I am passionate about racing and helping others who are passionate about racing as well. I am working with young driver R.j. Glaser to pursue his dream of driving in NASCAR’s upper level and he invited me to spend a day with his team Outlaw Sportsman Racing, owned by Jim Daley and Sandy Lee, co-owner and driver.
After lunch with Glaser on race day we headed to the team shop that is headquartered at Allen Sheppard Racing Enterprises in Deland, FL. Quite an impressive deal as Allen Sheppard keeps an impeccable race shop. I note that the team is entering 6 cars in tonight’s race at NASCAR Home Track at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, FL. I meet up with the owner Jim Daley and it is like we have been friends for years as I see the same passion in his eyes. Both haulers are loaded by this time so we all head to the track.
Now at the track I get a chance to speak with the drivers and find out that this is not a “wreckers or checkers” type of team. Daley has instilled into his drivers that first and foremost you are to have fun and finish the race. I also find out that Glaser’s spotter has been given the opportunity to drive the #20 car in tonight’s race. Remember the #20 car as you will find out a little later just how passionate Jim Daley, Sandy Lee and Allen Sheppard are about their racing deal.
Practice is underway and cars come onto pit road for adjustments and head back out. The line up sheet is posted for the heats and in Heat #1 Glaser, who is leading Rookie of the Year and 8th in points is in the #5 at P1, #10 Sandy Lee. who is tied for 3rd place is P3 and #38 is Ron Gustafson P6. Heat #2 lineup is #1 Derrek Wood P1, #20 Blaise Hetznecker P4 and #6 DJ Farr P6.
During the first heat race the caution lights come out and as I turn around to look at the back stretch I see Glaser #5 up against the wall but cannot tell if he hit it or drove her up there to avoid the accident. A few minutes later I see the #111 of Donnie Williams limp onto pit road obviously done for the day. Donnie Williams is tied for third place with Outlaw Sportsman Racing driver #10 Sandy Lee.
I was doing Media coverage and Public Relations for Glaser and the Team during the race and shortly after this wreck Daley comes over and asks me to publish this statement: “Allen and Jimmy have decided to loan the #20 car to Donnie Williams (Daley’s competition) who was the track champ for the last 3 years and who’s car #111 was wrecked in the heat. Donnie Williams and Sandy Lee are tied for 3rd in points.” This is what I’m talking about when I talk about passion. I love this team, these people and this sport.
To top off the night after the races were over and all 6 of Daley’s cars placed in the top 10, Jim comes over to me and tells me to get into his car we have someplace to go and bring my phone so I can report on it. Next thing I know we are standing at the pay-out window at the track. Now that’s something I’ve never done before!
I’m loving every minute I get to spend with Jim Daley, a most passionate racing fan with a heart as big as they get.
By Donna Bell
Photo by Donna Bell