to mlp911: Yes, I had forgotten about Thomas Ray Peavy driving the Falstaff sonsored #25...I knew I was gonna' forget a few of these guys who were regulars. Thomas was a hard charger, and would definitely get in your face if somebody leaned on him too much on the track. Funniest thing I remember about Thomas Ray involved him drinking a beer after the races at H&B one night. After the races were over, many drivers, crew members, and fans would end up drinking a few beers out in the pits. Thomas was sponsored by the local Falstaff distributor at that time. I was about 13 years old then, and several of us were standing around B.S. ing after. Somebody had given Thomas a Budweiser (I think), and that was back before coozies were popular. He saw his sponsor coming up to where he was standing, and was about to crap his pants trying to get rid of that Budweiser in his hand. He finally handed it off to me when there was nothing else he could do...he did manage to save face in that situation, and after that, he and I were buddies.
Aubrey: You are right about the inverted starts. It made for some fantastic racing. Nothing like watching the faster cars come from the back, and have to work their way up to the front. Makes for great racing and is very exciting for the fans. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than having your fastest cars on the front row, and watch them "check out" in to a two car race at best. When a driver has to work his way up from mid or back of the pack, it will show you who the drivers really are instead of who has the fastest hot rod that night. I have been to several tracks where they invert the first 10 or 12 in points, which makes for exciting races as well. Allows different people to be in a position to win instead of the same 2 or 3 all the time. If an inexperienced driver prefers to start in the back, instead of being up front, that should be their option. Glen, are you listening???
Aubrey: I am still working in the paint & body industry. I sold my shop in 2005, just before Rita hit. I am now the Ass't Body Shop Manager at Kinsel's. This business really sucks from what it used to be. The insurance companies have such a "chokehold" on everything anymore that it is tough for anybody to make a solid living at it anymore. If I could find another way to feed my family, I'd sure enough consider it. If Glenn were still alive, he'd be going nuts, no doubt.
Glen: As a spectator, I would find it very useful if there was some kind of a driver program available; at least for the regular competitors. You can't hear the PA system once the cars get going at any track. Even if it were just a single piece of paper with driver names and car numbers listed, I think people would appreciate it. Sounds like a job for Joy Graham?
Could probably even sell them for a quarter a piece to cover printing expenses. I know that folks don't read the newspaper as much as they used to, but Burt Darden used to write a column once a week about the dirt track races called "Pounding Pistons". There were always pictures of either on the track action, or driver photos, and the way he wrote those columns/articles got people fired up and interested in coming to the races every week. I'm sure Harold Deer and Sal Serio probably were greasing his palm a little bit, bit no doubt it created a huge amount of interest, and went a long way towards filling up the stands, plus, gave many of the drivers some well deserved publicity...sort of created some larger than life local heroes.
Jonathon: It would be nice to see you as well. Been awhile since you guys were in high school together. Don't see a whole lot of James these days...he stays pretty busy doing his own things. I will tell him hello for you next time I see him.