My racing weekend kicked off with a huge and pleasant surprise. As I was walking into the pits at Lakeville I spotted the Super 6 car headed towards the tech area with none other than Dave Haven Sr. behind the wheel. You might recall that Dave has been suffering from health issues for some time and the last time I saw him was late July. It was tough to see such a historic racer looking so weak but he went out of his way to shoot the shit with me which meant alot to me. At that point I figured we probably wouldn't see the old timer strapped into a race car again but hoped to see him in the pits again soon. Well, I must have underestimated this stubborn old fella because there he was Friday night strapped in and ready for action. I figured it was only right to do something special for him to show the appreciation from the entire racing community for such a determined racer. At intermission Dave wheeled his ride onto the front stretch to be honored by all of those in attendance. By this point of the evening Dave had already run his heat race and made it clear that he would be running the feature too. The crowd responded with a loud and long standing ovation. It's not often you get to honor a guy with 48 years of racing experience under his belt, and this will be a moment to remember forever. I'm very grateful that I could be a part of it. They just don't make racers like him any more for sure. Even with his health problems he ignored the incredible temperatures just to get back out there and do what he loves. RACE! And race he did, bringing the Super 6 car home in 7th place when the checkers flew in the feature. Damn it was good to hear that big ass Mopar engine roar by again. Thanks Dave for making my entire weekend one to remember and for all those years you've dedicated to racing. I salute you, Lakeville Speedway salutes you, and racers as well as race fans that recognize your dedication to racing salute you. We all salute you sir!
The rest of Friday night was action packed as always and it was great to see the Modifieds back in action at Lakeville. The Pure stocks put on a damn good show once again with Daugherty picking up yet another win. Jeff Facemire made just his second appearance of the season and looked pretty strong for a fella that should be pretty rusty by now. Facemire lead most of his heat race but had to settle for second at the end. When feature time rolled around he was right back at it and wound up with a very respectable 4th place finish. Damn Jeff, maybe you should have kicked off your season earlier. ;-)
Saturday night was originally planned to hit Midvale to see Mike Miller return to the Main Event series. However, the car didn't get finished in time so I passed on the chance for a 75 lap nap. Instead I headed out to Deerfield Raceway for a totally different experience. This place is nothing like any other area dirt track and it's simply a wonderful experience you need to take in at least once. I ran into some familiar faces there and they said exactly the same thing. It's like a completely different world. You'll hear no cussing and screaming from the stands, and I came home as clean as I was when I left the house. Sure it's a smaller track with smaller cars, but that's just another thing that makes it stand out. There are plenty of classes for the kids to be involved in, and that's what racing really needs. These kids put on an awesome show and present themselves better than many adults we're used to seeing at other tracks. I can't tell you how impressed I am with the way these kids represent the sport of racing. Deerfield is a very family oriented facility and the best possible influence any young racer could find. It's a place like this that will certainly make a difference in the future of racing. If only all tracks could pull this off so well. If you haven't made the trip to Deerfield yet, you owe it to yourself to take in this refreshing experience. You won't regret the trip, I promise!