The 19th Annual Clyde Hart Memorial is this Thursday at New Symrna Speedway (FL) and is one of the most coveted wins for the local Super Late Model drivers. David Rogers, one of the seasoned drivers at New Symrna, is looking for his second victory in the memorial race.
Rogers won the inaugural Clyde Hart Memorial race in 1999 and is looking to do the same thing seventeen years later. Having won the last three straight SLM races at New Symrna, the chances of him finding his way back to victory lane are high.
“We are way better than we have been the last couple years. We struggled with set-ups and stuff. There hasn’t been a lot of cars there but we have ran good lap times and raced with Brad May,” Rogers told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
“May is a great racer and he has some quality cars and is very competitive so when you can beat Brad, even if that’s all you’re racing, that’s still a pretty good car to have to beat.”
Fortunately, Rogers felt that they have hit on something this season as they have been in contention for the win almost every weekend so far.
“We are normally old fashioned and so with this new stuff I have had to completely relearn a lot of things. As a driver I have even had to forget some things that I do with my driving style in order to drive these new style cars.”
While some of the drivers in the field may have not gotten the chance to know Clyde Hart personally, for Rogers the chance to win his memorial race is a little more sentimental.
“Clyde and I were what I would consider friends. We had our run-ins and what not and had lots of issues over time as friends do but at the end of the day Clyde was an important factor in all of my racing and even part of my business,” said Rogers.
Aside from racing, Clyde affected David Rogers’ life outside of the track.
“He was a smart guy and I looked up to him a lot of way other than racing. I looked up to him a lot in business and like I said, him and I were friends so winning the Clyde Hart Memorial would be more than just a win to me.”
For fans who cannot make it to New Symrna Speedway to attend the Clyde Hart Memorial, Speed51.com will have live Trackside Now coverage of all of the day’s action.
-By Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @HannahNewhouse