Matt Hirschman. Doug Coby. Patrick Emerling. Ron Silk. Tommy Catalano. Craig Lutz. Jimmy Blewett.
When you think of modified racing in the United States, these among a slew of other big names automatically come to your mind. There’s also going to be a familiar face battling alongside these drivers in 2023 – Norman Newman.
The OSCAAR Modified competitor will be making the trek down from Ontario to Florida to take part in New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, which features the Tour Modifieds on-track multiple times from February 10 to February 18.
“I’m very excited to get the opportunity to race at New Smyrna,” Newman said. “I’ve been going there on and off ever since I was a little kid. The Open Modified Class is definitely the class to watch down there. I think it’s some of the best asphalt circle track racing there is right now.”
With over 40 competitors currently signed up for the week and only 32 qualifying for the main event each night, Newman is keeping his goals in check with hopes of being competitive in the top 15 to 20 cars.
“I feel we have a great car under us with a fresh NASCAR spec engine and our support from Speed 77 in Buffalo,” he added. “Be sure to get on Flo Racing to watch all the coverage of New Smyrna Speedweeks.”
The opportunity came about following the purchase of a brand new LFR Modified at the beginning of 2022, with original plans to turn into an OSCAAR Modified. However, those have since changed, with New Smyrna as well as possibly making the trek to Lancaster, North Wilkesboro and Martinsville Speedway if the marketing support comes together.
The new venture won’t see him leaving the OSCAAR tour, though, as he plans to compete in select events at Delaware Speedway, Sauble Speedway, and Full Throttle Motor Speedway.
“Other than that, I plan to spend some time with my family chasing some Jr Late Model wins that my nephew Cohen drives,” he shared. “You’ll be able to catch us around Sauble, Grand Bend (Speedway) & Varney (FullThrottle).”
Of the events on his Canadian calendar, he admits being most excited about getting back to Delaware Speedway, with the speed they have shown in the past. After unfortunately getting caught up in a wreck in July, Newman returned to the half-mile in September for a fifth-place finish.
Newman entered five total events across the province for 2022, scoring four top-10’s, including a season-best fourth at Sauble Speedway. The success backed up what he was able to do in 2021 with a pair of top-five’s and a heat victory.
It’s why as he chases his first career series victory, he says the focus is on “just continuing to learning these tour type modifieds.
“We’re so close to getting there,” Newman said of a first feature win. “We’re a top-five car every race in OSCAAR. It’s very tough as a tour modified car to break through against these late model cars. I think this year will be the year we get a win.”
Obviously to make things like this happen and come together, it takes a lot of marketing support, which Newman is grateful to have entering February.
“For our New Smyrna Speedweeks run, we have some great companies on board,” he commented. “Family Funland Go Kart Track, I couldn’t do it without the support of my family. Scott Reinhart Trailers -from buying trailers to spending time in the shop, the Reinhart family are so much fun to be around and I can’t thank them enough for helping out with this dream. D3 Fabrication is a local fab shop that builds off-road race cars; I spend a lot of time at the shop with Steve. Check out his Instagram for any of your off-road needs – @D3OffroadPerformance.
“Auto Fusion Towing & Recovery Service has 23 years of experience in the towing and recovery business; Noel is always great to chat with at the race track. Bird Construction provides construction services to a long list of clients since 1920 – multi-tenant residential, industrial, mining, water and wastewater, energy, renewables, nuclear, and civil sectors. Tire Depot in Barrie, Canadian owned and operated, is your expert in the world of tires and automotive service.
“I also want to thank the crew that is coming down to New Smyrna Speedweek – Tyler Hawn, Adam Hagen, Scott & Dale Reinhart, Greg Franklin, Joey Kosmerly, as well my family, Ashley, Mom, Dad, Bob and Rob.”