As a Nor’ Easter blankets New England the NELCAR “Winter Storm” is ready for the 2013 race season. Dan Winter and some of his fellow drivers from the NELCAR Legends Tour were on hand for the “Racin’ Preview” in Portland, Maine.
Though the Amsoil NELCAR legends haven’t been racing the last few months, the drivers have been busy getting ready for Opening Day at Wiscasset Speedway on April 6th. “This offseason we’ve been mostly getting the cars cleaned up and ready for the 2013 season.”
One of the big changes this upcoming season is that NELCAR will not be returning to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “For the 2013 season I am going to be running for the Amsoil NELCAR Legends Tour Championship, as well as the Thursday Thunder Championship. I am also planning on running in select road course races at NHMS on our off weeks. In addition in September, we are going to be traveling out to Lake Erie Speedway to compete in the Legend Car nationals.”
Other than NHMS being dropped from the schedule some other changes were made the legends will not be returning to Seekonk as well but, Wiscasset Speedway, and Spud Speedway have been added to the schedule. It is possible the legends will be returning to Unity Raceway. “I like the schedule for this year. I think that it provides a lot of good opportunities for us to race at different tracks. I am also very excited to be running on the same weekend as some of the bigger PASS events this season.”
NELCAR has 17 races at 6 different tracks this race season but there is one track that the “Winter Storm” can wait to return to. “Without a doubt I am most looking forward to getting back to Star Speedway. To me it’s my home track, and I’ve always run well there. However I am also looking forward to running some of the road course races this year. I enjoy road racing because you have to be a lot more technical on the track. One bad corner will ruin the entire lap.”
Looking back to the 2012 season Dan and the 81 legend car had some amazing moments. “My most memorable moment of the 2012 race season was actually the complete season. We faced many challenges from mechanical failures to also running very strong and having some great races and great finishes.”
Though the 81 car did have an horrific wreck, last season at the oval at NHMS.
“Yes, the wreck last year was something memorable for me. But I mostly tried to turn it into a positive and after that moment our season began to turn around the right way and we started to finish strongly.”
Though there are some differences in the race cars, coupe or sedan body styles and Yamaha 1200cc unsealed and or 1250 sealed engines the cars are all basically the same. “To be competitive on the track it takes lots of hard work. It all starts back at the shop by putting in lots of time and effort. Also making the right changes at the track to get the car handling the way I like it is very important.”
The race cars, safety, and rules are always evolving but this season Dan wouldn’t change a thing. “Nothing, I think right now the Amsoil NELCAR Legends Tour has all the right rules, and hopefully will continue to grow.”
A lot of drivers coming up through kart racing take the next step by racing in a legend cars as Dan passes along some key information. “Yes, the most important thing for drivers coming out of karting and into legends is seat time. Take advantage of every practice session there is to get used to how the car handles at different tracks and in different conditions. Also, do not be afraid to ask some of the veteran drivers for advice on how to drive the car.”