NASCAR fans know that it’s getting close to time for racing when the Super Bowl approaches. The smell of rubber from drivers smoking tires out of the pits or near Victory Lane is one they can live with and connect with very well. The sound of raw horsepower barreling down the backstretch at speeds of over 190 mph gets your motor revving. February means Daytona Beach and the Daytona 500.
Daytona Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway is a traditional favorite of fans. Jimmie Johnson will be going for his fourth straight Nextel Cup Championship this year. He is currently tied for first place with three wins with veteran driver Cale Yarborough. I grew up watching Cale race in his Holly Farms car (#11). Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Dave Marcis, Darryl Waltrip and other veteran drivers would battle back and forth in front of the fans and make it a nail biter to the end. I also remember drivers like Elmo Langley (#64) and Buddy Arrington (#67) that didn’t get much stardom, but they were some of my favorite drivers to watch. They kept coming and kept trying and they never gave up until they couldn’t do it any more. I also liked Richie Evans in the Modified Division. He was killed at Martinsville Speedway in a crash. He was the “Richard Petty” of the Modified Division to me. I used to go to Martinsville Speedway all the time. I miss those days. He drove the orange #61 modified Pinto. We lost a great driver in NASCAR in 2001. Dale Earnhardt was killed at Daytona on the last lap of the race. I’ve seen crashes before that looked much worse than that, but when slowed down some, you could see the violence of the crash. We lost a great driver on that day. But I know that he is in Heaven smiling down on the fans and the drivers. He’s spinning donuts in Victory Lane in Heaven. 🙂
NASCAR stars like Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick to name a few are getting ready for a new season in NASCAR. Jimmie Johnson just finished out the season last year with a Nextel Cup Champsionship. This year should be just as exciting.
NASCAR fan forever, 🙂
Joseph R. Mays
PS. Some pictures for Memory Lane. I’ll update with some clearer pictures later.