This season I have done the best I can to cover the racing from North Georgia Speedway and I have spent lot’s of hours burning the midnight oil getting blog’s together and collecting facts. Now as the end of the year is just around the corner I decided to do a poll of readers who they felt was the Most Improved Driver and who they felt was the Driver Of the Year.
In the driver of the year tally it came down to Derek Ellis, Jeff Smith and Larry Higgins all with in 45 votes. In the Most Improved driver category it was close too, with Glen Grimsley beating Aaron Wilson and Caleb Howard in a race that was seperated by 63 votes.
I was wanting to do the announcement myself but was called into duty in turn one, and I want to thank Tony Ray for getting the word out for me. Even though they got to get the speakers in the pit’s fixed, so we can hear it too. I have spoken with both drivers and one thing I find interesting is these two drivers Jeff and Glenn have become friends this year and Jeff has talked a lot with Glenn and Glenn has learned just from listening so it has turned out good for them both.
Jeff started racing in 1994 when his dad told him they had a 59 Chevy Apache Truck they could restore or they could build a race car, well Jeff ain’t driving a 59 Chevy truck…. and I am glad to see he made the right call. It didn’t take Jeff long to find victory lane, he done that the following year by winning the Season Opener at Sugar Creek in 95 and he has been on a tear ever since. I have been lucky enough to have known Jeff way back when, he has been around members of my family for years and I know the hard work, the dedication and determination that he has put into his racing career. You would be hard pressed to find a nicer guy who just loves racing.
Jeff has won more races than I can count this year and it is a year every driver dreams of so it is no wonder that the readers of my blog topofthebox.wordpress.com have voted en mass. And picked Jeff “Spanky” Smith as the North Georgia Speedway Driver of the Year.
I spoke with Jeff Sunday Afternoon and I asked him what he thought of the award, “ I am thrilled and surprised to win and thanks to you ,Mitch for all your work putting this together for us drivers and taking the news to the fans who read your stuff each week, and thanks to all the fans for the votes, “ Jeff said that none if this would have been possible without the help and support of hid Dad Don Smith and his loving Family who have all helped at one time or another, and Jeff Said the early years could not of been possible with out the help of his friend Griffin Kinsey who helped keep Jeff’s feet on the ground and teaching him how things work. Charlie and Chris Zimmerman for all the advice and help they provided, and to all the fans who have stayed with him through the years.
I asked Jeff what made him so fast, he chuckled and said “ I drive it like that, I have found a combination that really works for me with this Warrior and I have a guy like “Fatback” Micheal Hammontree to keep it working week in and week out, along with the Hill’s Randall and Randy. We are just having fun, when we started the season that was our goal for the year to go racing and have fun, and that’s what we are doing right now is having fun!” Having fun and winning races, a great year seems like to me.
Glenn Grimsley has just got started having fun, Glenn who is in his very first year of racing has really started getting the hang of it. He started the year just wanting to get seat time, and make laps, but over the season he has had some strong runs and being there each and every weekend has helped, Glenn now has a commanding lead in the Econo Hobby points that can’t be touched, in his first year he will win the Econo hobby title at NGS, quite a feat for a first year driver. He has done this all out of his own pocket, without the sponsorship lot’s of the drivers have, and he has done it with hard work. Glenn has yet to find victory lane but with the drive he has it won’t be long.
I talked with Glenn after the races last Saturday night and he was excited about the award, “I can’t believe that I won it” said Glenn. “Thanks to all who voted for me and all the people who have helped me this year I could not of done it alone.” His calm demeanor and his constant drive to just get better have put Glenn in place to be seen.
And this is the reason that the readers have chosen Glenn as TOPOFTHEBOX North Georgia Speedway Most Improved Driver of the year.
I want to thank everyone who has voted and helped in this, I plan on doing it next year as well. I want the drivers to know that I personally did not vote, and that this was all from the fans and readers who follow my blog each week. Both Glenn and Jeff have had a great year in very different ways, but each is happy and ready for next season. Best of luck to both of these guys and thanks for being there every week.
So next time you see one of these guys stop them and shake their hand let them know you like watching them race each and every week.