Rain, Rain. Who Cares?

What do Daytona fans do when rain spoils race day? Pretty much the same thing they'd be doing if the race was going on: Partying.

As race fan James Ruda Jr. of Melbourne, Fla., told me, "Daytona is a party, with a race."

On Saturday, James Ruda Jr., right, his wife Lynn and Ed Oh of Melbourne wait in the rain for a race. (Mike Snyder - washingtonpost.com)

James wasn't partying hard, but lots of other folks were, and when NASCAR postponed the races around 8 p.m. Satruday, it just meant a change of venue for the hard-core fans.

I wound up at a little bar called Drifters in Daytona Shores, a block away from a "gentlemen's" club called Biggins. (Somewhere Al Bundy has a big grin on his face.) The sign at Drifters sign promised warm beer and cold service.

What I found was a good mix of locals and some out-of-town race fans shooting pool and jamming to a kick-ass jukebox. There was definitely a Kiss fan in the bar.

At the pool table I found proud Steelers fan David Frechette, wearing a Jerome Bettis 36 jersey, and his buddy from high school in Michigan, Doug Wilson. They told me that until six weeks ago, the two hadn't seen each other in 15 years. David just retired from the Army after 20 years as a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief. He'd just done his last tour of duty in Iraq. This is going to be David's first Daytona 500. Doug has been coming with his wife Christie and some of their friends for years.

By the end of the night, I felt like part of the family. Loads of good conversation with new friends, pool, tunes, what more could you want. Basically your typical night in Daytona during Speedweek, rain or shine.

By Mike Snyder |  February 12, 2006; 12:37 PM ET  | Category:  Daytona Scene
Previous: Locked and Loaded in the Infield | Next: Brrr! It's Cold Here in Sunny Florida

Blogs That Reference This Entry

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Please email us to report offensive comments.

What kind of tequila did they have at the bar?

Posted by: Jon F. | February 13, 2006 10:55 AM

Captain Rainman :)

Posted by: James Ruda | February 13, 2006 11:04 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company