MYRTLE BEACH, SC - MARCH 17: Matt Hirschman, driver of the #60 Pee Dee Motorsports Chevrolet, looks on from the car during practice for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen on March 17, 2018 at Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Matt Hirschman, driver of the #60 Pee Dee Motorsports Chevrolet, has won the tour Modified portion of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in three of the last four races at Florida's New Smyrna Speedway. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

Getting Into Gear: Teams & Drivers Ready For 55th World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna

The time is near. The entire short track community has been waiting since December.

Friday will mark the first day of racing for the 55th Annual World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna. The nine-day short track racing spectacular runs through Saturday, February 13.

Drivers, teams, and fans travel to Florida from all across the country to kick off the 2021 short track racing season at the half-mile asphalt oval.

Fans unable to attend can watch the World Series play out on Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold every night, beginning at 7:30.

Four divisions of cars are set to run for week-long points championships: Super Late Modifieds, Tour Modifieds, Pro Late Models and Florida Modifieds.

RELATED: Schedule, Entry List and Information For The World Series at New Smyrna in 2021 | Complete List of World Series Champions

Tour Modifieds

Last year’s World Series saw “Big Money” Matt Hirschman dominate the week, finishing no worse than third while capping off his points title with a win in the Richie Evans Memorial 100 at the end of the week.

The entry list for the Tour Modifieds is nothing short of stacked 44 cars that are headed to Florida, including many of the biggest names in Modified racing.

Matt Hirschman, winner of last year’s World Series points title and two in the last three years, makes his return to New Smyrna for PeeDee Racing in the No. 60. Joining Hirschman will be Chuck Hossfeld, the 2019 track champion. Hossfeld also won the title in 2012. Ron Silk is another World Series champion (2014) who will be running for another.

And Ryan Preece will be back in a ground-pounder, splitting time between the World Series and Daytona International Speedway 10 miles away, where he’ll be preparing to qualify for his third career Daytona 500. While he’s not running for the points title at the World Series this year, Preece is a three-time champion in his own right, having won three in a row from 2015 to 2017, and is also the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion.

Preece won’t be the only Tour champ in the division. Six-time Tour champion Doug Coby is set to compete as well, driving his own Doug Coby Racing No. 10 Modified.

With the same cast of contenders back from years prior, along with an entry list that continues to grow bigger and bigger, fans are in for a real treat when the Tour Modifieds run their first feature Monday night.

 Super Late Models

The longest running division of the World Series, Super Late Models have been clicking off laps at New Smyrna since 1968.

The division is named in honor of David Rogers, a longtime New Smyrna racer and 1994 national champion who passed away last year.

Seven races are on the schedule for the SLMs, who wrap up their points title run with the Orange Blossom 100.

Not to be outdone by the Tour Modifieds, the entry list is all-star caliber in its own right.

Defending champion Derek Griffith is back in the World Series, behind the wheel of the No. 12. Also set to compete are Bubba Pollard, the 2019 champion, along with Brad May, who won a pair of races in last year’s World Series.

Two new names on the entry list are anything but new to SLM success. Jacob Goede and Peyton Sellers are both NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champions (Sellers 2005, Goede 2019). Sellers also finished second in 2020 to Josh Berry.

One race that will be up for grabs is the Orange Blossom 100. The defending winner of that race, Ty Majeski, is not entered in the World Series this year.

There are always fireworks after a World Series SLM race. The 2021 running shows no signs of being any different.

Hold onto your hats

While the Tour Modifieds and SLMs are the crown jewel divisions of the World Series, there’s going to be plenty more racing going on throughout the week.

Pro Late Models run six times, finishing up with a 100-lap feature on February 12. Other divisions racing include the Florida Modified, Sportsmans, Bombers, E-Mods, eBay Motors 603 Modifieds, Pro Trucks and LKQ Super Stocks. Florida Modifieds will also run six nights, ending with an extra-distance 75-lap feature on Tuesday, Feb. 9 – while Sportsman will run the first two nights; eBay Motors 602 Modifieds will race Sunday, Feb. 7-Tuesday, Feb. 9; Pro Truck will run the final two nights; and the LKQ Super Stock will run a 50-lap open race on Saturday, Feb. 13.

And of course, the World Series will also be the site of the season-opener for the ARCA Menards Series East, as they run the JEEP Beach 175 on February 8.

Hang in there, short track fans. The wait is almost over.