‘Smoke Show’ Is Latest Children’s Dream Fund 50 Entrant


Rick Holley will race with the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series at Citrus County Speedway in March. (David Sink photo)

INVERNESS, Fla. – Rick Holley announced Sunday he’ll be competing in the Children’s Dream Fund 50 for winged asphalt sprint cars at Citrus County Speedway on March 2.

Holley, nicknamed the “Smoke Show” with the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series Presented by Perfit, will represent the Michigan-based national tour during the co-sanctioned event with the Florida-based BG Products Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series.

The Nelsonville, Ohio, native – now living in Rochester, Pa. – will be racing in Florida for the first time in many years. A blue-collar driver who owns and maintains his own race cars, Holley earned his nickname due to his on-the-edge driving style, particularly when he qualifies.

Often on Holley’s time trial attempts, smoke can be seen pouring off his right-rear tire as he puts it to the test. His driving style may be unorthodox by pavement sprint car standards, but it’s effective.

Last year, Holley was the fastest qualifier at both Must See Racing events at Owosso Speedway in Ovid, Mich. In fact, during the second Owosso race last fall, Holley eclipsed the all-time track record previously held by Cameron Dodson and noted car owner Dick Myers with a scorching lap of 12.520 seconds.

However, Holley won’t be the only smoke-show artist in town for the Citrus County event. Canadian Aaron Willison, who has a similar qualifying style to Holley’s, will also be participating. When it was brought to Holley’s attention that Willison will be in attendance, he joked he might have to up his game.

“Maybe we’ll bring some special tires with different colored smoke in them,” laughed Holley. “In all seriousness, when I first heard the announcement of the Children’s Dream Fund 50, I told myself I wanted to run this event. It was just the right time … and it was also time for a vacation.

“I think we have a car that can compete down there. That’s what pushed it over the edge for me.”

Holley admitted he isn’t too familiar with Citrus County Speedway but has been doing his homework.

“I’ve been watching a few videos of past races there this week. I like the look of the track,” tipped Holley. “It’s kind of short, but I like the look of the banking. It looks like a racy little place. Without being there in person … I hate to say it, but it reminds me of Owosso Speedway a little bit.”

If Holley does have plans of battling for the $10,000 winner’s check, he’ll have to bring his A-game.

The entry list for the Children’s Dream Fund 50 currently boasts more than 30 cars and is stacked with some of the best asphalt winged sprint car drivers from across the United States.

“I think we’ve got just as good of a shot as anybody who’s never been to the track. It’s all going to come down to how quickly we can get acclimated to the track and get a good qualifying time,” Holley noted. “I’m confident I can stack myself up as a driver against these guys. It’s just a matter of equipment and luck, I guess.

“I think if we can be competitive, and run in the top five with these guys, we’d be happy with that.”

Race weekend for the Children’s Dream Fund 50 kicks off Friday, March 1 with an open practice for all teams. Saturday, March 2 features a full show with qualifying, heat races, a B-main, and a 50-lap feature.

The Children’s Dream Fund is a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based, non-profit organization that was founded in 1981 with the purpose of fulfilling dreams for children from the ages of three to 21, living in West Central Florida, who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Dreams are organized by doctors, nurses, child life and social workers, friends, families, and even other patients.

Since its inception, the Children’s Dream Fund has made dreams come true for more than 4,000 children. More than half of all dream costs are covered by in-kind donations.

Live streaming coverage for the Children’s Dream Fund 50 will be provided through Racing America, in partnership with Must See Racing.

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