March 15, 2020
Converting Daytona from stock cars to motocross
When the crowds cleared out of Daytona International Speedway (DIS) after the Daytona 500 on Monday February 17, 2020, conversion of the beautiful turf tri-oval to become the Supercross site and TT Track.
The 50th Annual Supercross (March 7) and the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross (March 8 & 9) went off as planned. DIS officials announced that the Daytona 200 Superbike and the Daytona TT were postponed. The Daytona 200 will be run during the Biketoberfest in October while the Daytona TT awaits rescheduling.
The build 2020
Fourth of July races this season in NASCAR Cup Series will be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the traditional Coke Zero Sugar 400 will be the final race in the 2020 schedule before playoffs provided the month off does not alter the schedule. The 400 mile race at Daytona will be August 29, 2020.
Griffeth and his crew will be replanting the tri-oval area with warm season turfgrass, adding water, fertilizer, and tender loving care to have a new look for the August races. The casual spectator will not notice the change from the track that was pictured above.
Next July 4, 2021 DIS will host their first Soccer Fest when the tri-oval will be converted to world-class turf for that event. More information is coming. I believe in an earlier post I stated the Soccer Fest was slated for this year which is incorrect.
Holler Family update
Through previous episodes of UpNorth Motorsports you have read about Garrett and Heather Holler (Hershkowitz) formerly from Addison, Vermont now living near Charlotte, North Carolina.
I met Garrett when I got a tour of Restoration & Performance Motorcars (RPM) in Vergennes, Vermont while doing a couple of feature episodes on the exotic car company nestled in the hills of Vermont. Holler was working in the auto body barn at the facility owned by Peter Markowitz.
Holler had just graduated from a local tech center and was working on one of the first cars built by Ferrari, repairing a Ferrari Daytona which had crash damage, as well as restoring a pre WWII Alfa Romeo race car. His skills with metal were incredible for such a young person.
He eventually went on to form Holler Customs in Addison Vermont and met his future wife Heather Hershkowitz. Both decided they wanted to move to motorsports friendly North Carolina near the Charlotte area.
I learned from Garrett that his girlfriend was a technician at Vermont Sports Cars located at that time in Colchester, Vermont, now Milton as detailed in past episodes. He promised to introduce me to her when are paths crossed in future trips to Vermont.
In August 2018, I met Heather when she was working as a freelance motorsports mechanic for DirtFish Rally team based out of Snoqualmie, Washington about 30 miles from Seattle. DirtFish was contesting the ARX II title in the short-lived American Rallycross Series (ARX) which shut down after the 2019 season, only its second year.
THe team needed mechanics to travel to the widespread venues across the United States and in Canada. Heather worked at the races and did between race prep a few times when the team did not want to make the trek all the way home to Washington.
Heather got her start directly out of tech school. She worked for a Subaru dealership for several years near her home in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She heard about a Vermont Sports Cars (VSC) located in Colchester, Vermont at that time.
VSC was contracted by Subaru USA to build rally and rallycross multiple Subaru WRX for events in North America. Heather wanted the challenge of working for the elite factory race team.
She emailed the team and actually got a reply. The team was small which probably accounted for the response to her inquiry. No openings on the team existed and she decided to get more experience.
A meeting in Los Angeles with the team netted her another look and after moving 3000 miles east she eventually became VSC’s first female race technician.
Garrett Holler commented from his new home in Mooresville, North Carolina, “When I first got down here I worked for a company named Carolina Coach Crafters, Mooresville, North Carolina. That is the place with all the Porsches.”
“I was the head painter/body guy. I was brought on as a 1099 employee so after a while I figured if I’m gonna have to do all the taxes and work of running a business, I might as well run a business of my own. So Holler Customs Inc.,Mooresville,North Carolina is now officially a business as of actually this morning.”
” I’ve been working put of my house/shop for about a month now. Been finishing up a massive Subaru custom turbo build.”
“My next project is going to be building a full replica 1997 Subaru Impreza World Rally Car body for a customer up in Canada. We went down to Atlanta last Sunday to pick up one of the cleanest 2-door Impreza I’ve ever seen to build on.”
“I am really looking forward to that because the project consists of a lot of metal shaping in the English wheel. I have realized recently that sheet metal working is where my passion truly lies and where it really always has been.”
From a discussion with Heather Holler I gleaned the following update after asking what she is up to now. She replied, “A day (at Vaughn Gittin Jr.Motorsports) is never very typical. I can be doing anything from loading the truck, washing the cars, building spare body panels, and inspecting all components after events.”
“RTR is technically a separate entity, I’ve been learning, from Vaughn Gittin Jr Motorsports. I’m technically a private contractor with them, and not a W-2 employee. Technically I am contract working for Vaughn Gittin Jr Motorsports.”
“The shop is in North Carolina, they don’t like us sharing the exact location. Vaughn Gittin Jr Motorsports is way more fun than I expected. We all get along great there and have a blast at work. I guess that’s kind of important when the boss man (Vaughn) has trademarked ‘Fun-Haver’ for the team.”
“My boss, and everyone else for that matter, is also very willing to teach and share information. Sometimes it’s hard to get people to teach you special things as it secures their importance on a team. But here, we know that we succeed as a team, so sharing and teaching each other is encouraged.”
“There is always so much going on, that the person who usually does something won’t be around, so it’s important that we all have a grip on everything. I’ve learned so much about drifting and haven’t even been to an event yet, not to mention the certain components they have in the cars that specifically pertain to the sport.”
“I’ve left Garret to mostly handle Holler Customs since the motorsport team takes up most of my time. We have a landlord down here (Mooresville, NC) who is willing to let us build a ‘watchman’s quarter’ in our shop, so once we get that finished, we’ll be able to organize a bit better and bring the rest down. We have about a third of our stuff still in Vermont.”
Garrett is almost done with the Subaru track wagon build, and I’ll be starting on my Dad’s Corvette in a couple of weeks, so that’ll clear out some space too.”
“We absolutely LOVE living down. The local drag strip is only 5 miles down the road. Every day you see some cool car on the road and there seems to be some sort of automotive activity every weekend going on. My goals are to do my best, learn what I can, and hopefully one day earn a spot as a w-2 employee”
Heather has also participated in a few episodes of Twin Turbos Show hosted by Brad and Doug Deberti on the Motor Trend Overhauling app.
Mega Meltdown in Caribou next weekend
Let’s Go Racing
Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)