by Dan Johnson
As we head into our 22nd year of going “Around the Asphalt,” there’s nothing like opening night.
There is anticipation of a new season. All the teams have been in the garage all winter working, getting ready to hit the track tonight. Everyone starts at square one; everyone starts the night even in the points.
Driver and teams have dreams that this will be their year. Tonight, we start the four-month journey towards the 2012 track championship. Opening night is sensory overload.
Sight. All the cars are aerodynamically sound, freshly painted, and have that jaw-dropping look about them. Is there anything as cool looking as a spit-shined supermodified?
Sound. How can you beat the melody of an 850 horsepower motor about ready to shake your skin? There is no sound like it in the world.
Taste. Is there a better taste than that first Hofmann when you get to the track?
Smell. We’ve waited for that first methanol burn of the year. Watch anyone when they get that first blast of spent methanol blast tonight, you wont see a bigger smile around all night.
Tonight we look to have possibly one of the biggest opening night fields in the 62-year history of the speedway. We’re not only looking for a full field, but is a consi on opening night a possibility? Not only will we have numbers, but we’ll have quality as well.
More than half the field will be former feature winners and there will be at least five past Classic winners.
One guy that fits both those categories won last time we race. Otto Sitterly’s last lap pass of Mike Lichty in the Classic still has people buzzing.
Otto came out last weekend to shake down the Nicotra cars, one for him and one for Davey. Otto comes into tonight looking for his fourth opening day win. He’s won every even year since 2006, so, if the numbers hold up.
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