Not A Fun Night For This Guy...

Result of a bad “incident” during Spectator races at New Smyrna Speedway Saturday night… Not too good for this Scion and caused a big delay to clean up broken glass on the back stretch… Driver was OK but his insurance agent had a heart attack…

Spectator racer.jpg

I am not an advocate of spectator racing. Street cars are not safe to be run on a racetrack. They don’t have all the safety features and protection bars that are requirements on race cars. The drivers are not experienced and as a result can easily lose control of their cars and crash. Some one of these days someone is going to get killed in a spectator race.

a portion of your post just made me think of half of a latemodel field. :dry:

How in the world is he going to explain that one to Mom and Dad.

Years ago before he thought of being an SLM driver, I think it was Rich Clouser who wadded up his spectator car on the front stretch. Bad ass camaro if i remember right. Totalled.

That was Rick (not Rich) Clouser who ran an Olds 442 that he eventually turned into a Street Stock… The finale each night back then for the Spectator races usually found Clouser running against Joe Berry’s Camaro… It was Berry who wadded his car up when they crashed in turn four that night…
Here’s a photo of Joe Berry before the wreck after he came out the winner one night…


Thats funny Dave, all these years I thought it was Rich! Oh well, those were some crazy fast spectator cars. When he hit that wall, it sounded like a bomb went off. I remember they would have the drag style races then a 5 lapper.

Nailed it!:ernaehrung004:

Did we all forget that Bud Howell was killed 2 months ago while flagging a Spectator Race.

Because of that I can’t watch any spectator races and think they should end.

About 25 years ago a NICE Corvette was smashed up pretty good at Citrus by an El Camino.

I have heard from someone who use to work at Bronson Speedway that the responsibility for the death of Bud Howell may fall directly on the shoulders of the new Director of Operations at the track who wanted both the flagman and the announcer to be track side for the spectator races.

Personally I feel the flagman should always be on the flagstand and the announcer in the announcer’s booth when there is actual competition on the track. Safety should always be concern #1.


Danger is part of the game and part of the thrill, I think.

Back in the day of very crude seat belts, helmets, etc., they fairly regularly carted someone out in the ambulance. My Mom (who wasn’t really a race fan but would go every week) would exclaim “They’re all crazy!”. Translation–“this is a horrible thing and I am freaked out”.

When K Larson’s parts headed through the fence at Daytona and injured some folks–and that is a terrible thing, for sure–they interviewed a few who genuinely seemed to think it was impossible for someone to be hurt in the stands–and were emotionally startled that they were.

In both cases, I thought–jeez, the danger is always there, it just caught up with someone this week. We all should understand the risks–or go bowling instead.

Point of all that rambling–it ain’t the spectator races, or sprint car (or etc) races fault, it is just part of the territory, so, if you can, maybe try to let it go…

ps–I agree with John B, the flagman should not be in harm’s way. It used to be the norm, but is an unnecessary risk, for sure.