Archive for March 16th, 2011

Statement On The Passing Of Melissa Loftin, Wife Of Southern Tour Driver Brian Loftin

Daytona Beach, FL — Melissa Loftin, the wife of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver Brian Loftin, passed away Tuesday following an automobile accident in North Carolina.

“On behalf of NASCAR and the France family, we send out our thoughts and prayers to Brian, the Loftin family and the entire Whelen Southern Modified Tour community,” said Richard Buck, NASCAR’s director of touring series. “Melissa was a warm and recognizable face in the garage, and she will be missed.”

Loftin, the 2008 Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, earned the Coors Light Pole Award and finished 18th in the season-opener on March 13 following a late-race incident while contending for the lead.

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NEMA First Timers A Speedbowl Trait

The Budweiser Blast Off April 2-3 will mark the seventh time since 1999 that the Northeastern Midget Association has opened its season at Waterford Speedbowl. The NEMA Lites are also part of the festivities as the club kicks off its 59th campaign.

Last year, Chris Leonard was the third driver in that span to score his first NEMA win at a Speedbowl lid lifter. The others are Rudy Boetticher in 2000 and Ben Seitz in 2004. Seitz went on to win the first of four straight championships that season.

“The best you run all year often happens at Waterford,” says Russ Stoehr, who’ll begin the defense of his 2010 title at the Blast Off. He won twice there last year in the Dumo’s Desire #45.

The all-time Waterford NEMA and Midget winner is Randy Cabral with eight. He has not won there since 2008 and will looking to end that streak at the Blast Off in Tim Bertrand’s #47 Drinan/Esslinger. Bertrand also has a driving win.

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