2014 Speedweeks Thoughts...

Just a bit of rambling on what I thought was the best Speedweeks in some time despite the early problems with the weather that canceled so many shows…

NASCAR got a huge shot in the arm yesterday when Junior won the 500… You could just feel an excitement in the air that even came across TV that would not have been there had someone like Johnson, Gordon, Keselowski, Harvick etc. won the race… Dale’s enthusiasm was great to see… All month he seemed to have a different attitude and I, for one, hope he can finally get his first Cup title this year…

Had the opportunity to meet so many great people this year including a number of “old timers” I met for the first time… too numerous to mention… Having Buddy Parrott here for a couple of hours was a blast… boy, did he have a few stories to tell… Also got a chance to spend a good part of this past Friday with 1959 Darlington Southern 500 winner Jim Reed and his wife… Jim is a former NASCAR short track champion too and it was the first time he’d been to Daytona in over 40 years… He had some great stories about racing on the beach… Also made my first visit to Racing’s North Turn Restaurant… great food and atmosphere… If you haven’t been there, try and do so sometime, it’s worth the trip…

It was a blast working again with old friends Hank Sanders and Ben Dodge at New Smyrna… Car counts were decent and the racing was great… Crowds were much bigger than in recent years and it was great to see so many old friends in attendance (some older than me LOL)… The K&N race surprised many by being so competitive and the crowd was incredible… We brought NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Ingram over on Monday and he was very impressed with the facility, staff and quality of the racing… The only downer was missing the Mod Reunion yet again, but it’s on the one day that I have so many other things going on…

Only made it to Volusia for two nights, but the racing, as usual, was excellent… UMP Mod car counts were a bit down this year (if you call 60 cars a down year) but I was told a lot of teams gave up trying to get down here due to the weather… Pork Chop sandwiches were awesome like always!

I haven’t been to East Bay in 5-6 years but it was so good to see the support the 360 Sprint Car teams gave the track this year… 53 cars is an excellent car count for any type of car, anywhere, nowadays… Also looks like the USAC guys really supported their shows at Bubba’s… They don’t have that many cars for a lot of their races in Indiana!

I’m really pumped for 2014… It looks like it could be a really good year…

We enjoyed the racing at New Smyrna Speedway this year. Lots of SLMs and Pro Lates. Liked the new concessions that sold cinnamon rolls and kettle corn. New lighting was terrific it was daylight on the track.

Lack of Tour Mods car counts on most nights is the only downside.

Keep up the good work NSS!

We had a great time as well, and look fwd to doing it again next yr

Yes Sir

NSS also Ricky Brooks GREAT job with the SLMs and Pro lates NEXT YEAR Mods :slight_smile:

Random thoughts here:

The K&N Series impressed me at both tracks. Along with a good Tour Mod race at Daytona, I’m gonna miss the Battle if it does go away.

I loved that 2 local drivers got BIG wins at Volusia. Congrats to Ivedent Lloyd and Kyle Bronson (my newest, ‘don’t take your eyes off of him’ racer). This kid is EXCITING.

Steven Wallace made it almost the entire week before pissing people off. It’s a new record for him.

Daniel Suarez & Cameron Hayley I think are destined for big things.

Old timer, and only occasional Sprint car driver anymore, Dave Blaney got a win on the same night the “Outlaws” were too chicken-shit to even unload.

Kyle Strickler & Devin Gilpin can wheel the hell out of UMP Mods.

Nice car count for the 360 Sprints at EB, after several years of declining support. I remember a night a few years ago that had 83 cars. Also heard the USAC Sprints brought over 50 as well. NICE JOB in both classes.

I’ve never been big on young kids in full-blown racecars… but dammit if guys like Kyle Benjamin, Harrison Burton, Spencer Davis… they get the job done with talent and maturity beyond their years.

Speaking of Spencer Davis… he impressed me more than ever this week. He did very well in the SLM, the PLM, and for his first experience behind a Tour Mod, he improved every single night out. The veterans that he ran AHEAD of at times, are no slouches. Betcha he talks Daddy into buying one within a month.

The Daytona Beach Parade is something that anyone with an appreciation for racing history, should attend at least once. Been twice already and I will be back for a third.

I could go on for a WHILE… but I’ll let others have their say also.

Harrison Burton’s performance was the one that stood out to me the most. He was very impressive behind the wheel.

VSP All-Star.UMP Mods show was again worth every penny. The up close and personal with the legends of the sport is priceless.

I tried really hard to not be impressed with Wallace at NSS - but on the nights i was there (I missed the 100 lapper) - he showed some pretty impressive car control.

Wondering if Brad May is getting in line for Rogers SLM when he decides to step down -if so - I could root for him.

Sat next to Payton Ryans (sp?) Mom on opening night at NSS and she was a bundle of nerves - that was his 2nd time in a full sized car. I kept up with him throughout the week, he had Hemric as his crew chief/coach and did pretty well.

NSS - made me shake my head a few times but overall I saw some great racing. The final Friday SLM race was one of the best I have seen period.

Payton Ryan’s first race was just a few weeks ago at “SpeedFest” in Cordele GA.

The Friday night SLM race was very good. Ryan Moore showed he can race with anyone, and he’s only a part-time racer. He only runs a few shows a year besides the World Series. I’d love to see him run the Snowball… I think he’d turn some heads.

I was hoping for better results for Tyler Dippell. He’s another guy that had a grand total of 1 SLM races under his belt at the beginning of the week.


V.S. P. was very good on Thurs. night, I’ve been watching Kyle Bronson several yrs. now, mostly at Bubba’s, he sure gets the job done. The Old Timers Reunion at N.S.S. was nice, but I think the weather kept some away, I did get to sit in stands and watch practice for about an hour, my ears are still ringing.,

Jack… the weather was a BIG factor in the turn-out. There were a bunch that ‘never miss’ that weren’t there. In fact nearly everyone there mentioned that they almost never came, or considered turning around while driving through rain to get there.

Still, the turnout wasn’t disappointing to me at all, and 21 Vintage Cars coming out is better than most tracks get in ANY class for their weekly shows.

Add me to the fan list for both Mr. Burton and Mr. Davis. Both did an excellent job considering their age and experience. Especially Spencer Davis tackling a tour Mod for the first time.
And Kyle Bronson has been on a tear for a while now. He’s one of the stars of the future for sure.

Yes, I got a kick out of the very young drivers too, BUT I have to say it was a pleasure to see the veterans, especially in dirt sprints, who are still on top of it after all these years. Jac Haudechield for example. He is still very sharp at his age. Ditto Joey Saldana, Steve Kinser and so many others. These guys are jaw dropping, and I was fortunate to see so many talented drivers ply their trade.