"Let Um Roll"
I know very little about Speed Riley, only that I read somewhere that he was track announcer and he wrote the weekly news letter that was inserted into the weekly program at the speedway. I do remember him introducing the drivers before each race and then bellowing out "18 cars, 25 laps,..... let um roll"! and it has stuck in my brain all these years. Of course, the 18 cars was the normal line-up for the main event. He would say it for other races as well. "4 cars, 4 laps, let um roll" for a trophy dash, etc.
I would hear it and think, some day, if I ever get to drive a race car, I want to hear him say, "let um roll". Years later I got that chance. Speedy wasn't around to actually say it, but whenever I saw the green flying, I could hear him shouting out "let um roll".
I was always nervous before each race. Sitting there lined up waiting our turn, I felt claustrophobic, tightly strapped in and the helmet enclosing my entire head, cutting off all life as I knew it. I could hardly see out especially from side to side. The seat was one of those wrap-around, rib breaking, blood stopping, could feel your heart cavitating, but "safe", racing seats. Good thing there was racing going on as those around me couldn't here me repeatedly screaming out: "Get me out of here!" over the noise of the racers. I don't know if all that had something to do with it or just the anticipation of what could happen if I screw up or someone else screws up, either way, the wall doesn't move when you visit it at 60 miles an hour. Whatever the reason, I was always nervous. But when that green flag flew and Speedy was yelling in my ears "let um roll" the nerves were now in full throttle, straight ahead, flat out stock car racing mode and all nervousness was left back at the line up lane with the burn out marks. The nerves, along with the rest of my body, was in ultimate utopia and nobody was about to put an end to this eternal bliss until that guy on his high tower threw that ultra disgusting, highly hated checkered flag and expected me to quit this ultimate delight. "Are you serious?! We shouldn't have to quit this! Who do you think you are? Don't you know Speedy told us to... "LET UM ROLL"!!!"
none in front