TRACKSIDE with RICK MINTER - July 14, 2017

TRACKSIDE with RICK MINTER – July 14, 2017

Senoia Raceway fans, drivers, crew members and family can look forward to this weekly blog from journalist Rick Minter.  Rick has been reporting on motorsports at Senoia Raceway and elsewhere since 1976.




One of the things I find fascinating about short-track racing is the fact that the competitors on the track on race nights come from all walks of life.


Sure there are some professional racers even in regular weekly shows, but most work a regular shift somewhere unrelated to racing to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and generate funds for the race car.


Many work in automotive-related fields.  Glenn Morris runs a muffler shop.  Ricky Williams works in a body shop.  Thomas Mewborn and Johnny Stinchcomb work on big trucks.


But there are plenty of other occupations represented on any Saturday night.  Richard Goode provides security systems.  Dow Kirkland does window treatments.  Jason Williams is in the pizza business.  Paul “Cowboy” Holloway does home restorations.  Billy Stevenson is a plumber.


I used to enjoy hearing the late Bobby Hamilton, the NASCAR driver, talk about growing up around Marty Robbins, the country singer who also raced stock cars at the Fairgrounds track in Nashville and in NASCAR’s elite division.


Bobby, who spent a lot of his pre-NASCAR years running a wrecker, said Marty would race at the Fairgrounds on Saturday night then rush over to the Grand Ole Opry just in time to make an appearance there.


Bobby’s grandfather worked on Robbins’ cars.  Bobby told me once that when his grandparents died and left him homeless, he sometimes went to Marty’s mansion, knocked on the front door and asked for something to eat.


Marty not only fed Bobby, he taught him to play the guitar.


Bobby Hamilton was a good friend.  I miss him.


The other day, I was doing some research for an item I was writing about Kyle Busch racing in the 38th annual Governor’s Cup race at Thunder Road, the short track in Vermont.


I looked up the track’s website to read about the local drivers who would be competing against Kyle.


Thunder Road’s all-time winningest driver in the Late Model class is Phil Scott.  He’s been racing there since 1991 and has 30 victories and three championships.


His latest victory, on July 6, was especially noteworthy, and it was because of his new job.


When he took the checkered flag, he became the first sitting governor in America to win a stock car race.


Neither Busch nor Scott won the Governor’s Cup Thursday night, but Scott said it was an honor to race against Busch, who said he’d never raced against a politician before.


I wonder if the Governor’s Mansion in Vermont has a trophy case, or a place to park a race-car trailer.



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