About the Author

The first race I ever saw was during a summer vacation in 1962 under the covered grandstands at the Minnesota State Fairground track.  The racing bug bit me then, and that was it.  I started attending races at Hialeah Speedway in 1965, and discovered the winged supermodifieds of old Hollywood Speedway later that year.  I drove my first race the day I turned 16 at Old Hollywood, and first raced Mini-Stocks at Hialeah in 1967.  While I have competed in a variety of cars at many current and long since gone Florida tracks, my personal driving and racing career never took off the way I envisioned it would.  My passion for the sport never wavered, I have either listened on the radio to, watched on TV, or attended every Indy 500 Since 1964. Starting in 1966, I have been to Over 20 Daytona 500’s, seen the old Can Am cars at Mossport, Indy cars at Portland, Homestead, Indy, Pocono, St. Petersburg, etc.,  assorted SCCA races, have crewed at the 24 hours of Daytona, raced go-karts, personally raced on all 5 configurations at the “new” Hollywood speedway complex, built racecars from scratch, sat next to Smoky Yunick on a plane back from Indy, have seen Jeff Gordon race at East Bay, watched an F1 race in the pouring rain from a tree limb at Watkins Glen, saw Davey Allison’s first race ever at the Birmingham Fairgrounds track, and attended hydroplane races at the Miami Marine Stadium.  I saw the last Le Mans start at Sebring from the Ford GT pits, drag races at Masters field, airplane races at the old Tamiami Airport, entered a car in the “Rod Run to the End of the World’, and way too much more  to list here.  I confess  a personal soft spot for open wheel oval track cars, especially  sprints and supermodifieds.  I’ve attended the Knoxville nationals, ASCS NW Speedweek,  From 1978 to 2011 missed only two years of the East Bay Winternationals, and been to dirt races from Skagit Speedway to East Bay Raceway…and a whole lot in between.  I’m from South  Florida originally, and after trying life in the Pacific NW for a few years moved back in 2009. Nowadays I live in the St. Pete area with my lovely wife of over 20 years, Debbie.  I’m opinionated, bombastic, politically incorrect, probably wrong at times, never been called boring, and hope I will never bore you either.


  • daveclayton fernandez says:

    i am really glad that you mention banjo mathews driving for Opie Clayton, Opie was one of south florida racing unsung heros to me ,his son Jerry and grandson Johnny Opie clayton Thank you Dave

    • art says:

      Hi Dave, there are so many of the early guys who this sport owes so much to. Thats one of the biggest missions of this site, to keep the past alive for us all. Thanks for the interest, Art

  • John Kelley says:

    Read every word of your Rod Perry article. Was in Miam iarea every year for va ca in early 60s late 50s mostly. LOVED the racing there especially the “Bathtub’ of Roddy Perry. The ground would shake as the cars passed by Not to much Hialeah,just Medely and Hollywood and then. Palmetto. Always remember the Palmetto bugs on the rail on the top of the Grandstand.Ugh!!! Went to Bobbys Days house once and picked out a bunch of negs,All South Florida stuff and he was going to print them up for me,but alas he passed.Never got them. I think the bathtub was the Austn Ford. Thanks so much for remembering Rod Perry. I live in Ct. John Kelley

  • James Thompson says:

    I grew up in North Dade as a teen I went to Hollywood when we could get a ride that’s was just plain crazy I never seen anything like it.in highschool we would go to Hialeah the palmetto was just 2 lane .latter in life after college I got a job teaching woodshop at Miami centeral in 1976 I opened Americans Sr I had the Sutton boy in my class they were related to the Allisons by marriage .my interest renewed there was lots going on then .I was in to paint and body latter on I meet Marty hand Shaw and even painted one of his cars. Now that I have retired I moved to deland fl so I can still be close to the tracks nsb as well as barberville thanks for all your hard work .

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