The Feature



Living Legends of Auto Racing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Many of the racing fans who will be attending the racing action during Speedweeks at Daytona in February, 2013 and the nightime short-track events at New Smyrna Speedway as well as dirt track racing at Volucia County Speedway Park, have pretty much gotten their motel rooms reserved and plan to meet old friends who gather every year at the same time for rest and relaxation.


Members of the Living Legends of Auto Racing are busy putting together a schedule that they hope will attract racing fans as well as others who wish to learn about the early years of auto racing. LLOAR is made up of more than 600 members who have been or are still involved in the sport and several events are held throughout the year.


The best kept secret in Central Florida is LLOAR and  the Living Legends of Auto Racing Museum of Racing History, located in the Sunshine Park Mall, 2400 South Ridgewood Ave (US 1) in South Daytona. The facility is open free to the public from 10a.m til 5p.m. Monday thru Saturday, and offers a wide array of racing artifacts, such as helmets, driving suits, car parts, pictures and full size race cars. On most days, visitors will be able to sit and talk to many of the people responsible for helping to grow the sport. The Museum is a meeting place for many of these people and they love to share stories of the "Way we used to do it".

Telephone number is 386-763-4483.


Memberships are $25 per year or one may purchase a lifetime membership for $250. Membership packages may be purchased by contacting Joan Maxwell as soon as possible at 386-255-7428.


Highlights of the 2013 Speedweeks festivities for LLOAR begin on Sunday, February 17 with sign-up for the annual Beach Parade. The parade consists of vintage cars and drivers who will cruise along A1A. Anyone who would like to participate should sign up at the Museum between the hours of 10a.m. and 4p.m.


On Monday, the parade cars will be on display, beginning at 9a.m. at the Drive-In Church located on A!A in Daytona Beach Shores and the cars will be lined  up for the 3-mile parade route. Cars will return to the church following the parade and will be on display. Refreshments and memorabilia will be available and several legend drivers are expected to be on hand.


Tuesday will bring the annual LLOAR Charity Auction and Autograph Session, scheduled to kick off at 6p.m. at The Shores Resort and Spa, located at 2637 South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores. This auction will include items such as new and used racing memorabilia, plus door prizes will be given away. A number of racing legends will be on hand to pose for pictures as well as sign autographs. Advance tickets are $15 each, but will be $20 if purchased at the door the night of the auction. For info, call Paulette at 386-299-7343.


The highlight of the weeks activities comes on Wednesday night, February 20 with the 21st Annual Legends Awards Banquet and this event usually draws a packed house to The Shores Resort and Spa. The night kicks off at 6p.m. with a cash bar and dinner will follow at 7p.m.


This event salutes men and women who have done so much for racing through the years and each is singled out for their accomplishmens.


Recipients of the 2013 awards are:


Allison Family Corporate Award (In memory of Clifford & Davey):    Fox Sports - Dave Hill

Dedicated Service:    Don Bok (Photographer)

Distinguished Driver:    Dale Jarrett (Former championship driver and presently TV Color man)

Pioneer of Racing:    Humpy Wheeler (You name it and he has done it)

Russ Moyer Media:    Eddie Roche (Sports Writer)

Saturday Night Hero:    Billy Scott (Winner of more than 300 races..Member of NDRA Hall-of-Fame)

Tribute to Early Years:    Ginny & George Baker (George was the first NASCAR pilot and Ginny was one of the original employees of NASCAR)


Tickets for the banquet are $50, while Corporate tables (8 people) are $500. Those who plan to attend should contact Joan Maxwell as soon as possible at 386-255-7428.





Jean Thurman cuts the ribbon at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day, 1950. Looking on is NASCAR President Bill France (with microphone),
Strom Thurman (with straw hat) and raceway builder and owner, Harold Brasington. built the track by himself and did not use the help of any engineers.  (Photo from Watts Collection)
It took NASCAR inspectors 19 days to check all the cars before the running of the first Southern 500. There were 25 rows of 3 for a starting line-up of 75. Notice the white solid line just to right of the cars. This line was the pit wall.When a car came in for service, the pit crew jumped a pipe wall to work on the car, with no protection at all.
Notice theblack spots on the ground near the row of people...This is oil that spilled during practice times. Johnny Mantz bought abrand new Plymouth from a dealer in Florence, drove it to the track and won the race. He drove the same car home to California the next day. (Photo from Watts Collection)










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Revised: February 23, 2013