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Down South Diary – Heading Back Home

What a whirlwind couple of days it has been.

Some have asked what I have been up to since Winter Nationals got the checkered flag shortly before 11pm Eastern on Friday night – so here it goes.

After a rain delay last Friday at Auburndale Speedway and late night supper (or early morning breakfast in my case) at Denny’s with the Chris Woods Racing and Repair crew, I found myself back in Davenport after 2am on Saturday morning to officially close off our portion of INEX Winter Nationals. I’ll be working on getting a story up from the event tomorrow. I can tell you that it was an awesome event, I got to meet some great people and re-connect with some friends from last year. Sure, there were some moments that, well, let’s say didn’t shine as bright as others, but overall it was a great week. We’ll look at everything once I get some time to fully digest everything.

About five hours after that, I bid farewell to the gang and myself, Kyle MacMillan and Alison MacNaughton ended up doing some shopping in Orlando before heading to New Smyrna Speedway. Got to catch up with Denver Foran and team before qualifying and ended up sitting in Turn One with a big contingent of Maritimers, including the O’Blenis family, Ken Mackenzie and Jr., Stacey Clements, Wayne Smith and Kevin Moore. The racing, as always, was fantastic at New Smyrna Speedway and was great to see big fields in all divisions. Now all we need are more Maritimers in the fields like we have at Auburndale!

We crashed in Clermont on Saturday night with Kyle Butler, Bobby Grady, Jeff Dillman and family. Great times sharing stories and wish we could have stayed longer, but with the late racing at New Smyrna and the early departure on Sunday, we needed some z’s. Thanks again to the gang for letting us stay on Sunday.

Sunday we got to see the Great American Race, the Daytona 500. We also got a shower as the six plus hour rain delay soaked a lot of us, including yours truly. The racing though was phenomenal, and what a rush it was to be in the stands when Dale Jr took the checkered flag to win that race. Just pure awesome! Thanks to Bryan Naugle for the seats – they were good ones too. Not only was the view great, we got to sit beside Paul MacLean from Riverside Speedway and Jim and Liz Hallahan!

Today, and the next day or two, we are heading home. Instead of going up towards the Charlotte/Concord area, MacMillan has opted we take the I-95 home and since I’m along for the ride, I am also headed that way. We are in Dillon, South Carolina tonight and will get another daylight worth of driving in tomorrow.

Thanks again to everyone that followed along over the past week – and we will be back tomorrow or Wednesday morning with some Winter National wrap-up.

Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track.

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