the 2012 season.  We wanted to do this look in two parts, sticking to our roots with first a look at the Top 12 Late Model Stock Car races and then laying out a short track race fans dream, the Top 12 Must See Short Track Races of the 2012 season.

Below, you’ll find our vision of what the top Late Model Stock Car races of the 2012 season will look like and while there’s some races on there, that you knew you’d see, there’s also a couple of them that may leave you scratching your head as you didn’t anticipate seeing them on the list.

So, lets get down to it … the Top 12 Must See Late Model Stock Car races of the 2012 season are ……………

12 – UARA-STARS Series at Concord Speedway (August 11th)
The UARA-STARS Series seemed to have to peaked out in the era of 2007-2009, but the series still hosts some of the best Late Model Stock Car races on a given week. This season, as always, the 11th year series will host 16 races at some of the best venues in the region with races throughout North & South Carolina and Tennessee. One of those races that will likely stick out will be a single trip to the “SuperSpeedway of Short Tracks”, Concord Speedway in Concord, NC. This beast of a race track that features a half mile d-shaped oval has been known to put on some of the best UARA races over the years and this year will certainly be no exception.

11 – Late Model Stock Car Twins at Motor Mile Speedway (August 4th)
You may be asking yourself “What is so special about twin Late Model Stock Car features at Motor Mile?” …. And, it isn’t normally that special of an event, but as the season begins to wind down at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA, sparks typically begin to fly. Usually it’s not because theirs some big points battle, but rather that many of the racers are pissed off at their competitors and ready to do something about it since the season is nearly over. This event also marks the final scheduled night for twin races, which has typically been a source for fireworks on and off the track. Remember the Philip Morris/Frank Deiny fracas in 2009? This race could easily serve up the same caliber of events.

10 – Round One of the Triple Ace’s at Ace Speedway (April 13th)
Ace Speedway is one of those tracks where I could easily just point to their schedule and pick a date and tell you to go there and chances are that you’d see fireworks on and maybe even off the track. The track layout and the personalities of the racers that compete on the d-shaped 4/10 mile track in Altamahaw, NC just seem to bring out the best on any given week. This year, they’ve announced three special Late Model Stock Car races known as the “Triple Ace’s Series”, which is sure to bring out a little extra fire. The races will feature extended laps and a larger purse and I’m betting that the first of those races on April 13th is sure to please any fan.

9 – Late Model Stock Car 200 at South Boston Speedway (July 3rd)
OK, so the South Boston Speedway staff isn’t exactly known for their creativeness when it comes to naming their big races, but when you have two of Late Model Stock Car racing’s marquee events, I don’t guess you need to be that creative. The Late Model Stock Car 200 as it’s unfortunately known since the traditional sponsor of the race, Bailey’s was forced out of the sport by the US Government is still one of the biggest races for Late Model Stock Car drivers anywhere. Always surrounding the Independence day holiday, the race is traditionally held the night before the 4th of July and while there are almost fireworks in the sky, this race has been known to feature many of them on the track and on pit road.

8 – Rusty Harpe Memorial at Caraway Speedway (July 4th)
A race designated in honor of one of the tracks up and coming stars that lost his life way to early, the Rusty Harpe Memorial has been one of the biggest Late Model Stock Car races that Caraway Speedway hosts annually. The race, which is always on a Wednesday night, typically after July 4th, but this year falling on July 4th is always a must see race for Late Model Stock Cars. While the race has certainly lost some of it’s luster in recent years, this years event looks to be the pinnacle race for the premier division at Caraway. With past winners such as Alex Yontz, Travis Swaim, BJ Mackey and Dan Moore, this race has proven to be one of the can’t miss shows.

7 – Season Opener at Southern National Motorsports Park (March 3rd)
Southern National Motorsports Park has been a silent place for a while now, but the roar of engines has been filling the place for the last few weeks as racers have been getting ready for the once prominent track to race back to life on March 3rd. This may well be the biggest race of the season for the reopening 4/10 mile track as there is an excitement filling the air, surrounding the return of racing and cars and drivers are lining up to do battle on a track once left for dead. The season opening race is one you surely won’t want to miss as it not only kicks off the season at Southern National it’s the first race of the year for Late Model Stock Car enthusiasts.

6 – Dwight Huffman Memorial at Hickory Motor Speedway (October 6th)
The Dwight Huffman Memorial two years ago was looking to become one of the top two or three premier races in Late Model Stock Car racing with a huge car count and one of the best races of the season. In the wake of the economy weakening, the race has suffered in the last two years when it comes to car count and being able to draw the big names, but honestly this has been one of the best races of the season every year. Last year a great battle for the win between two young guns showcased the race without one of the major big names like McCall, Morris, Pulliam or Deiny. This race is certainly a must see, lets just hope that being two weeks before Martinsville doesn’t hurt the car count.

5 – Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway (July 28th)
The Hampton Heat is Langley Speedway’s annual ‘big race’ for Late Model Stock Cars and while it hasn’t drawn the car count and regional support that the track had hoped, this year it’s the second leg of a new Virginia Triple Crown Series. Being a part of a series of three ‘big races’ in Virginia including the season opener at South Boston and Martinsville Speedway’s, Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 is certain to draw a little more interest to this race, which has been much deserved for years.  Giving CE Falk, Greg Edwards and the other regulars at Langley Speedway some added competition could prove to be a great Hampton Heat race this season.

4 – NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota at South Boston Speedway (March 10th)
The name of this race certainly doesn’t make it sound like one of the biggest, must see races of the season, but this race, the first leg of the new Virginia Triple Crown Series is easily one of the races you just have to see this season. Last year this race finished the season at South Boston Speedway, but with the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway moving later in the year, the South Boston staff chose to make this race, their season opening event. This will no doubt make this race like Daytona, kicking off the season for Late Model Stock Cars and after the way this race ended last season, it could be a big way to get this party started.

3 – Myrtle Beach 250 at Myrtle Beach Speedway (November 18th)
The Myrtle Beach 250 is one of the longest standing big races for Late Model Stock Cars and has been one of the more entertaining races of the last several seasons. This race isn’t like any other, it’s a chess match, guys don’t just run 250 qualifying laps to determine the winner. You have to baby your tires, take care of your equipment and avoid all the craziness from drivers trying to either go to the back or come to the front. It’s not like any other race and sometimes the way things play out, it just looks stupid, but from sitting in the stands it’s an incredible show. This race showcases some of the best that Late Model Stock Car racing has to offer in a setting that only Myrtle Beach, SC can offer.

2 – Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway (April 26th)
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown has proven that Late Model Stock Cars can be showcased alongside bigger series and on weekends with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars in town. While most all of the other races in Late Model Stock Car racing are open to anyone, “The Hamlin” as its known around the pit area is only open to the best of the best in the division and you must be invited to race in this one of kind race. Previously staged at Southside Speedway, the race got a big break last season when it was able to be moved to Richmond Int. Raceway on the same weekend as the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. This race will be one not to miss as only the biggest and best Late Model Stock Car racers will be participating.

1 – Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway (October 21st)
Was there ever any doubt that the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway would be the number one “Must See Race” of the season? This race is the marquee event, the Daytona 500 of Late Model Stock Car racing, the one race that every driver wants to be in and every fan wants to attend. Boasting car counts over the years as much as 120 and in recent years around the 80-85 mark, this race is certainly the biggest and the best of Late Model Stock Car racing. This season, not only will the regular $25,000 be on the line, but with the advent of the Virginia Triple Crown Series, this race will also help crown a champion in the series and put $10,000 more on the line to the top three in points from the series. Not that this race needed anything to make it any more special ….