Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Eventful Off-Weekend Trip To Florida

After the completion of our World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Illini 100’ on March 31 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, we had no races scheduled for a month. But I couldn’t go that long without seeing a race, so the weekend of April 13-14 I decided to load up my car and make a trip from my Phenix City, Ala., home to Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., for the two-day Mike Peters Open.

It was Friday the 13th when I headed south to the Sunshine State – and considering what I saw during my drive to BRP, the day lived up to its billing.

First, in Georgia, I saw a dump truck off the highway lying upside down in the trees, with EMS personnel on the scene. An ambulance streaked by me.

Then, in Cordele, Ga., a semi-truck (cab only, no trailer attached) was in the slow lane going around 60 mph as I was making a pass in the middle lane at 70 mph. The semi-truck appeared to be exiting the freeway off-ramp, but he inexplicably stayed on the shoulder at 60 mph so I moved over. All of a sudden the truck shot directly left behind me, missing my rear bumper by less than a foot, and went head-on into the guardrail on the fast-lane side of the interstate. Parts and pieces of the truck flew everywhere. I stopped, called 911, and had police and EMS dispatched to the scene as another driver tended to the driver, who was injured. I’m hoping the truck driver made it through the accident O.K.

Later, in Florida, another semi-truck suffered a blowout to the nth degree, as coming up over a hill I found shredded truck tire everywhere. To make matters worse, the truck’s rear steel fender was in the middle of the road!

Mercifully, the rest of the trip was uneventful for me and the Late Model races at BRP were run off well. It was an enjoyable off-weekend visit to Florida – and once again made it clear that when you live your life as an Outlaw, sometimes it gets a little exciting on the road.

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