Odessa: Casey Smith race notes

Casey Smith convinced Friday the 13th brings bad luck ASA team will compete next at Indianapolis Raceway Park AUSTIN, TX (June 18, 2003) -- Casey Smith and his race team left their shop on Thursday evening feeling great about their return to...

Casey Smith convinced Friday the 13th brings bad luck
ASA team will compete next at Indianapolis Raceway Park

AUSTIN, TX (June 18, 2003) -- Casey Smith and his race team left their shop on Thursday evening feeling great about their return to the American Speed Association for the Missouri 250 at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, MO. They had just taken a couple of races off and had a very successful test at the half-mile, high-banked track. But, as the 18-year-old arrived in Missouri early Friday, which also happened to be the 13th of June, he started feeling ill. That afternoon, Smith was admitted to a local hospital for treatment of bacteria food poisoning.

Doctors at the hospital treated Casey with intravenous fluids and medication to keep him hydrated. They also decided to keep him overnight for observation. When he was released on Saturday morning, after much deliberation, Smith decided it was not a smart choice to wheel his #08 Hamke Chevrolet in that evening's 250-lap event when he wasn't 100 percent.

"I know I have never felt that sick in all my life," Smith said. "Then the nurse came in and asked me how I felt about being in room '13' on Friday the 13th. That convinced me that 'Friday the 13th' was a determining factor in leading up to this 'bad luck' I was suffering."

Friday the 13th didn't just affect Smith, but also his crew. Several members of the team were scheduled to fly in for the event on Friday, but were halted due to inclement weather and were not able to arrive until early Saturday morning.

"I was so disappointed," said the 18-year-old, who last raced at Toledo Speedway. "I know how hard we had worked preparing for this event and I was really looking forward to running on the high banks of 1-70. I feel confident we had a good car and would have been very competitive.

"We will just focus our preparation on our next event. This team will bounce back. We have shown we can be a competitive team, just like we did at Lanier earlier this year. We'll be competitive no matter when we race. This is a good team and there is so much racing knowledge here with my crew chief Robert Hamke."

Smith and the team are planning to make the trek to Indianapolis Raceway Park on June 28th, despite a lack of sponsorship. The team is still actively looking for sponsors to keep their eight-race 2003 season going, which already includes two top-10 finishes in only four starts, including a third-place finish at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia.

The 200-lap event at IRP is set for 9:00 pm (ET) and will be seen live on SPEED Channel.

-51ss-

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