Greetings from Daytona Beach

We’ve decided that a few decades of winters in the Northeast and New England was more than enough. As of now, this place originates from a new locale in Daytona Beach, Florida, on what the natives here call the Gold Coast. It’s a place that’s chockablock with history and good times, automotive and otherwise. Motorsports put this place on the map, determinedly so, and this area is one that really venerates its past. A few nights ago, we stopped into the original Ormond Garage, which dates back to 1919, back when speed runs began taking place on the concrete-like sand of Ormond Beach. As the rekordwagens grew faster, it became clear that the beach at Ormond was too short to get them stopped safely, so the action shifted south a few miles to the longer sandy stretch at Daytona Beach. When overcrowding made the beach course obsolete as the Sixties approached, Big Bill France, who’s honored by a street in his name (as is Richard Petty) built his fabled, high-banked superspeedway a couple of miles inland.

We’re still in the business of covering cars, and we intend to stop over to Daytona International Speedway tomorrow to check out its gigantic annual Turkey Run, which plays host to about 6,000 classics, muscle cars and street rods. If you’re in town trying to escape the winter, the Run is good place to visit. Life begins anew here. Let’s enjoy the ride together. The photo, taken early on a NASCAR race morning at Daytona, was taken and provided by my friend Tom Jensen, director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.

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