Legendary Florida racer David Rogers was a multiple-time track champion at New Smyrna Speedway near his hometown of Orlando, and won everything you could win at the half-mile racetrack. Now, Super Late Model racers who visit the facility will be racing in a division honoring his memory.
On Tuesday, New Smyrna Speedway announced it would rename its top division of weekly racing. Those racers will now compete in the David Rogers Super Late Models, continuing the legacy of “The Gentle Giant” for generations to come.
“It’s something New Smyrna Speedway came up with to keep David Rogers’ name relevant in stock car racing,” said Rusty Marcus, General Manager of New Smyrna Speedway.
Marcus noted that he and the track wanted to do something unique and special to commemorate Rogers which would have a more prominent impact, rather than a memorial race on an annual basis.
“His name will live on forever at New Smyrna Speedway, and that’s the important part. Memorial races, they are once a year, people start forgetting who the people are. We’re going to keep it right in the spotlight every time we race Super Late Models.”
The first race for the David Rogers Super Late Models, fittingly, will be one of the track’s signature events. The Clyde Hart Memorial on July 4 will feature a 100-lap event for the Super Late Models on the high-banked half-mile. Rogers won the inaugural Clyde Hart Memorial in 1999 over Pete Orr and Wayne Anderson.
Along with numerous track championships at New Smyrna, Rogers won many of its premier events. Along with the inaugural Clyde Hart Memorial, Rogers boasts two Florida Governor’s Cup wins, two Orange Blossom 100 wins, a Pete Orr Memorial win and two Red Eye 100 wins at Five Flags Speedway.
Rogers was also a four-time Super Late Model champion in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, claiming that honor in 1987, 1999, 2001 and 2009. The event perennially draws top short track racers from across the country during Florida Speedweeks, and Rogers’ triumphs in the event covered a 22-year span of success in the event.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo