Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Blues

On the front page, we’ve got a tribute to Donnie Ray Crawford and his smile.

Kevin Swindell topped the field with his third win at the Chili Bowl! Seems like the cream always rises to the top. Sammy was second. Amy was overheard in the pits after the race saying “well, my kid can drive a race car!” The first time I saw Kevin s drive a racecar he was 15 yrs old at Florence Motor Speedway, Timmonsville South Carolina. (Cale Yarbrough’s hometown). He was racing with Pete Walton’s USCS Sprint crew on an asphalt track. He lapped everybody twice in a forty-lap feature except the second place car – his uncle Terry Gray. In 40 laps I saw him turn his hands to the right twice. It’s the best asphalt run I’ve ever seen. And it was by a 15 year old kid.

261 Midget drivers from across the country. Tony Stewart NASCAR Champ, Levi Jones USAC Champ. So many champs you couldn’t name them all. On Tues they have a race of champions. Check out VA Dirt’s coverage and Goose’s coverage on the sprint car photo page.

Well the next big crank up is the Winter Nationals in Florida. Are you going? If not, why not? East Bay runs three or four days for each different class…five tracks running 40+ nights of racing. You can see a complete schedule on the Fla page, including track phone numbers and links to the track website. I missed two years since 1993…that’s always a great trip! East bay is a bull ring track quarter. If I had to choose one race to go to each year I could pick opening night of the Lucas Oil Late Models at East Bay.

Volucia Speedway Park it’s a long fast ½ mile track … it’s 45 miles from Daytona. The World of Outlaws struts their stuff there…along with the UMP and All star sprints. The Asphalt World Series is at New Smyrna Florida.….seven classes run in 9 nights. Florida Speedway starts it all off early with Winter Nationals …. O’Bubbas raceway, formerly Ocala Speedway, has a full slate of dates.

Our home base for the last 9 years has been the Days Inn North in Tampa…one exit away from Busch Gardens. They have a $45 two person racer rate for the winter nationals. Give Dan Samborn a call at 813-977-1550. Jan and Feb in Florida at 45 a night is a steal. There’s no excuse for you not packing it up and getting the heck outta this cold to go to the races.

We’ll have several reporters covering the tracks in Florida. If you have any ideas, or you just want to say hi, stop in and talk to them. If you’d like to see better coverage in your area of local racers, or know somebody that would like to help us, talk to the guys if you see them in Florida…or contact me at and put team 2012 in the subject line.


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