Surviving 9 Nights of Racing
by Jane Smith
Nine nights of racing takes it's toll on not only the racers
and crews but the people who work at the tracks during that
period. You can have a good night or a bad night but no matter
which, it is always a "late" night.
When you come to race for 9 nights or 3 or 4, there is no sight
seeing, no play time, no going to get some food. It is work on
the car, get the car better, eat with dirty hands, and if fire-
suits could stand alone, they certainly would.
Drivers come from all over the country once a year to race in
Florida as SpeedWeeks in Daytona are going strong. To my
surprise this year, at New Smyrna Speedway, there were Mini
Stockers from North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire, a
long tow to race Mini Stocks.
Big names show up at all the area tracks running SpeedWeek
events and small, unknown names. It is a time when NASCAR
drivers are walking thru the pits just like any other fan,
a time that the person standing next to you may be a visitor
from England, a wonderful time of year.
For the unknown workers and crews that make the tracks run,
it is a time of little sleep, tired, tired bones, and yet,
they would not trade this time for anything. It is a time
when your eyes are full of "kitty litter" enough to last
you until next year at this time. It is a time that your
back hurts so bad that you want to cry but you keep pushing
for the guys who have traveled so far to be at your track.
Is it worth all the dirt, the little sleep, the ups and downs?
The answer is YES, by all means, yes.
Bob Fox, Jonathan Smith, Bob Eastwood, Tom White, Mike Fitch,
Eric Beers, Donald Long, David Browning, Eddie VanMeter and
countless more, make it worth it.
For all the drivers and crews from East Bay to Volusia Speedway
Park to New Smyrna Speedway, you make all the countless hours
of work to get the show out, worth it. For each and every
team that made the haul to Florida to put on a show and give
the fans some great memories, we say thank you for the memories.
See ya in 2004!!!
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