March 4, 2011
year, 2010 with Speedweeks in Florida and the New Smyrna World
Series history most of the auto racing snow birds had headed back north to
await the beginning of the 2010 season at their favorite tracks. For the
most part race fans and teams endured the cold, wind and rain during their
stays in the sunshine state. The racing at New Smyrna could have been better
but the somewhat short fields didnít help. Ted Christopher was off his game
a bit as many thought he would clean house in Fla. Keith Rocco had a chance
to prove himself but he blew it when he went after Ron Silk. Rocco has a lot
of raw talent but he needed to tone it down a bit.
A big disappointment was the fact that Burt Myers didnít come to
New Smyrna to trade paint with the northern boys. Myers has become somewhat
of a racing personality because of his part in the Mad House reality show on
the Speed Channel.
Had occasion to speak to Bob Garbarino who stated that he was
surprised to hear from Donny Lia that he was going with the trucks. In the
mean time, he said, no deals with any one had been made. It could very well
mean that the Mystic Missile has taken its final lap.
Lou Modestino reported that the recession has hit the Daytona Beach
area hard with several businesses closed up, and there were lots of
half-priced tickets for the big events at Daytona International Speedway. He
also stated that there were a lot of room vacancies, even though the room
rates at the major hotels had dropped prices, some as much as two-thirds.
Between the weather and the ailing economy, things were way off
from a few years ago in the Daytona Beach area.
Kyle Busch barely overtook Greg Biffle out of the final turn in a
green-white-checker finish to win by 0.051 seconds in the NASCAR Nationwide
race at Fontana, California on Saturday, with Brad Keselowski right behind
It was a heartbreaking loss for polesitter Joey Logano, who led 130
laps and was up front when the final caution came out. Busch's Joe Gibbs
Racing teammate finished fifth.
Danica Patrick was 31st in her second Nationwide race, three laps
off the pace and ahead of six other cars that were still running at the end.
In Sprint Cup action Jimmie Johnson held of Kevin Harvick to take
the win at Fontana. Johnson scored his 48th career victory, which came at
the same track where he got his first one eight years previous. He led eight
times for 101 laps to win for the fifth time in 15 starts at California,
including the last three fall races there. Harvick finished 1.523 seconds
behind Johnson, with teammate Jeff Burton in third. Clint Bowyer was eighth,
putting all three Childress drivers in the top 11 for the second straight
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
This week are several vintage racing photos
Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dyke's
Click on Photo for Full Sized
All photos courtesy of Tom Ormsby and
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit