Okay, so the weather finally allowed us to get some racing in around here.

I can’t speak for the other tracks, but we had a nice night of action at Corbin Speedway, except that it got really cold before it was over.

Wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t had to shut down for more than an hour as the ambulance had to answer a call to a horrendous accident. No recriminations, because I believe they have their priorities in order.

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Well, Jeff Gordon finally got his 76th Nextel Cup win, tying him with Dale Earnhardt Sr., and I was glad to see him pay tribute to DE by carrying that No. 3 flag on his victory lap (even if I did have to watch it on tape). Also liked the fact that he mentioned how much he missed having Dale out there and racing with him.

Even Junior appreciated it, and took the time to tell Gordon about it.

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Speaking of missing someone, I was astonished to find out via ESPN on Saturday that an old friend of mine, Joie Ray of Louisville, passed away on April 13.

Quite probably no one around here has heard of Joie, but he was the first African-American sprint car driver, and also the first of his race to take part in a NASCAR race - the 1952 beach and road race at Daytona.

Joie fought through all kinds of racial intolerance, and as he said in an old interview with Benny Parsons (I miss HIM, too), the drivers were his best friends and the first to come to his defense.

He once told me about a time that a bunch of them were coming back from a race in Kansas or somewhere, and when they stopped at a cafe in Illinois to eat, the proprietor told them he couldn’t serve Joie.

As Joie told it, Tony Bettenhausen, Spider Webb, Bob Sweikert, Jimmy Bryan, and a couple of other guys asked the proprietor to meet them in the back room to discuss the matter. When it was all over, he had apparently decided he could serve Joie after all. He had lots of stories like that.

Joie and I got to be very good friends in the 60s, and I’ll always treasure those memories.

There was even a snapshot in the ESPN interview of myself, Joie, and Danny Sullivan, the 1985 Indy 500 winner, posing at a USAC banquet. I think when it was in National Speed Sport News, they headlined it, “Three Guys From Louisville.”

Rest in Peace, old friend.

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Weekend Winners;

CORBIN SPEEDWAY

Late Model, Roger Parker;Sportsman/SuperTruck, Steve Brock; Chevette, Anthony Wagers; Pure Street, Ed Murray; Slammer, Jason Strunk; Mini-Slammer, Travis Travillian; Mini-Cup, Charles Metcalf.



LONDON DRAGWAY

Super Pro, Jeremy Bargo; Pro, Tony Brock, Footbrake, Robby Mayne; Dialing for Dollars, Chuck Gatliff, Gamblers’ Race, Jerry Paul Cox.



LAKE CUMBERLAND SPEEDWAY

Late Model, Tommy Bailey; Open Wheel Modified, Anthony Adams; Road Hog, Travis Preston; Chevette, Mike Todd; Front Wheel Drive, Justin Perry.

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