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Tuesday, February 9 - Today was one of the two remaining days of the vacation where the weather was questionable. It was a 70% change of showers from the west coast to the east coast for the time frame of 4 to 8 PM. Well, the showers hit the Orlando area earlier than expected around 11 AM, which might be good as it could mean that the weather was moving through earlier. A call from Allan and Nancy Brown had them visiting the timeshare to go for a late lunch at 2. In the meantime Ed Esser headed toward Orlando Speedworld for their legend car opener. It continued to rain hard while we ate and after eating a wonderful lunch at Mimi’s Cafe we called East Bay and they had already cancelled for the evening. A quick call to Volusia found the same results and a call to New Smyrna found yesterday’s recording still on advertising the second night of the TBARA sprints.
As we pulled back into our parking space at the timeshare we spotted our second guest for the week, Wisconsin’s Dale O’Brien, making his first Florida visit since 1982. We all proceeded inside and sat in the living room and discussed racing and other matters of the day. It started to rain hard again and shortly thereafter a wet Ed Esser burst through the front door. A quick visit to the clothes dryer for his sweatshirt and socks was in order as he reported that Orlando Speedworld had been rained out. Our only option was New Smyrna and another call to them still found Monday’s ad on the machine. I ask you how much effort does it take to update an answering machine with current information so the race fan can know what is going on. We had the wireless connection in the timeshare and logged onto Speed51.com on the New Smyrna website and their blog site kept us updated on what was going on at the track. But everyone down here does not have access to a laptop or PC so it is imperitive that the track have there phone recording with current day information. According to the blog site management was going to attempt to run this evening so at 6 PM Ed, Dale and I decided to give it a try. Pat opted out and decided to remain at the timeshare for the evening.
We transversed the remments of the Orlando rush hour traffic and arrived at New Smyrna Speedway at 7:45 as the track drying process was continuing. Ed wiped off the seats with his famous towel and we placed the blanket with the plastic bottom liner on the aluminum seats. We wandered down below to purchase supper and returned to the stands to eat it. The track was slowly drying and the decision was made to scrap time trials and line the fields up by points with an inversion pill selected. Also each division would be given 20 laps of warmup time since they were not able to practice during the afternoon. This seemed to be reasonable to us but as this went on we realized that this was going to be a long night when I glanced at my phone and saw that it was 10 PM with two warmup sessions still to go. Fog was starting to roll in and I had just mentioned to Dale about a half hour before that I was worried if fog would start to form. Suddenly as the super late models and tour type modifieds were on pitroad waiting to practice it was announced that there would be a mandatory driver’s meeting on pitroad. We all looked at one another and said in unison that this does not look good. The driver’s meeting was short and the modified drivers were the first to exit and head to their cars and pointed them into the pit area. Shortly thereafter it was announced that racing had been cancelled for the evening due to dangerous racing conditions caused by the fog and moisture in the air. So at 10:08 it was over and we did not get a chance to see racing on this evening.
Pat was back at the timeshare and had been monitoring things on Speed51.com and left a message on my cell phone saying “guess I made the right decision". Well, three disappointed ran fans pulled back into the Vistania Resort at 11:08 and were greeted by a warm and smiling Pat.
Stayed tuned for the next update as the weather is cold but we will be heading for the west coast and USAC sprint car racing at East Bay.
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