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In the Zone: Clyde Hart Memorial at New Smyrna

Previewing the ASA Southern Super Series season opener.


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The ASA Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco kicks off its 2023 season Tuesday night in the Clyde Hart Memorial. Here is a preview of the 100-lap, $10,000 to win Super Late Model race taking part during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.

- Is this the year for Bubba Pollard to win the title again? The 2014 ASA Southern Super Series champion should be or could be a multi-time champion, but near misses and bad luck have cost him points in key spots. He has 32 career wins in the series and with his focus on the ASA STARS National Tour, along with the local shows maybe he can be one to watch for both titles.

- The ASA Southern Super Series has produced some of the tightest racing in the last two seasons, with several different faces going to victory lane. Last year, three drivers won a pair of races and 10 different drivers went to victory lane.

- A packed entry list could hit 30 cars on Tuesday morning as new drivers have been showing up each day to test the high-banked track at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). Some highlights include Casey Roderick, who has already been strong this week at Speedweeks with a pair of second-place finishes. Johnny Sauter, who was second at the Red-Eye in January, is back for another round and two-time World Series Champion Derek Griffith will be in the mix.

READ MORE: Byron Headlines First Look at the Clyde Hart Memorial Entry List

- This event will honor the late Clyde Hart, who really put New Smyrna Speedway on the map. Since 1999, this race has been contested and the best in the state have dominated it, with 21 of the 23 races going to Florida drivers. William Byron won this race last year as a part of the World Series, but it was not a part of the Southern Super Series. Byron also won on Monday at New Smyrna.

READ MORE: Byron Goes to Victory Lane in Clyde Hart Memorial Tune-Up

- 44 different drivers have set fast time at Southern Super Series events, with Bubba Pollard leading the way with 33 pole awards.

- William Sawalich led 169 laps a year ago in the Southern Super Series in limited action. Sawalich won twice in eight starts and was the Super Late Model winner on Sunday night at New Smyrna. We likely won’t have to worry about him for the Southern Super Series title with his plans to race in both the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but on off weekends he will be around looking for checkered flags.

READ MORE: Sawalich Snags Win in First Super Late Model World Series Appearance

- This will be the 123rd Southern Super Series race as the 11th year kicks off the first point race of the season.

- Stephen Nasse will be chasing another win as the two-time Southern Super Series champion has 10 career wins, but none at New Smyrna Speedway.

- This will be the third ASA Southern Super Series race at New Smyrna, as Jeff Choquette won in 2019 and Brad May won in 2022.

- Bubba Pollard holds the ASA Southern Super Series track record at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). His pole time of 17.757 last July was the better among the two series visits. We are unsure if speeds will get that fast, as the pole time during the World Series on Sunday was 17.800. There is a lot more rubber on the track after that night.

- There have been some great point battles in the Southern Super Series and last year was one of them. Hunter Robbins finished every lap in the regular season and won by four points. It was the second closest finish in the series history, with five titles being decided by 17 points less.

- If you miss the ASA Southern Super Series this week they will be back in action on March 11th at Five Flags Speedway (FL) with the ASA STARS Sunshine State 200. This will be the inaugural race for the ASA STARS. The last time there was a 200-lap Super Late Model race at Five Flags that was not a part of the Snowball Derby was way back in 2001 with the Southern All Star Asphalt Series. The late Darrell Brown won the race over Jason Hogan.

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