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Posts published in “Day: February 13, 2003”

Going to the Races


There is a new racecar track going in 25 miles South of Houston off Highway 288 in Brazoria County. They will offer stock car and open wheel races as well as a racing school and training.
That is one place I will surely avoid come race day. The traffic will be plum awful.
We used to travel through Rockingham, North Carolina when we went to visit my older sister.
One trip through Rockingham on a race Sunday taught me a good lesson. We didn’t go visit on race day weekends. Those major race events for stockcar races was and still is most popular.
Used to attend stockcar races and have since I was just a chap. A friend of the family was a racecar driver and go watch him race we did. His name was A. J. “Jute” Irving and I’ll always remember his wife, Louise telling him to slow down when I rode with them back in those Georgia days. I’ll bet Jute left a trail of dust on that old red dirt road to last for twenty minutes. The Kudzu went from green to red.
Jute rode with the best of them and a big man he was.
Having had the opportunity to attend races back as a chap, those events are well remembered to this day. Names like Lee Petty, Cale Yarbrough, Fireball Roberts, and others racecar drivers are remembered from back when I went to the races. Jute told me he was at the races when Fireball Roberts got kilt.
Let me ask you if you know what a Winston is, do you know?
It is a cigarette made by Winston Salem or whoever they are today, RJR something another maybe?
Like the Winston Cup Award for stockcar racers paid each year to the driver with the most points, etc.
Multimillion-dollar race winner Jeff Gordon said he didn’t know the cup was named after a cigarette.
I near spit my teeth out when I heard that or maybe I have gotten older than most folks who remember Winston brand of cigarettes, # 1 brand for years along with their Salem’s and Camel brand smokes.
Winston taste good like a (knock knock) cigarette should. Reckon since cigarette ads are no longer on television, most folks wouldn’t remember it.
I was at a race one time with my dad and his buddies. The grandstand was the back of the truck with it rear facing the track. Drinks were in a large washtub on the ground with a large block of ice in the chill water.
The little bottles of Coke were in it as well as 7UP as a chaser for the men who drank the amber liquid but lots was clear too.
One race, a wheel came off a racecar and hurdled our direction. We could see it coming and had plenty of time to watch it go by. As it went by, I started to go to it but big Charlie, my dad told me to leave it alone because it was hot as fire and I did.
Going to the races back when one enjoyed the heat, crowds, noise, pollution, cigarette smoke, fumes and drunks was once fun. I really did enjoy it.
Only races going on here is when the Mrs. is into a good book or gone. She’s as apt to watching cars go in a circle, as I am to watch a ballgame.
I still love her.