STANLEYâ€”On Saturday night, East Lincoln Speedway will host the Dave Watts Memorial All-Star Race.
The event is for the purpose of remembering Dave Watts of Huntersville, who died earlier this year.
Watts was known throughout the region for sponsoring dirt track racers. Through his Daveâ€™s Auto Salvage, he provided racers with parts at no cost, plus financial support to many on a weekly basis.
Bobbi Watts said her husband sponsored race cars because he loved the sport and understood the money crisis most weekend racers had to deal with.
â€œDave just enjoyed doing it and never expected any recognition in return,â€ she said. â€œHe believed he was giving young people a break in life and a purpose.â€
At the time of Daveâ€™s death at least 60-percent of those that raced at East Lincoln Speedway had Daveâ€™s Auto Salvage painted on the rear quarter panels of their race cars, according to track manager James Honeycutt.
The Watts Memorial Race will feature only East Lincoln Speedway drivers from the Late Model Modified-Sportsman division that have won features this season; a fan favorite selected from non-winners this past Saturday night through paper ballot voting; and a final spot that will be filled with a non-winners consolation race Saturday night.
This means only 12 drivers will have an opportunity to race in this special event.
The race itself has a format that is very unique in the area dirt track circles.
The 30-lap feature will be divided into two legs. Leg one will be for 20 laps and will pay a full weekly purse.
At that point, a pill be will be drawn to determine if zero, four or six cars will be inverted for the remaining 10 laps, which will also pay a full weekly purse.
The winner will not only receive a cash payout, but a Meridian wrist watch with a gold and silver plated case custom-designed for the event.
The face of the watch will have an inscription giving the name of the event, date and location.
â€œWeâ€™ve had over 30 different drivers compete in the Late Model division this season and itâ€™s unreal how sought-after and what meaning a starting spot in the Dave Watts Memorial has to these guys,â€ Honeycutt said. â€œLate last week, I received a telephone call from the wife of a driver that has not earned a starting postion saying he would get out of bed in the middle of the night and just walk the floor worried he might not get to start this special event,â€ he added.
Gates open at 5 p.m. on Saturday with racing beginning at 7:30 p.m. Five other weekly divisions will be on the program.
by Special to the LTN