On Sunday (8/15), the NASCAR Cup Series raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The series has crossed the historic Brickyard once a year since 1994, but this was the first time the infield road course was used. If you watched the race, it was interesting to say the very least. The highlight reels were filled with destroyed cars due to the curbing and rumble strips in the turns. And what was most shocking was that we literally saw full size stock cars catch air! It was hard to believe that a 3400 pound stock car could launch like it was an orange Dodge Charger with a #01 on the side driven by the Duke Boys.
Many fans compared the race to a stunt show of yesteryear. Popular traveling shows back in the 1950's were the Joie Chitwood and Lucky Teeter "Hell Driver" shows. Such shows could be found at facilities such as Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, and spectators were treated to full size passenger cars performing jumps and keeping the car on two wheels.
On the other hand, when I saw the Cup cars catch air on Sunday, one thought crossed my mind, and that was how it was reminiscent of a Lloyd Seay type of stunt from 80 years prior. Seay, a Dawsonville native, had a natural born talent as a stock car racer and moonshine runner. It's been said time and time again that Lloyd was the purest stock car driver of his day. NASCAR founder and former competitor, Bill France, was once quoted as saying that Seay was the best race driver he had ever seen. Much of that can be contributed to his nightly tour down Highway 9 from Dahlonega to Atlanta, with 100 gallons of corn whiskey in the trunk. You had to be good, and Seay was one of the best.
And if there's one thing that Seay was good at other than winning, it was showing off. He had a knack for throwing his Ford Coupe Racecar on two wheels in any given turn of a racetrack and keeping it held on two wheels until the straightaway. Without the aid of a ramp, or any special equipment, he could keep his car to where you could clearly see the undercarriage. Not always was he successful though. One time in particular, in July of 1941 at Daytona Beach, Seay was again trying to 'bicycle' his Ford through the sandy, rutted North Turn of the Beach Course when he actually rolled his car over. Spectators rushed to his aid where Seay yelled out to the bystanders to help him flip the car back over. Seay would go on to actually finish the race, in the top 5 nonetheless. He would have to wait until August 24, 1941, almost 80 years ago, before he would finally capture a Daytona victory, in his 5th attempt. He would be killed less than two weeks later.
Lightning Lloyd, the young man who several lawman would say that he could make a Ford Coupe climb a Georgia Pine. I would bet that if he was racing today, not only would he be a fan favorite, but I'd bet he would've overcame the curb fiasco of Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2021 with flying colors.