STORM DAMAGE SPARES RACETRACK IN CENTRAL FLORIDA by Mike Twist
Speedweeks to Go On According to Schedule
Savage thunderstorms and tornados cut a path through Central Florida early Friday morning, killing 14 people and destroying homes, businesses and churches in its wake.
The storms tossed tractor trailers off the Interstate like children’s toys and completely leveled many structures, but with just over a week before the start of Florida Speedweeks, area racetracks were left without any major damage.
The 41st Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing is set to begin at New Smyrna on next Friday, February 9th. Volusia County is planning to hold their 36th annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speedshop from Feb. 6th-17th.
Like any good neighbor though, both tracks are concerned about the damage to fellow members of the community and are keeping all of those impacted by the storm in their thoughts and prayers.
“We’re fortunate that all of our employees are O.K. and the racetrack was not damaged,” said Fink. “But there are many families in the area who were affected by the storms and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
"We have had a lot of phone calls since the news broke on the tornados," said New Smyrna Speedway General Manager Terry Roberts. "We just want everyone to know that New Smyrna Speedway is fine and we are right on track for the World Series."
“The storms missed us by about 10 miles to the south,” said Volusia Speedway Park General Manager Harvey Fink. “We got about five inches of rain and some wind at the track, but nothing was damaged. We’re out here today putting up more billboards and signs, and we’re getting ready to mow the grass and cut some weeds as soon as the ground dries up. Our staff is also in the track office taking ticket orders and answering questions about the DIRTcar Nationals.”
The races at Speedweeks are set to go on according to schedule. (Howie Hodge Photo)