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Volume 24 No. 132
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What's Up For The Weekend With Daytona Int'l Speedway President Joie Chitwood

With the Daytona 500 just a couple of weeks away, JOIE CHITWOOD is in high gear ramping up preparations for the Great American Race. But before the green flag drops on the NASCAR season, the Daytona Int'l Speedway President will take a pit stop this weekend to enjoy some family time with his 10-year-old son. The Univ. of Florida alum lives between Orlando and Daytona in the cozy town of Lake Mary, and with ventures to Tampa and Gainesville, he plans to revel in the Florida sunshine this weekend.
ON THE GO: Friday I’m going to be in Tampa doing some promotions for RICKY STENHOUSE JR. in anticipation of the Daytona 500. This weekend my son and I are going to drive up to Gainesville, Florida, and we’re going to catch the Vanderbilt-Florida basketball game. I’m a Gator, I went there. So that’s a 1 o’clock game on Saturday. He and I will get on the road and head up there on Saturday and try to enjoy the game a little bit.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: There are two kinds of Friday nights. One is if it is football season my son is in football practice and I usually go straight to football practice and relieve my wife. When I get him and he’s done we head home. We typically can stop at a sports bar (Friendly Confines) that the team all goes to after practice on Friday night. All the kids, boys run around crazy and all the parents just grab some sports bar food. If that’s not the case, if we don’t have football season, we’re trying to figure out a place where we can just go for a casual dinner. Something easy.

HITTING THE LINKS: If I have a good weekend, if I have enough time where I’m spending some good time with my family, then Sunday morning I’ll try and sneak out and play golf. Play 18 holes, but I try and do like a 7:30 tee time. Get out as early as possible. It just depends on the work schedule.

HONEY-DO LIST: If we get a golf game in, when I get home typically there might be a list of errands to do. Just stuff around the house, go to the hardware store or Costco or pick up some things. My wife, son and I typically like to do a late lunch, early dinner like a 4 o’clock something. … It’s just kind of the upkeep of the house. It’s the typical things like running errands and getting salt for the water softener, making sure the basketball court is clean in the back. We’ll mess around with our own landscaping a little bit.

GATOR NATION: My son played Pop Warner football this year and so he’s in the Pee Wee division and their games were on Saturday afternoon. Could have been anywhere from noon, 1, 2 o’clock. There were a couple games where right after his football game, I toweled him down, we jumped in the car and he and I drove right up to Gainesville from the football field. But if it was an afternoon game, his football team took precedent on Saturday and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

FUN IN THE SUN: I can’t live a weekend without my shorts and flip flops. Living in Florida, I am the king of casual on the weekends and just think that’s the only way to be if you’re going to live in Florida. … The way our house is built we have these two huge sliding glass doors to the back patio which is screened in. In the weather in Florida, the summertime is a little bit too hot, but every other time there’s not a Saturday or Sunday that doesn’t go by that those doors aren’t wide open and that we have music playing in the house. I’m sitting in the back patio in the screened-in area either playing with the dog or we’ve got a TV out there. Being in Florida, we take advantage of the great weather and the way our house is set up. We spend more time out in the patio area in the back than I think we do inside, and that’s exactly how I want it.