Sunday, July 9, 2017

Remembering North Wilkesboro fondly

I can't give any big reasons why I used to love to go to North Wilkesboro Speedway. There were just a bunch of small reasons.

Wilkesboro gave the feel of a local track. You felt like you were going to Hickory Motor Speedway, Myrtle Beach Speedway or Summerville Speedway (no longer with us). Or Tri-County.

You didn't have to drive through a tunnel and find a place to park inside the track. You just parked outside the souvenir trailers and walked the short distance to the pressbox; or you waited until practice was over and walked across the track to the tiny infield media center.

I enjoyed going to Charlotte, Darlington and Rockingham, among others, but Wilkesboro was special to me.

I remember eating at Shoney's with my friend Mike Harris, and people all around us were obviously listening to our conversation about Winston Cup drivers we knew.

Another nice thing: The Williams Motel charged its normal rates, about $27 a night. Cool. No price gouging there.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

No habla Felix

In the early 1990s, the media had questions for Cuban-born car owner Felix Sabates, although I don't remember what we wanted to know. We confronted him in the media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and he was quite willing to talk.

Felix went up to the podium and broke into a spate of Spanish. I probably picked out five words in his little monologue, and several of my colleagues yelled for English as Felix talked.

When he was done, he said good day in Spanish (buen dia), and he left the media center posthaste.

We never did find out what he said.