7 States Tour - Race 1 Highlites
Columbus Speedway - Columbus Mississippi
January 21,2006
" The Racers "
We got our 7 States Tour under way this season on January 19th, as Johnnie,Jennifer and I headed to Columbus,Mississippi.
On our way down we stopped in Springfield and had a nice dinner at the Lone Star Steak House. We drove most of the way
down and stayed the night in northern Mississippi. On Friday we got up,had a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel and headed on
to Columbus where we were going to meet up with my good friend Dr. David Eaton. I've known David for a long time and he
has been trying for several years to get me to come down and drive his car. My schedule finally allowed this to happen and we
were all looking forward to it. We arrived in town around midday and met up with David at his mom's house. She was a great
lady and looked after us all weekend long.It's hard to beat racing mom's. Around mid afternoon we headed to the track for a
practice day at Columbus Speedway. I was looking forward to seeing a new track and also seeing Johnny Stokes the
promotor who is a racing legend in late models. We got to practice in three sessions before a steady rain called the night short.
We packed up and headed to dinner and were joined by the Etheridge family who I had met a couple years ago at Talladega.
It was nice to relax and talk racing with everybody and find out how evrybody had been doing since I'd seen them last.
* Jennifer and I at dinner relaxing and talking racing *
* Johnnie and I  talking racing with David,Ronny and Rodney *
After a good nights sleep, Satuday morning Davids mom Sumie, cooked us a nice
breakfast and we were off to the track again. It had rained alot more than it was
supposed to, so the track was very muddy and so were the pits. We were all very confident that the car was going to run great
so it was up to me to draw good for the heat. Well, so much for draw good. I was going to be in the 4th heat in the 4th row
with some heavy hitters in front of us. The track crew worked hard all afternoon to get the race surface ready. One of the most
enjoyable things about this trip was seeing my Alabama racer friends again. I only get to talk to them on the phone some ,so it
was very nice to see Todd & Tony Gray again, and see Steve Smith who had just picked up his new DW11 a few weeks
before. These folks are the greatest and along with some of Davids friends we got to really enjoy the day.
When it came time for our heat we were ready. As the green flew I made a pass or two before the first lap was done. By
the 4th lap we were sittin pretty and was battling for 2nd & 3rd with some great guys. I'd like to say this race had a
happy ending, but it doesnt. As I made the pass into second, the motor just broke,no warning, nothing. We were done. I
felt bad for David because he is very careful in building his motors, something I've always admired. It was just a fluke
deal as it turned out, but it made our weekend short. We stayed and watched our friends all do good the rest of the night.
After the races we headed off to get something to eat at a real nice mexican restaurant. We chatted more about the
racing and went back to the house. On Sunday we said our goodbyes to David & Sumie and headed north. We had a
rainy trip home but stopped at Lamberts in Ozark and had a great meal to finish off our trip. We are already making
plans on a return trip to Mississippi and David said he can hardly wait.Neither can we !!!!!