When the checkered flag falls at the end of the Pete Orr Memorial 100 at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) in January, it will be the 13th time, but also the final time the race will be completed. The Orr family has decided to end the race after the 2015 edition.
“It’s just kind of run its course,” Orr’s son, Bobby, told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “There’s a lot of different things that kind of go into it all. This is going to be the 13th year and it’s kind of gotten to the point where I’d say the majority of the field knew of my dad, but they don’t know who he is anymore. It’s kind of lost some of its meaning in some aspects because some people are just racing because it’s a race.”
The Pete Orr Memorial was formerly the Orange Blossom 100. Orr won the race four times, more than anybody else. When Orr died of lymphoma in 2002, the track and the family came together to start the memorial race and they thought it would be fitting to rename the Orange Blossom, a race that Orr had much success competing in.
The Pete Orr Memorial has been won by some of the best in racing. Florida’s Wayne Anderson has won it twice. Jeff Choquette has won it three times and 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson has scored a win in the event.
With the event ending, so is the Sportsmanship Award. The family thought it would be best to end everything all at once after this one last race on January 24, 2015.
“I still struggle with the whole situation, personally,” said Bobby. “At the end of this year when we walk out of the track that night we are going to have some closure to everything and then that’s going to be it.
“I appreciate everyone at New Smyrna Speedway, especially Kim Brown, for working with me. Without her this race would have ended a long time ago.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor (CT, Long Island, NJ) – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com