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Citrus County Speedway

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Motorheads Directory of MotorSports

 Columns & Editorials

July 23, 2001

Just A Short Little Story

By Jane Smith

The other day my dad told me a story about Bill France, Sr. and how Daytona was back in the 70's. My dad was the PR Director for a junior college in Cocoa, Florida. He belonged to a PR Club that was invited by Bill France, Sr. to tour the newly built Daytona International Speedway.

A PR Club has press people from all over the state so it was no little gathering. The members were taken to the VIP Suite that belonged to Bill France, Sr. and wined and dined on the finest of food and drink. But there was one problem, there was an open bar where one member decided to drink his lunch instead of eating

After this fabulous lunch, the members were given a grand tour of this very large race facility with Bill France, Sr. as the guide. But little did they know that they were in for the ride of their lives that day also.

To their surprise, Mr. France had arranged for each of the PR members to have one lap around the great track in a racecar. Now this was the time that no restrictor plates were used so the cars went wide open. Little did my dad expect that day to go almost 200 miles per hour around a race track. But the part that held my interest the most was when he told of the driver taking his hand off the steering wheel when going into turn 1 and 2 showing my dad that the car naturally turned left, he did nothing to make it turn.

My father was definitely impressed and also slightly nervous when he got out of that racecar but the best part was when the member who drank his lunch went for his spin around the track. He was already spinning from his liquid lunch and when he got out of that racecar, he thought he had been on a jet. Little did he know that his driver had no hands on the wheel and the car naturally went to the left.

Just a little story on the beginning of Daytona International.

Jane Smith

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