PHENIX CITY, AL: A Break After Volusia

Things are quiet for me now – at least for a couple more weeks – after a very busy February. My home base for most of the month was Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park, where I worked the entire 40th annual DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, which included the first two World of Outlaws Late Model Series shows of the 2011 season.

The 2011 DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH had to be the most fun and exciting two weeks of racing at Volusia anyone has seen in quite some time. I was full-bore the whole time, starting the first week when I took on some duties that were different from what I’m used to.

During the UMP Modified and Sprint Car week, I served as a pit steward, something I hadn’t done in 10-12 years! With so many cars spread across the big Volusia pit area, it takes plenty of help to keep everything running smoothly night-after-night. I had to oversee getting the cars parked in the ‘Gator Pond’ pit area – located down the hill from the backstretch of the track – up to the lineup area along the backstretch so they would be ready to go for each race without delay. In addition, I monitored the transponder scoring trailer so the folks in the pits could keep up with their drivers’ times on the display monitors, and I was available to replaced transponders on the UMP Modifieds whenever needed. Needless to say, I kept busy for the first week of the DCN from a different vantage point of the track than I was used to.

Week Number Two found me in more familiar territory for the Late Model and DIRTcar Big-Block Modified action: up in the tower behind the microphone with good friends Joe Linebarier and Shane Andrews. It was a lot of fun working with those two characters as we kept things lively for the fans the best of our abilities. A new wrinkle this year was throwing in Ozzie Altman and Kyle Luetters on the roving microphones to keep the fans even more informed.

Of course, after all the fun and racing, came tear-down, clean up and packing up of equipment. Sun., Feb. 19 – the day of the Daytona 500 – was hot and beautiful as I started packing up the Sprint Car sound equipment in the Volusia tower to head to Mississippi for their racing the following week. Next was to get our WoO LMS registration trailer out of the upper pit area and get it loaded up with equipment that needed to go back to the World Racing Group office in Charlotte (Concord, N.C.). After that job was completed, it was time to wash and wax the two WoO LMS four-wheeler ATVs and the golf cart. After they were cleaned and loaded into the trailer, it was Tuesday (Feb. 21) before we knew it.

Finally, with the trailer hooked up to ‘Matilda’ – our name for the 1996 Ford Louisville toterhome that we drive along the WoO LMS – we pulled out of the spot in Volusia’s camping area that we had occupied since the beginning of the month and left sunny Florida that morning. The DIRTcar Nationals became a fond memory as we arrived at the WRG office in North Carolina that evening and made our equipment delivery. My girlfriend, Sandy Holt, and I were on our way home to Phenix City, Ala., on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 22) for a several-week break before we’ll be out there again, on the road to restart the WoO LMS campaign with the ‘Cash Cow 100’ weekend on March 18-19 at Columbus (Miss.) Speedway.

It’s absolutely true, there’s no other life than ‘Life As An Outlaw!’