Twizzlers Commemorates Friday the 13th Racing in Richmond With Twisted Racing Stories from Richard Childress Racing and KHI WELCOME, N.C (May 11) - What happens when you combine Friday the 13th and stock car racing? The NASCAR Busch Series is ...
Twizzlers Commemorates Friday the 13th Racing in Richmond With Twisted Racing Stories from Richard Childress Racing and KHI
WELCOME, N.C (May 11) - What happens when you combine Friday the 13th and stock car racing? The NASCAR Busch Series is about to find out at Richmond International Raceway this week. Kevin Harvick, who will drive the TWIZZLERS Twizted Chevrolet in Friday night's race, asked his friends at Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick Inc. to reveal their most twisted racing stories to give us an idea of what twisted events could occur Friday night.
Brandon Miller and Jeff Burton have both experienced lights out racing during their careers.
"It was about four years ago and I was driving in a Late Model race in California, Miller said. "I was on the inside of another car getting ready to pass it, and all of a sudden all the lights went out. It was really weird. I couldn't see anything. The track was completely pitch black. I slammed on my brakes hoping not to hit anyone. Once the lights came back on I looked around and realized that everyone was able to get stopped without hitting anyone. That was the craziest thing that has ever happened to me since I have been racing."
Burton's dark experience had a mind-twisting affect on a fellow driver.
"I was racing one night back in 1986 or '87 in the Late Model division at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C.," Burton said. "We were in the middle of the race when the lights went out. It was pitch black. When the lights came back on, a young rookie driver got out of his car and walked over to the ambulance because he thought he had blacked out. True story."
While Harvick's story does not involve the track going dark in the middle of a race, his story happened in the middle of the night while attempting to avoid a twister.
"The craziest thing I can think of that happened to me while I was at a track was a few weeks ago in Talladega," Harvick said. "It was about three or four in the morning, and I was asleep in my motorcoach. All of a sudden, this really loud alarm started going off. At first, I really wasn't sure what the alarm was for and then I heard this voice telling us to seek shelter. I finally realized it was a tornado alarm, and we needed to find a place to go. DeLana and I got dressed, but then realized we didn't know where to go. We just stayed in the motorcoach and waited for the storm to pass. Thank the Lord a tornado didn't come because we were sitting ducks."
Tornadoes were the least of Tony Raines' worries on an August day in Canada. Another type of weather event interrupted his race.
"I was racing in an ASA race in Canada a while back," Raines said. "It was early August and I would say it was about 70 degrees or so when the race started. The race was slated for 500 laps, but at lap 300 the race was canceled because of snow. That was the first and only time I have ever had a race canceled in August because of snow."
Everyone has seen Carl Edwards twist and turn off the top of his car after a victory, but Dave Blaney saw a horrible accident in which a driver flew out of his window after an accident and walked away unhurt.
"I was sitting in my sprint car waiting to get in a practice session at the track in Butler, Mich., back in the mid-1980s," Blaney said. "Another group of drivers was already on the track at the time when two cars got together and crashed on the front straightaway. All of a sudden, one of the guys flew out of his car and landed on the dirt track pretty hard. I couldn't tell but it looked like the other car ran him over, though it turns out it didn't. The driver then shocked everyone when he stood up and walked back into the pits like nothing had happened."
Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama has stymied many drivers, whose cars become twisted as the result of numerous accidents. Clint Bowyer suffered that fate in April.
"The Talladega race has got to be the most twisted race I have ever been involved with," Bowyer said. "I have never had an opportunity to make up that many points so easily when all you had to do was finish. It was very disappointing that we couldn't do that. I have never been in that kind of situation and not capitalized on it. It was just crazy. I wrecked three times and I have never wrecked that many times in one race either. That was pretty much three strikes and you are out. We went back out to get our fourth one, but NASCAR pulled us in. That race was just a nightmare."
The odds are against any of those events occurring Friday night in Richmond, but it is Friday the 13th. Something twisted is bound to happen at the track. Harvick and Bowyer are the only two of our storytellers competing Friday night. The others will wait and watch to see the action unfold.
The Funai 250 will be broadcast by the FX television network and MRN radio network at 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday night.