Jul 3 2016

Firecracker 400

You may ask why I am calling the Coke Zero 400 event the Firecracker 400.  Long ago, the race was called that.  Named for the close proximity to the July 4th holiday, this name sticks with with most residents in the town.  The simpler name suits the race.

Over the years, the racing industry has grown by leaps and bounds.  Sponsorship has gone from car advertisements to fuel the driver’s career, to basically removing the personal element of the race itself.  Everyone had their driver.  Now, everything is labeled by companies.  I can tell you the brand that goes with the number before the driver.

Every year, big business places their ever reaching hand into all forms of the public arena.  Don’t get me wrong, it is what they do in order to ensure profitability.  My thoughts are with the drivers.  Godaddy.com used to equate to Danica Patrick, Home Depot used to be Tony Stewart.  I find car sponsorships to be great, but the big brands have gone one step further.  They now have to label everything.  Daytona Speedway had a facelift.  Now every entrance to the venue has some big name on the facade.   The race names are being changed to “Sponsor” “#”. Where will it end?

The point here is that in the early years, it was simply a testament to the drivers’ abilities.  Today, ticket prices are obscene, parking rates even more so, and in order to attend a race you need a second mortgage.  People query as to my absence from the various wonderful races held here at the racetrack.  Intimacy.  The closeness and old school cool is lost under a weighted fight for product placement.  All is not lost though.  Later today I will step outside my house and see the Goodyear blimp, the military aircraft, and hear the engines roar and will have my moment with the drivers….my way!


Sep 11 2011

11 September 2011 Ten Years Later

 2,996 people died on that tragic day

Immeasurable numbers of family and friends have suffered a great loss and sadness resides within.

Please take a moment of silence in memory of all of them.

Thank you.

 


Mar 3 2010

Bike Week 2010 69th Anniversary

Welcome to Daytona Beach Bike Week 2010!  The rumble of motorcycles reverberate through the crispy air.  Normally this is an event that Mother Nature caters to.  She has a different agenda this year.  Not only have many of the bikers been delayed due to snow, once they reach Daytona Beach, FL, they are met with below average temperatures.  For those of you living in most of the US, 58 degrees might seem to be a welcome relief.  But for many of the locals, the coats are on. 

Every year, on the first Saturday during Bike Week, the Budweiser Clydesdales are hitched up and stroll down Main Street.  In recent memory, this event has never been canceled.  Due to rain and wind, it was canceled.  Imagine the crowd’s delight when on Sunday, at 2:00 P.M., the Clydesdales made their first, of several, 2010 Bike Week, appearances.  Sunday brought sunshine and smiles as the majestic Clydesdales strutted in full form.  These horses are incredible creatures.  They are strong and yet very gentle.  Barley, the Budweiser dog, even has his place atop the carriage.  He looks down on the crowds with excitement and revels in the roars from the crowd.  The people along the route are being treated to one of the many things that Daytona Beach has to offer during this event.

Interestingly enough, this is probably the most fun event in this city.  NASCAR fans will sneer and wonder how the Daytona 500 doesn’t earn the top spot.  It is a very close second place in this writer’s opinion.  While Speed Weeks are a fantastic time to be had, the bike events have more of a celebratory experience.  Yes, when the 500 is over, everyone is happy for the winner.  But it is a different kind of celebration.  The motorcyclists seem to revel more in each other.   They eat, drink, socialize, and participate in a myriad of activities.  While meeting up with friends they met in past years, they swap stories and trade parts.  Showing off their ride is a major highlight of the trip.  Some even find their way here by plane and wind up riding home on their new Harley.  Thus far, this Bike Week is not feeling the chill of the late winter bite that Mother Nature has for us too much.