It's the eve of the ASA Southern Super Series Clyde Hart Memorial at New Smyrna Speedway, and several drivers are taking advantage of Monday's Super Late Model 35-lap feature to prepare for the $10,000-to-win event on Tuesday.
Super Late Model racing as part of the 57th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing officially began on Sunday after a rainout on Friday night. William Sawalich scored the victory, finishing ahead of Casey Roderick and Gio Ruggiero.
However, several drivers are making their first appearance of the nine-day event at New Smyrna on Monday, getting track time before Tuesday's 100-lapper
William Byron is the most notable of the new arrivals, and he quickly made his presence known by setting fast time in the opening practice session of Monday afternoon. Byron won last year's Clyde Hart Memorial during the World Series, as well as the Orange Blossom 100.
Others who took part in the opening practice session that were not part of Sunday's Super Late Model feature include Johnny Sauter, Bubba Pollard, Stephen Nasse, Justin Crider and Kyle Bryant.
Both Pollard and Sauter were in the top five in the first round of practice. Pollard clocked in fourth-fastest, with Sauter finishing fifth.
In 2019, Pollard won the World Series' Super Late Model championship while driving David Rogers' TM Ranch No. 11, winning three races that year. He has three World Series victories, as well as three wins in the Red Eye traditionally held in January at New Smyrna to kick off the new year.
Nasse is a nine-time winner in World Series Super Late Model competition, and won the points championship for the division in 2018. One year ago on this date, Nasse won the 35-lap feature on the day before the Clyde Hart Memorial.
Sauter competed in this year's Red Eye on January 7, finishing second to Casey Roderick. He will be looking for another strong showing on Monday night before Tuesday's Clyde Hart Memorial.
Monday's racing program also includes the first race of the World Series for the Tour-type Modified division, as well as features for Pro Late Models, 602 Modifieds and Florida Modifieds. Super Late Models will be first on the card, with the green flag dropping at 7:30 p.m. ET.