January 4, 2009
Racers will often tell
you they’re not much with words. They like to say they do their
talking with their right foot – and their bumper.
Truth be known, a colorful – almost joyful – style of communication
has grown up in the racing community over the seasons. Some guys
seem just as facile spinning a phrase as a right rear. Check out
what some of these totally random racers have to say in books at
sometimes teases me that I’ve grown into my nose, but the fact is
that I’ve raced literally thousands of times and the helmets have
squeezed my face into my nose. And here’s the proof.
Gotta Race!, with Joyce Standridge
When he first
started out, he could tear up an anvil.
– Buck Baker
about his son Buddy.
Then Junior Said to Jeff, by David Poole and Jim McLaren
Eddie, I just
can’t understand that General Grant. It took him all those men to
defeat the Confederates back then. Now all it takes is you and me
Rene Charland to Eddie
Flemke at the Bowman-Gray pit gate in the 1960s. Paved
Track Dirt Track, by Lew Boyd
Just as I got to
the end of pit road, there was Cale’s wrecked car, with Junior
Johnson himself trying to beat the sheet metal backing place. Junior
saw me coming and shook his fist at me. I flew by like I was shot
out of a cannon, and, just as I got to Junior, I stuck my hand out
the window and gave him the finger. I’ll never forget the look on
his face if I live to be 150 years old.
– Dave Dion,
Life Wide Open with Dave Moody
I got smashed up
in my worse accident ever at Carrell Speedway in 1954. And I did it
all by myself. I’m flipping over; SLAM! BAM! and over. Of course,
there’s no roll bar, so I’m landing on my shoulder and finally
CRUNCH – it shatters. I’m totally helpless until the thing stops.
So 57 stitches and a partially removed shoulder later, I’m racked up
in the hospital with only a couple of months to go before the Big
Enchilda in Nap Town (Indy).
Never Look Back
Johnnie Parsons with Gary Delph and Charles C Bolton
Speed just didn’t
bother me. I’d do it all again in an instant. Hell, everyone talks
about Darlington. It’s an easy track. Too tough to tame? Bull. I
loved every inch of it. Most people think I got my name “Wild Man”
because Vineland (NJ) Speedway was a two-groove track, but I ran a
third. But the name really started back in my “bath tub” Nash days
in the Grand Nationals.
Paved Track Dirt Track, by Lew Boyd
I always think
everything happens for a reason, but, really I sometimes suspect my
year as a crew chief – when I lost a lot of weight I didn’t have to
spare – was God’s experiment to see if I could fall through my ass
and hang myself.
Inside Herman’s World, with Joyce Standridge
I was about
half-tuned when I got to the race and didn’t even have time to
change my clothes. So I just got in the car with my suit and tie on
and took off runnin’. Blew a tire and finished fourth. Told my
sponsors they might want their drivers to dress like gentlemen.
Turner (after arriving still a little tipsy),
Full Throttle: The Life and Fast Times of Curtis Turner,
by Robert Edelstein
The purpose of the catch fence is to protect the drivers from the
Andy Fusco, Lew Boyd, and Jim Rigney (No Longer in Print)
I had a wife, my
first kid, and we lived in my Mom’s house. We had nothing. Not even
a road car. But I’ll tell you this: I had the fastest race car
Hot Cars Cool Drivers,
by Lew Boyd
Colorado, Lealand McSpadden did an end-over-end flip down the front
stretch. A few minutes later a rescue helicopter came in to land.
Kenny Schrader was in a group standing beside the track watching,
when he felt a tap on the shoulder. “Who’s that for?” he was asked.
Schrader turned around and saw who tapped him on the shoulder.
“Umm,” he told McSpadden, “it’s for you.”
Lealand McSpadden and
Win It or Wear It, by Joyce
I was getting a
lot of experience and the money was really good. I could make a
couple hundred a night myself, but, I’ll tell you, I tried to hide
some from myself in all my pockets. That bar at Norwood was real
good at taking the money back.
Hot Cars Cool Drivers,
by Lew Boyd
I’d be in a lot
of trouble if I raced against some of these (Sprint Cup) guys. I’d
wake up every Monday morning with sore knuckles.
Bugsy!, with Bones Bourcier
AJ Watson was
tending to sprint car one night at Ascot Park in the early seventies
and he saw Jackie Stewart. “Hey, Jackie,” he grinned motioning
toward the cockpit, “my driver has given up for the night and I have
a seat open. Why don’t you drive for me?” Jackie just grinned and
shook his head. “Forgot me helmet,” he said with his perfect
Scottish brogue. “That’s all right,” Watson needled. “We have a
helmet for you.” “Forgot me balls, too,” said Jackie.
Watson and Jackie Stewart,
Let ’Em All Go,
Chris Economaki with Dave Argabright
© 2009 Lew
Boyd, Coastal 181