Daytona International Speedway Bike Weeks track ready for action

Episode 307

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 Ricky Carmichael design for the 2020 Supercross utilizing the tri-oval area of DIS. Several features from past Supercross races were incorporated into this year’s 50th Anniversary course. (Courtesy DIS)

The build 2020

The 2020 Speedweeks frontstretch turf artistry with the Daytona logo. This is the before shot just before 2020 Speedweeks. (DIS photo)

February 26, 2020 in turn four area of the tri-oval. The area to the far left will eventually be the Supercross start line. (DIS photo)

March 2 before the start/finish line is installed. Note that just above the letter T in Daytona. A later photo shows the finished “Tunnel” feature. DIS maintains huge stockpiles of “Supercross dirt track material” off site.(DIS photo)

A view of the turn one end of the tri-oval where the jumps and switchbacks are under construction. The throwback “Over-the-wall” jump just to the right of the letter A in Daytona was taking shape.  Note the installation of the grandstands on pit lane. Those are premium seats for close-to-the-action viewing. Note how the construction crews were avoiding the Daytona logo. You will see why in the next sequence of photos. March 2 photo. (DIS photo)

This is what turn four end of tri-oval looked like early on March 2, four days before the Supercross was slated to begin. The starting gate area is visible. (DIS photo)

The start finish line the day before the 50th Anniversary Supercross. Note the logo was repainted, the starting line was installed, and the tunnel area above the letter T in Daytona now has trees planted and black painted stone to replicate the tunnel under the track. Note the team transporters and campers in the background. Things were really starting to happen. (DIS photo)

Just before Supercross 2020 overall view Note that the Supercross folks wanted to keep as much turfgrass as possible to brighten up the unique design. Current AMA points leader Eli Tomac won his fourth Daytona Supercross race. (DIS photo)

What’s next?

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.

Garrett Holler at RPM with one of the exotic cars he was tasked with rebuilding the body. These were multiple six figure cars he was given responsibility for. I believe this was a Ferrari. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Garrett Holler on left with owner of RPM, Peter Markowski, in the body work barn. They were discussing the hand crafted fabrication of the exhaust on this Ferrari 195 S Carrozzeria Vignale Speciale. (HTF Motorsports photo)

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.

Holler Customs, Addison, Vermont August 2018. Garrett posing with shop dog and mint condition Nissan Skyline featuring right hand driver. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Inside view of Holler Customs in Vermont when he and future wife Heather got the reprep contract to go over four DirtFish ARX II cars between races. (Holler Customs photo)

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.

Race day for the quick to learn Hershkowitz with the Vermont Sports Car team. After experiencing a couple race seasons she moved on to freelance which was a less hectic schedule. (VSC photo)

After the muddy ARX II race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) near Austin, Texas. Heather worked freelance at races and repreps between events for Dirt Fish (Heather Hershkowitz 2018 photo)

Doing between race reprep on all four DirtFish ARX II race cars back home in Addison, Vermont at Holler Customs. (Holler Customs photo)

Garrett and Heather became Mr. and Mrs Holler at a very unique wedding at DirtFish Headquarters in Washington . After their wedding vows, the bride and groom did donuts and drove off into the woods for some special wedding photos. (Sam Leombruno Photography)

And now…

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.”

Holler Customs Subaru Turbo project nearing completion at the southern headquarters. (Holler Customs photo)

“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.”

Future build for Holler Customs will be this 1997 Subaru Impreza for a customer in Canada. The car will be a replica of the rally car in the photo. (Holler Customs photo)

“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.”

Holler Customs South, Mooresville, North Carolina. (Holler Customs photo)

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.”

Heather Holler with the Ford Mustang RTR drift show car of Chelsea DeNofa, team-mate to Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Heather Holler photo)

“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.”

Heather Holler at work on the Ford Mustang RTR of Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Heather Holler photo)

“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.”

Holler family enjoying time off with a visit to the GoPro Motorplex karting facility in Mooresville. This is the same track where you find many NASCAR, IMSA, SCCA, and local racers honing their racing skills. Garrett was only slightly faster than Heather by .3 seconds. (Heather Holler photo)

“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

Weather looks decent for the 2020 season finale of the Tame the Track Snowmobile Race Tour in Caribou. Money raised art the event will go to Cary Medical Center’s Brian’s Ride Cancer Fund.

Let’s Go Racing

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)






Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine