JIMMYJEEPS MEMORIES


SEPTEMBER 18, 2004 I WAS ASKED TO PUSH THE FASTSPRINTS AT AUBURNDALE SPEEDWAY...ALTHOUGH IT SEEMED TO BE A FULL MOON NIGHT WE GOT THE SHOW WITH JIM IRWIN WAS RIDING "SHOTGUN" WITH ME THAT NIGHT...ON OUR WAY HOME ABOUT 2AM IN THE MORNING ON INTERSTATE 4 EAST OF DISNEY WORLD WE CAME ON AN ACCIDENT..A UNMARKED ORANGE COUNTY SHERRIF'S SUV WAS BLOCKING TRAFFIC IN THE FAR RIGHT LANE..I BACKED DOWN MY SPEED AND SAW THERE WAS A BLACK KIA SUV ON ITS ROOF IN THE RIGHT LANE PLUS SOME WAS IN MY LANE...I FIRED UP MY DUAL SWINDELL LIGHTS (thanks to Jim Reid) , MY TOP LIGHT PLUS MY EMERGENCY LIGHTS ON THE JEEP...THAT AREA ON THE INTERSTATE IS A DANGEROUS PLACE TO STOP BUT IT HAD TO BE DONE...JIMMY IRWIN GOT OUT TO HELP THE DEPUTY AND THEY PULLED A NEARLY NAKED GIRL OUT OF HER KIA..SEEMS SHE ONLY HAD ON BLACK PANTIES AND A WRAP AROUND BLACK DRESS THAT WAS REALLY OPEN..A LITTLE SHAKEN BUT SHE WAS OKAY...JIM AND THE DEPUTY SHARED A LITTLE SMILE AFTER GETTING HER ON HER FEET...BACK TO THE LIGHTING ON THE JEEP AND HOLDING MY BREATHE NO CARS CAME CLOSE TO ME...A VAN ALMOST HIT THE SHERRIF'S SUV AND SLID OFF THE SHOULDER...WE BLOCKED TRAFFIC FOR ABOUT TWENTY MINUTES UNTIL BACKUP ARRIVED AND GOT OUT OF THE WAY...

HAVE YOU EVER RUN INTO THE TOP WING ON A SPRINT CAR..?..WHAT WAS THE NEW NAME YOU CALLED IT..???
WE WERE WORKING A SHOW IN LENIOR, N.C. AND THE CARS WERE ON THE TRACK DOING HOT LAPS...WITHOUT A WARNING THEY STARTED TO WET DOWN PIT ROAD ABOUT THE TIME THE SPRINT CARS WERE RETURNING TO THE PITS...ROBBIE SMITHS CAR WENT INTO A SPIN AND HEADED TOWARD THE FUEL PUMPS WHICH WEREN'T PROTECTED...A GOOD OLE BOY ABOUT 300 POUNDS GOT IN THE WAY AND DID A DOUBLE BACK FLIP AS HE WAS HIT AND LANDED IN THE MUD ON HIS BACK...IT SLOWED ROBBIE ENOUGH SO HE JUST DENTED THE PUMP...
ONE TIME MY FRIEND THE "SMURF" WHO WAS RIDING "SHOTGUN" WITH ME WAS PUT INTO SERVICE PUSHING USING THE TRACK OWNERS TOYOTA 4X4 AT LENIOR, N.C...HE DIDN'T WANT TO PUSH AS HE HAD NEVER DID IT BEFORE BUT KNEW HOW TO AS HE HAD RIDDEN WITH ME FOR YEARS...BOBBY WASN'T VERY TALL AND WHEN HE HAD TO GRAB A SHIFT YOU COULD SEE HIM RAISE OUT OF HIS SEAT ABOUT TWO FEET AND YANK THE STICK SHIFT WITH ALL HIS MIGHT...HE LATTER SAID THE TRACK OWNER SAID DON'T WORRY HE WOULDN'T HURT THE TRUCK...AMEN
DURING A TWO DAY SHOW IN LENIOR,N.C. ALL THE CAR WASHES WERE BEING USED SATURDAY WITH LONG WAITING LINES...MY JEEP WAS STILL PAINTED TAN BUT THAT RED CLAY WAS REALLY PLASTERED ON FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE...I SPOTTED A MOTHER AND SON DOING CAR WASHES IN THE SIDE PARKING LOT OF THE LOCAL MALL...I PULLED IN AND ASKED WHAT THEY WOULD CHARGE AND FIVE DOLLARS WAS QUOTED..THAT WAS FINE WITH ME AND AS I WALKED AWAY I BANGED ON THE FRONT FENDER DISLODGING POUNDS OF CLAY...AFTER A LITTLE SHOPPING I PEAKED AROUND THE CORNER TO SEE IF THE JOB WAS FINISHED..THE "WARWAGON" WAS NICE AND CLEAN BUT THE NEWLY PAVED PARKING LOT WAS RED AND THERE WAS A MALL MANAGER POINTING TO THE STAINED PARKING SURFACE...NOT WANTING TO GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CONVERSATION I SENT MY "SHOTGUN" TO ACQUIRE MY JEEP...AS WE DROVE OFF THERE WAS A RED RIVER STRETCHING FOR 200 FEET TO THE WOODS AND ONE SWEEPING AND ANOTHER SPRAYING WITH TO SHORT OF A HOSE TO GET THE JOB DONE..
WHATS THE WEIRDEST PLACE YOU HAVE WASHED YOUR PUSH TRUCK..?...HOW ABOUT ON A PUTTING GREEN AT THE COLONIEL MOTEL IN PHENIX CITY, ALABAMA AFTER WE DID RED STAUFFER'S SPRINT CAR....OR IN A GAS STATION PUMP AREA NEAR SAVANNAH , GEORGIA...WE DID DIRTY UP THE WINDSHIELD WASHING WATER A LITTLE....

