The OneDirt World Short Track Championship had 30 Pro Modified cars and crews enter for their shot at winning it big at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Name: Justin Blevins
Class: Pro Modified
Hometown: Chilhowie, VA
Home Track: Wythe Raceway
Justin Blevins is making his way to the OneDirt World Short Track Championship from Chilhowie, VA.
This is Blevins first time racing at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and believes it will be similar to his home track Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, VA.
“Wythe is a big, wide, fast, half-mile track and I think that’s how it’s going to be at Charlotte, wide and fast early on,” said Blevins. “As the night goes on it’s going to become slick and you’re going to have to adjust and become more technical. There’s going to be different challenges depending on what time you’re on the track.”
Blevins has 26 Career Open Wheel Wins, four wins in 2016 and won the 2015 Wythe Raceway Track Championship. He is hoping to be a steady contender both nights and to stay out of trouble.
“I’m usually very calm until I get in the car. Once I put on my helmet it’s wide open from there and I go straight into attack mode. By the time I fire up the car it’s an entirely different game,” said Blevins.
Name: Kevin Pangrazio
Class: Pro Modified
Hometown: Davidson, NC
Home Track: East Lincoln Track – Friendship Speedway
For the Pangrazio family racing has always been a family affair. With family members starting in the industry in 1968, Kevin Pangrazio followed suit and started driving in at the age of 30 in 2000.
“I’ve been racing for 16 years but I used to go to races with my dad when I was younger than that. I started in Street Stocks but I now race Modifieds,” said Pangrazio. “My cousin Scooter taught me that if you do something half-way it only gets you half-way at the track. He has helped me tremendously really picking a series I could succeed at. It’s not about what you run but what you can afford to run. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a street stock, a go-kart or racing a wheelbarrow around the house, if that’s what you have to race be the best you can at that”.
Pangrazio resides in Davidson, NC and typically races at East Lincoln Speedway and Friendship Speedway. The OneDirt World Short Track Championship will be a family reunion for the Pangrazios’ as the rest of his family migrates down to North Carolina from New York to support him.
“I look forward to being with my family but also with all of the local drivers and all of the other cars,” said Pangrazio. “It’s great to see the big buys but you will have a local track comradery here and it’s a lot of fun because we never really get to race against each other. Trying to figure out who and how the person next to you races is another element you’ll see here that you don’t have at your local track when you usually race against the same guys.”
As the 2016 season closes for Pangrazio he hopes to have a more flexible work schedule next year so he is able to run at a track full time in order to have a chance at a championship. Pangrazio also hopes to mentor the younger drivers at his track before the move on to another level of racing.
Name: Greyson Stevens
Class: Pro Modified
Hometown: Statesville, NC
From Statesville, NC, Greyson Stevens is following in his fathers footsteps. The father and son duo race against each other weekly and that is no exception for the OneDirt World Short Track Championship.
“This year has led up to this moment and so I am more than ready to get out there,” said Stevens. “It would be the best feeling in the world [to qualify and make the main event] at Charlotte, you’d never forget that.”
Stevens began racing modifieds at 13 years old and with only two years of racing under his belt his father Buck Stevens says, “he knows what he can do and can’t do and he’s still learning. He’s very consistent and he’s really smooth out there, a lot more smooth than I am.”
All Pro Modified drivers:
George Anen, Jr
Richard Shupe, Jr.