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Remembering Clyde Hart on July 3rd

Excerpts from the writing of Jane Smith

Samsula, Fla (June 30, 2003) This Thursday, July 3rd, the annual Clyde Hart Memorial will run at New Smyrna Speedway. The "Best of the Best" Super Late Models will journey to New Smyrna for the 125 Lap Sunbelt Super Late Model race that honors Clyde Hart.

Clyde Hart was a man with a heart for racing. If there were only two cars to show up at either Orlando SpeedWorld or New Smyrna Speedway, that was a race to Mr. Hart. "It only takes two to make a race" was his motto.

Clyde Hart saw that racing was a family sport therefore kids were allowed in the pits with their family. Of course they had to be supervised but they could be there. Robert Hart, son of Clyde and now owner of the sister tracks, has continued what his father believed and kids are part of the racing family and together at a track.

Once a year the "old green truck" that sits next to the flagstand at New Smyrna Speedway is dusted off and brought down off it's perch. That was Clyde Hart's truck and it was put there to watch over New Smyrna Speedway and the racing family that Clyde loved so much. On Thursday, ,the old green truck will proudly take its place in the parade lap for the Clyde Hart Memorial.

Since kids were part of the picture at both tracks, this year the Memorial will add a Kids Bike race before the main events. At 7:00 p.m. the kids of New Smyrna Speedway will feel for themselves the "asphalt beneath my feet" as their race around the half mile track.

"This is the best thing and I am very excited," said youngster Alex Fortune who ran a bike race at Orlando. "I was going to practice after the races last Saturday night just to see how it felt but we got rained out. So I guess I will go out green just like any other novice to New Smyrna." he added smiling like a happy kid. Clyde Hart would have loved that bike race.

Clyde Hart loved racing. Whether it was a race field of 2 cars or 38 cars, it was racing. I can remember seeing Mr. Hart in the pits at both Orlando SpeedWorld and New Smyrna Speedway.

He would smile and greet his racers and their crews. He would also do his best to fulfill dreams as he did for me once back in the mid 90's.

My family went to the races every Friday and Saturday night. As all kids do, my daughter picked one racer that she just had to meet.

When we went to New Smyrna, we always had to sit in the grandstands directly across from his pits so she could watch the crew work on his car.

When she saw that this man had t-shirts with his name and number on them, that was it. She had to have one. So I wrote the track and told them about my daughter and guess what, she met her driver.

Clyde Hart himself took us to meet this driver and fulfill her dream. Clyde told me that every Saturday night they called my name until they found me so he could give my daughter her dream.

Once a year, the old green truck that belonged to Clyde comes off the hill at New Smyrna Speedway. Once again it proudly goes around the track that meant so much to Clyde Hart.

And then it goes back on the hill where it stays so Clyde can watch over the track that meant so much to him.

Although he is gone now, his spirit remains and July 4th, you can be sure that Clyde will be in the heart of many at New Smyrna Speedway.

On July 4th no matter what you do or where you go, remember that God blessed America and God gave us people like Clyde Hart, Leo Musgrave, and countless others that paved the way for the fans and drivers of short track stock car racing.


Clyde Hart Memorial   Winners List

2002 - Travis Kittleson
2003 - Mike Fritts

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