Saturday, March 21, 2009

L.D. Ottinger -- Mr. Saturday Night Special

Saturday night sure was special. Watching the legends of NASCAR take to the track after the Nationwide race made for some out-and-out fun.

From Jimmy Spencer accidentally wrecking Junior Johnson during practice to Harry Gant's hood peeling off while he was fighting for position, there was plenty of on-track action to keep things entertaining.

But the man who proved he's still got what it takes to get racy at Bristol was retired Busch Series driver L.D. Ottinger. Before the green flag waved, the seventy-year-old Ottinger said he hadn't been in a race car in more than 10 years. But you'd never know it.

Ottinger started in next-to-last place, but he managed to maneuver his car to a third place finish. And if the race had been 10 or so laps longer, he probably could have given Rusty Wallace and the dominant Sterling Marlin a run for their money.

"This is the second time I've been in a car in 15 years," Ottinger said. "I'd like to see this again. This was great."

I don't know who had more fun, the drivers or the fans. And this fan agrees with Ottinger -- I hope the folks at Bristol do this again in 2010.

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