Fountain of Youth -- Otto Motorsports Launches 2006 Season at Sebring SEBRING, Fla., February 28, 2006 -- Explorers traversed Florida for generations in search of the fabled "Fountain of Youth". What they couldn't find in all of that time, ...
Fountain of Youth -- Otto Motorsports Launches 2006 Season at Sebring
SEBRING, Fla., February 28, 2006 -- Explorers traversed Florida for generations in search of the fabled "Fountain of Youth". What they couldn't find in all of that time, Edgar Otto, Jr. uncovered behind the wheel of a 3500 pound stock car in Sebring Fla. just seven years ago. At 76, Otto is the oldest competitor racing in the Late Model Stock Car class of this weekend's Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) season-opening Sebring Endurance Challenge at Sebring International Raceway. The Boca Raton-resident sees the view from behind the No. 17 UrAssist "Freedom to Go" Chevrolet Monte Carlo-- a car once driven in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series by Nextel Cup champion Matt Kenseth-- as the ultimate time machine.
"Going fast keeps you young," proclaimed an exuberant Otto. "You're running away from father time in a NASCAR stock car. What could be more fun? We're all trying to outrace father time but how many of us get a chance to get in a race car and run away from him?"
Adding to Otto's thrill this weekend is the opportunity to race with his son, Wayne (50). Wayne races another former BGN contender, the Slim Jim Monte Carlo. The father-son combination, the only one of its kind in the Series, makes two parts of the three-part Otto Motorsports effort. The third leg being Pierre Molachek.
Otto will be making his 23rd HSR appearance at the famed Sebring race track. And, following his theory that you can outrun time, the Ernst & Young Florida Entrepreneur of the Year looks to be marching time steadily backwards as his lap times around the 3.7-mile facility plummet. For the son of a NASCAR "Founding Father" that was never allowed to drive in his youth, his speed has been a lifetime in the making.
"I'm going faster than I've ever gone," continued Otto. "It's amazing. I'm running up at the front of the pack now. I'm finishing better. I turned a lap in the fall race [last November] here equal to Wayne (two minutes, 14.8 seconds). That was about the sixth fastest time of anyone in the race. That is getting around that race track pretty quick for a 76 year-old. When I first started at Sebring I was turning 2:36, 2:27. So, I am getting better, faster each time out."
He approaches his hobby of outrunning father time in a serious manner. As Otto's skill improved, so did his equipment and support. Now racing a car designed and built for Busch Series road racing, he relies on professional mechanics as well. His crew chief is none other than former Bill Elliott chief Jimmy Barfield of Dawsonville, Ga.
"It's not often that an old man gets to know if he's slowed down or not," closed Otto on his face-to-face staring match with the clock. "So, when I get on the track this weekend, the clock will tell me whether Father Time is winning or not. I am going up there hoping that I am faster than last fall. But, I will know when the clock spits out the number. For me, its about a personal best because the clock tells you, unlike so many other things you do, whether you are still competitive or not. There aren't too many things in life that you can do to take your measure like driving a race car. I've got the records to prove that racing keeps you young."
To learn the latest on Otto Motorsports, please visit www.OttoMotorsports.com.
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For ticket information, please visit www.SebringRaceway.com