THE TWO YEARS I DID THE KNOXVILLE NATIONALS I NEVER LOST MY PARKING PLACE AT THE MOTEL...ONE IN DES MOINES AND THE OTHER IN NEWTON....AS THE CLAY PILED UP EACH DAY IT WAS LIKE PUTTING A ORANGE CONE ON MY SPOT..

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A BAD BOY..?..WE TOILET PAPERED RON MIMS SPRINT CAR ABOUT TWO a.m IN THE MORNING IN BURNSWICK , GEORGIA...TRYING TO LEAVE BEFORE ANYONE WAS UP WE GOT TO THE JEEP JUST AS THE CAR OWNER FOUND THE DECORATIONS.....HE THOUGHT WE HAD DID IT BUT WE CONVINCED HIM IT WAS ROLAND JOHNSON WHO WAS DRIVING THE QUICKLOAD SPRINTER AT THAT TIME...SO HE STARTED TRANSFERRING THE PAPER FROM HIS CAR...WELL OF COURSE I HAD TO TAKE SOME PICTURES OF HIM THAT ENDED UP IN THE TBARA NEWSLETTER...THREE YEARS LATER I FINALLY CONFESSED..

THE SECOND YEAR I WENT TO KNOXVILLE FOR THE NATIONALS I DROVE OUT BY MYSELF...THE 24 HOURS DRIVE I SPLIT UP INTO THREE DAYS...AFTER DOING A TBARA RACE AT PHENIX CITY, ALABAMA SATURDAY NIGHT I STARTED OUT SUNDAY AND STOPPED THAT NIGHT IN PADUKAH, KENTUCKY...I PITCHED MY TENT IN A CAMPGROUND THAT HAD 100 SPACES AND I WAS THE ONLY ONE THERE...I HAD BORROWED MY FRIENDS DOME TENT AND AFTER SETTLING DOWN FOR THE NIGHT REALIZED I COULDN'T STRETCH OUT IN IT...WHEN MORNING ARRIVED I CRAWLED OUT OF THE TENT... I CRAWLED AROUND IT TO PULL THE TENT STAKES...I CRAWLED TO THE PICNIC TABLE WITH THE TENT TO TAKE IT APART...I CRAWLED ON TO THE TABLES SEAT...YOU SEE MY BACK WAS FRIED AFTER SLEEPING ON THE HARD GROUND....MOST OF THE TIMES BEFORE ROUGHING IT WAS STAYING IN A DAYS INN...NEXT STOP WAS GRANITE CITY FOR A WORLD OF OUTLAWS RACE...I WAS ASKED BY RICK FERKLE TO DRIVE THE WoO PACE TRUCK THAT NIGHT BUT DECLINED THE OFFER SAYING I FELT I OWED MY SERVICES PUSHING TO THE TRACK OWNER...AFTER THE RACE WAS OVER MY JEEP WAS BLACK FROM THE STONE DUST SURFACE AND I HAD TO FIND A CAR WASH IN A HURRY...NEADLESS TO SAY AFTER I FINISHED I WAS A MESS..I ALSO HAD LOST A DONUT OUT OF ONE SIDE OF MY EXHAUST SYSTEM....I STILL KICK MY BUTT TO THIS DAY FOR NOT DOING THE PACE JOB...I HAD FOUND THE LAST ROOM IN TOWN EARLIER FOR THE NIGHT AND HAD TO SNEAK IN THE BACK DOOR DO TO THE CONDITION OF MY CLOTHING AFTER THE CAR WASH...

ONE THING YOU REMEMBER BEING ON THE ROAD IS WHERE THE BEST CAR WASHES ARE LOCATED....ITS LIKE REMEMBERING WHERE THE McDONALDS ARE IN EACH TOWN AS YOU PASS THROUGH...LIKE THE ONE SOUTH OF COLUMBUS, GA. THAT HAS SO MUCH PRESSURE IT MAKES YOU STEP BACK A FEW FEET WHEN YOU PULL THE LEVER..IN PHENIX CITY, AL. IT THE LONGEST WASH CYCLE YOU COUND ASK FOR A DOLLAR...IN NEWTON, IOWA THE ATTENDANT KNOWS WHICH TRACK YOU HAD BEEN PUSHING AT BY THE COLOR OF DIRT YOU LEFT HIM...THOSE FANCY CAR WASHES THAT CHARGE YOU TO MUCH AND GIVE YOU THE LITTLEST WASH TIME...YOU NEVER FEEL BAD LIVING A FOOT HIGH PILE OF MUD WHEN YOU DRIVE OUT....YOU NEVER GET ALL THE CLAY FROM THE WHEEL WELLS RACING IN THE SOUTH...ITS WAS ALWAYS FUN TO HAVE A PASSENGER IN THE REAR SEAT OF THE JEEP POUND ON TOP OF THE REAR FENDER AND LAUNCH RED CLAY BOMBS WHEN SOMEONE TAILGATES ME...

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