The smack talking is already going on but it is not up to the level of the Hatfields and McCoys…yet. Adam Royle and Dalton Zehr’s shops are not close, but there is a connection to help get these two teams prepared for the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach on Monday, February 18 at Daytona International Speedway.
Rob Fisher, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief for Circle Track magazine was having a conversation with ASA Racing’s Tech Consultant Mike “Lumpy” Lemke about their participation in this event. One of Fisher’s concerns is the tough competition to make the starting field for the feature event. Especially when competitors need to race their way in, it can be a “dog eat dog” battle to make the show.
How did Royle’s name get into the conversation? It was a simple case of who you know. One of Lemke’s officials on the Midwest Tour and at some tracks is Jason Cihak. Cihak happens to be the brother-in-law to Adam Royle. Lemke suggested to Fisher that Royle could be a benefit to Fisher since he has a guaranteed starting spot.
After some thinking and number crunching, Fisher thought it would be best to support two cars for this event. Lemke said he would do what he could to help with getting both cars prepared for the show.
One of Zehr’s longtime supporters is Circle Track magazine, which will be the primary sponsor of both cars for the event.
Zehr has a longtime partnership with Circle Track, the nation’s largest motorsports publication. This partnership started in 2007 when Fisher signed Zehr to drive their 25th Anniversary project car.
That relationship has flourished over the past five years to include the complete fabrication of four different race cars one of which, the 2010 Project GREEN Camaro gained more attention than your normal magazine project car. Built in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Project GREEN Camaro has appeared in SEMA’s Vehicle Technology Center, at the BioMass Trade Conference in Washington DC, PRI, on PowerBlock TV with Courtney Hansen and the car actually raced in the Dick Trickle 99 in 2010 at the famous Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
“Dalton is a racer at heart and 2012 has been one of his best year’s yet,” Fisher said. “He competed at various tracks in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Florida. Dalton has raced consistently at the helm of different cars, tracks, and owners. In 17 races, Dalton won nine races in five different cars under four different owners.”
Adam Royle also has an impressive resume leading into the Battle at the Beach.
He is a three-time Minnesota State Champion under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banner in 2009, 2011, and 2012. In 2011, he had 14 feature wins between Raceway Park in Shakopee, MN (where he is the 2009 & 2010 champion) and Elko Speedway in Elko, MN. This past season he earned seven wins at Elko Speedway alone to finish ninth in the national standings and have a “protected” starting spot in the 150-lap event.
With everything set in place, Lemke and Fisher started having fun. Lemke, one could say, became the honorary captain of the North team with Fisher leading the South. It didn’t take long for the smack talk emails being sent back and forth among the notables involved with this project.
There have already been unconfirmed reports of spying going on between the two camps.
For both Fisher and Lemke, they also see long lasting value with this program. With their resources and partnerships, they have worked out deals with different engine and parts manufacturers to help test their products at this event.
“We at Circle Track spend a lot of time and money building different styles of project cars for the benefit of our readership. We test new products, engine combinations and chassis setups. We find what works and what doesn’t and then pass that along to the racers through our monthly publication and comprehensive website. What we do not do enough of is race. But that is changing in 2013, as you will be seeing three Circle Track projects consistently on the track this season, the first being the Battle at the Beach,” Fisher said. “So our overriding goal is to take the theories and concepts that we write about each and every month and show that they work by first competing at Daytona and then subsequently throughout the season. Unlike our northern brethren we are not locked into the feature, so the pressure is on. But no one associated with this magazine has ever shied away from a good challenge.”
“It is exciting to work on this project with Circle Track, Adam Royle and Dalton Zehr,” Lemke said. “It will also be fun to go to an event being part of a race team and not be an official. This is something I haven’t done in a long time and the memories are making this more fun.”
Both Royle and Zehr appreciate the opportunity that they have for this event.
“It's not very often that an opportunity as great as this one comes by,” Royle exclaimed. “I figured I had better make this happen as you never know what the next season will bring and I may never get another chance to race at Daytona. I've put years of work into racing along with my family and it's awesome to see those years of hard work and dedication pay off.”
“The opportunity that NASCAR is giving to the Home Track racers around the country is really cool. I think these races will be great for Speedweeks since it exposes our style of racing to a potentially whole new group of fans,” Zehr said. “My overall goal running both the All American Series race and the K&N race (which Zehr will also run for Ted Marsh) is to go out and win. We’ve got two great cars and I cannot wait for February to get here.”
One car will have a Ford crate engine while the other will have a Chevrolet built engine to help show the difference between the two car and body manufacturers. They will also be testing brakes, cooling systems, down force, ignition systems and types, wheels, tire management in long races, and most of all running the new short track at Daytona International Speedway.
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