Deep in the heart of the “off season” and on one of the coldest weekends the Southeast region has seen in quite a while, the engines fired for the first time in 2014 at South Carolina's Dillon Motor Speedway this past Saturday.  Firing up the Street Stocks has become a New Years tradition over the past few seasons.  A tradition that originally began at Rockingham Speedway (NC) that has now been revived on the Northeast corner of the Palmetto State.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin’s James Swan took home the hefty $2,000 payday, one of the biggest of the year in the division, at the end of 100 laps.  As other drivers were battling the cold, it was one driver accustomed to the conditions who capitalized.

A race originally donned “The Polar Bear,” the event lived up to its reputation with temperatures so low the schedule was delayed to grant teams ample time to mount tires after it was discovered the track’s equipment was frozen.
 
Following the delay, the 28-car field got off to a shaky start in the frigid afternoon weather.  Track conditions posed a true challenge when searching for grip on the cold .4-mile surface.

“This was really fun,” said Swan.  “It was awesome battling back up through there after some of those restarts to really make a race out of this.  It’s tough out here for these guys on this track with it being so cold, we were all sliding around everywhere.”

In a race that saw over 20 cautions in 100 laps, restarts were key for the drivers continuously swapping the lead at the front of the field each lap before the next caution flew.

“The restarts were the biggest thing because we had so many,” said Swan.  “You had to be on your toes and ready in case the caution came out again.  There wasn’t much time to correct it if you made a mistake.”

In front of a packed crowd of Dillon Motor Speedway fans, Swan also brought along his Wisconsin faithful to experience the New Years tradition in South Carolina.

“I have a lot of my fans from Wisconsin here tonight,” said Swan.  “Which is really exciting.  I’m glad they were able to see me win.  I also have many friends from South Carolina here with me tonight as well so I’m glad they were all able to see this.”

As for the substantial $2,000 check, Swan is just thankful to have it after competing against such a strong field of competition.

“This is awesome,” said Swan.  “This is one of the biggest checks you can get in these cars and we got it against a really tough field of cars that came out to try to win it as well.”

After making a hard charge in the final laps of the event to challenge for the top spot, Wayne Locklair came home second followed by Curtis Peeples, Cooper Fasion and Brian Thomas rounded out the top-five.


NEW YEARS STREET STOCK RACEOLUTION
1. James Swan
2. Wayne Locklair
3. Curtis Peeples
4. Cooper Faison
5. Brian Thomas
6. Steve Davis
7. Ron Flynn
8. Charles Hutto
9. Josh Varney
10. Justin Altman
11. John Schaak
12. Art Chambers
13. Greg Grindstaff
14. Brandon Brown
15. Ricky Locklair
16. Jonathan Kornegay
17. Wayne Silvia
18. Joey Wilkes
19. Sonny Schoffen
20. Mike Ganoe
21. Ricky Locklair, Jr.
22. Gary Taft
23. Gary Ledbetter
24. Brandon Maready
25. Rich Kelley
26. Jeff Melton
27. Chris Burns
28. Greg Tumbleston

James Swan Takes Home $2,000 New Years Street Stocks Payday
Frigid Temps Posed Major Challenge for Street Stock Teams at Dillon
By Ally Fulson, Speed51.com Deep South Editor - Twitter: @AllyFulson
Street Stocks on the grid ready for 2014.
James Swan took home a cool $2,000 New Years check.