Sunday, December 28, 2014

#SpotLight- Cat Daddy Stands Tall with Feet Firmly Planted on Honest Georgia Clay!!

Cat Daddy gets ready for Winter Freeze at SMS

Through better than 3 decades Clint Smith has been a competitive constant in the World of DLMs. To the multitude of faithful legions that admire this Georgia Racer, he's still known as the "Iron-Man of Hav-A-Tampa". From its inception in 1990 til 1998 the Senoia Native never missed a single event in the Star Studded series. Cat Daddy captured the series championship in 1993, besting the likes of Scott Bloomquist, Ronnie Johnson, Jack Pennington, Lavon Sloan and Dale McDowell. "When you raced and won in the Hav-A-Tampa series, you accomplished something special right there." Clint said "Top Notch Drivers from all across the country came to test their mettle and find out if they were MORE than a Big Fish in a little pond. I'll always savour my 1st Win in that series. Sweat Streaming down my face, Whisking past the Flag Stand to edge out a Tough as Nails Field and Clutching the Checkers in Triumph high above my head at South Hampton Speedway. Right Then in my very own hands, I held Undeniable PROOF No One in the WORLD was better than us on that Hot August Night. Man, were we Rolling!!" 

Over the years Clint Smith has made an indelible impression on the landscape of dirt racing. Carving out 4 Southern All Star series titles (1992, 1993, 2000 and 2003), 2005 he scored the HillBilly100 Win, 2012 he was the "Rome Boss" Winner. In all Cat Daddy has accumulated more than 200 SLM Feature Wins. Trumping these amazing feats came on December 13, 2014 when he was afforded an opportunity few good Georgians are ever granted. On this day his father, Roscoe Smith, was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and Clint was on hand to escort him into those hallowed halls. "I vividly remember growing up working on my pop's car in the race shop. Meeting many of the personalities that surround dirt tracks as we traveled all over the SE searching out wins. I even helped him build LM chassis for some truly outstanding racers. I know that's where my Love of the sport stems from. 

"If that wasn't a Grand enough day, Leon Archer was in the same class inducted as my pops. He won the inaugural NDRA Series Championship in 1979. A national touring series my dad helped organize. Early in my own racing career I chased Leon around many tracks but could never quite catch him. He possessed a slippery, eerie ability to always beat me back to the finish line. I asked him what his secret was & whether he'd be willing to teach it to me. Leon sorta cleared his throat and said, "There really ain't too much to this racing business... Other than remembering the 2 Golden Rules before climbing into that seat. Rule #1 'Nothing much matters other than Winning'. Rule #2 'Not one person will ever come to you asking who finished 2nd'. If you remember these Golden Rules of Racing you'll do just fine." 

"Both of these great men had a heavy hand in molding me into the racer I've become today." 

Roscoe Smith posing next to one of his cars (photographer unknown)

Leon Archer at Log Cabin Raceway in 1982

As the season begins to formulate, Clint plans on keeping his racing program closer to his work in Senoia. Clint Smith Racing does many types of aluminum fabrication from race car bodies and decks to trucks. "We're proud to welcome back Southern Cable and Utilities and Southern Fibernet as sponsors on the CSR program in 2015. We plan on placing their names into some Prime Real Estate that only Victory Lane can afford. We'll fire off the season at the World of Outlaws sanctioned Winter Freeze Feb 5-7th at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania. From there we'll be picking and choosing many of the WoO dates as they get closer to the house. I like running the Ray Cook Southern National series events and it looks like my hometrack of Senoia will be hosting SLM races on a regular basis." 

When asked about what kind of Legacy he'd like to leave for racers and fans alike, Clint answered simply "When it's all said and done I'd be proud to be remembered as Roscoe Smith's son. A reflection of a man that was always friendly, hard working, knowledgeable and fiercely competitive wherever he unloaded. If I can impart those types of values I'd be a happy man." 

Crew tend to Cat Daddy's car