Friday, February 13, 2009

Sad news from outside the Daytona bubble

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Speedweeks at Daytona can become an exercise in total immersion if you let it.
This is the 13th year I've been coming down here and the 10th year that I've been married, and I learned long ago to make your Valentine's Day plans idiot-proof so you don't let them slide in the middle of all this mess.
One bad thing about the disconnect is that you can miss things you wish you hadn't, and if not for the kindness of people back home that's what would have happened to me about the passing of Frank Heafner.
Mr. Heafner, 86, died Thursday at the Cleveland Regional Medical Center.
"The impact that he had on early day racing was formidable," H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said. "He gave Bobby Isaac his first winning ride and he was known for the great flathead Fords he built that won so many races at places like Greenville, Columbia, Cowpens, Gaffney, Robinwood and so on. He also built flatheads for Ralph Earnhardt before Ralph started building them himself."
Wheeler said that in the 1980s he located in Illinois the car in which Isaac first won. Wheeler took the car to Mr. Heafner in the Cherryville area and Mr. Heafner restored it in Isaac's honor. Bill Elliott drove that restored car on a makeshift dirt track Wheeler had made in the woods near Lowe's Motor Speedwqay for a story it Car & Driver magazine.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Crouse United Methodist Church. Burial will be in City Memorial Cemetery, Cherryville.


Anonymous said...

This is nice Davey but a little insight on the tire trouble would be nice too. Not much being said about the tires blistering with only 25 laps on them.

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous, this is not the proper forum to discuss tire issues. Honoring someone in racing isn't a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Ol' Flat Heads have such a great sound! I can't imagine 43 race prepped ones at full song... a sound now heard only in Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Song from Heaven