January 2, 2000
Kindness that Is Extended to Our Racing Family
For a while now, reading racing web-site message boards is more a
place for cutting a track down than to give it praise when it deserves
praise. Yes, all tracks have good points and bad points but they
are still run by the same everyday person that you yourself are.
These are humans with feelings and hearts and when they do
something that is not expected but brings so much joy to one
child, then I owe them their praise.
We have seen tracks collect money for burned racing victims, for
driver's families when we have lost one tragically at the track and
for the future education of a driver's child. But this Christmas,
I had many Christmas Angels watching over my family.
It is no secret that my family and I have had the winds taken out
of our sails and almost totally been destroyed. Besides the personal
lost and betrayal that we felt, we were robbed of every cent we had
and as we all know, it is almost impossible to replace money and
still have money for present bills. I knew that there was no way I
could give my kids anything for Christmas but maybe a few stocking
stuffers which would have been fine with my oldest two kids but
my 7 year old still believes in Santa.
And a miracle happened, one that I did not expect at all. First,
Racing Diva, a new NASCAR web-site gave me an auction to try and
help me save our home. Jack Smith, our KARNAC boss, helped in
every way he could and hopefully once the money is in, I can save
our home. But the tracks, Orlando SpeedWorld and New Smyrna
Speedway, gave my kids a Christmas.
You always hear of the kindness in people but seldom do we get to see
it firsthand. This Christmas, I did over and over again. Not only did the
track buy my little boy a new bike but warm jackets, new socks and
underwear, toys, a bike helmet, and even a Christmas stocking. Without
them, he would have had nothing. They truly were Santa Claus for me
and forever in my heart they will always be for the unselfish acts shown
to a family in dire straits.
Not only did the track help us but fellow racers that I had helped along
my path at karnac and some that I met thru other web-sites, sent things
for Christmas to my kids. And by all these acts, my kids got a sense
of love and that people do care about victims and not always the person
accused of the crime.
All I can say to everyone is thank you. You, and you alone, made my
kids know that they are loved not only by me and their grandparents but
by their other family, their racing family. You can cut down tracks all
you want but you can never say anything bad about the people who
run them or own them, they are good people.
Thank you sounds like so little but thank you is all that I have to give
and a heart full of love for my racing family.
December 20, 1999
LOOKING BACK ON 1999
Looking back over the l999 racing season can be very enjoyable to
some and very hard for others. We have seen many good things,
many good races and also some very heart rendering events. The
fire that burned Ted Novinger at Ocala Speedway, the back flagman
getting killed at Auburndale, the fire that engulfed the SARA Late
Model Sportsman at Lakeland and the death of a Figure 8 driver
at Sunshine. These events were not pleasant but once again the
racing family came together to help in any way they could the families
of these fellow drivers.
SpeedWeeks marked the beginning of most all local track racing again.
There were so many good races, on asphalt as well as dirt, that you
almost needed to be two people in one to see all the great racing
going on. The Florida Pro began their season, the SARA Modifieds
open their season, and drivers from all over the country poured into
Florida for SpeedWeeks. Little did people know that some of those
drivers would be Champions at the end of the year.
Wayne Anderson spent SpeedWeeks at New Smyrna Speedway with
not much luck. But no matter how bad it was, Anderson always had
a smile on his face. At the end of SpeedWeeks, Anderson fans were
extremely happy to hear that Wayne was going to the NASCAR Touring Slim Jim
All Pro Series. At the very first race of the year for that series
which just happened to take place in Florida at Lakeland's USA
International, Wayne Anderson won the race. And what he said after
that race in Victory Circle has stayed in my head all year. He thanked
his wife who always believed in him and his car owner but little did he
know just how many true fans he had that always knew he had it in him.
Another driver from SpeedWeeks was Brian Hoppe in the Re/Max
Series who also came out on top. Dennis Demers was a Busch North
driver who finished eight in points this year. Fans also saw Ted Christopher
of the Featherlite Mods driving not only his mod but a Busch North car and
Busch Grand National car. Scott Wimmer from Wisconsin ran the Hooter's
Pro Cup series as well as Bobby Gill also a SpeedWeeks driver who was
the Hooter's Pro Cup Champion this year. SpeedWeeks was full of surprises.
This also marked the year of the big question - are our tracks safe? Do they
do everything that is necessary to keep our drivers safe? Some tracks did
improve their safety and inspect their cars more closely where some never
changed one single thing. But safety is still a big question and one that
will be answered in time by all.
We saw the introduction of a new Late Model series - the Florida Sunbelt
We saw Florida Pro drivers and Florida Sunbelt drivers in many of these
races and both series had a very good year. These two series kept
fans very busy watching some of the greatest Late Model racing around.
Looking back on l999, it was a good year. Not only did we have our own
Florida Series all over the state but fans saw Slim-Jim All Pro races, Goody's
Dash races, ARCA race, Hooter's Pro Cup races, and the new Winston Cup
race at Homestead. We now have three Winston Cup races in our fair state
and more action than you can shake a stick at.
The crowning glory was the Snowball Derby which was the last short track
race for Rich Bickle who went out with a $l00,000.00 bonus. Bickle will
play with the Big Boys from now on. But the Snowball Derby ended one
of the best race seasons and the last of 1999.
Yes, looking back in some ways is hard but we made it thru the hard
times and we have been there for each other. We are local short track
racefans, we stick together, we help each other. 1999 has been great
but watch out fans, here comes 2000 and racing will only get better.