The Clyde Hart 100

Now that was a good race last night: high speed, hard competition and no nonsense. Loved it! Everyone was competitive and stayed on the lead lap for the most part. Ok, so there were one or two that were getting lapped, but it was certainly nothing like some races that are full of start and parkers, and cars that are way off the pace. Last night, 20 cars were up to speed and racing with each other. There was lots of give and take, passing and re-passing. Enough parity so everyone was fast, but enough difference that the faster cars could climb through the field. I don’t know how it was so balanced, but it was.

I don’t remember any destruction either. Stephen Nasse had the race won, but somehow ended up in the turn 1 wall in a single car incident. Did something break on 51? Too bad, he drove perfectly. Although there was close racing, and more than a little bumper, I think 51 was the only car to get towed off.

Before the World Series this year, I was in the legions that dislike Steven Wallace. But he made me a believer over so many nights last February, and he backed it up by winning last night. Is he aggressive? Yes! Is he generous and forgiving on the track? Hell no! That sounds a lot like the racing heroes from the old days…

Of course I am a David Rogers fan too, and I loved the way his car seemed to get faster and faster as the race went on. He pressured Steven Wallace for the last 20 laps and finished a close second. I am sure he would have had an ovation from lots of happy fans, myself included, if he won, but he looked pretty damn good in last nights race.

Thank Goodness the track ran the SLM first! They got it in before the rain affected the night.

A closing thought: I loved the salute that announcer Dave gave to veteran driver Mario Maresca during driver intros. Mario was back in the seat last night after a difficult year of serious health problems. He was one of the stars at Hialeah when I first started going 40+ years ago, and Mario still had his foot in it last night.

I loved part of the statement sent in by Andrew Hart, who was not in attendance.

He said he was ‘back-packing through Europe, spending my inheritance before my Dad gets a chance to…’

One of the best things about this sport is that the opportunity to redeem yourself as a driver is as close your next race. Hats off the Steven Wallace and David Rogers for doing just that. Yes, I was one of the ones poking fun at Steven for his past exploits. But a true sign of maturity is to learn from your failures and become better for it. After a comedy of errors in his early racing career, here’s to hoping that maybe Steven has turned it all around after backing up his World Series sucesses with the win last night. I’m sure that there are many who also felt that, before last night, David Rogers better days were behind him. David showed that there’s nothing further from the truth with his impressive run last night against a tough field. Let’s hope all these boys return for the Governor’s Cup along with some of the heavy hitters from the panhandle. Also, sounds like another night of great decisions by the peerless staff at NSS.