Two leading politicians welcome race fans to Daytona 500

Photo for Headline Surfer / Ed Kelley and Derrick Henry mug it up in a photo opp at Daytona International Speedway. Kelley is the Volusia County chair and Henry is the Daytona Beach mayor.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

Daytona 500 / Headline SurferDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Two of the leading politicians are welcoming race fans to today's Daytona 500 -- Volusia County Chair Ed Kelley, the former longtime Ormond Beach mayor, elected to the lead countywide seat in 2016, and Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry, re-elected in the same election cycle as Kelly for his second four-year term. 

Henry wrote on his Facebook page in a photo opp with Kelley: "Excited about having this guy as our County Chair! Great things are in store for Volusia County!" 

And while photo opps with colleagues in munivipal and county government has long since become the norm at Daytona International Speedway during the 500, an expected responsibility, the real emotion comes with seeing the military jets of the Thunderbirds fly overhead before the start of the Great American Race.

And Mayor Henry did not hold back his patriotic sentiments as the jets roared overhead, saying, "Great day at the Daytona International Speedway!"

Thunderbirds flyover Daytona International Speedway for Daytona 500 / Headline Surfer

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry / Headline SurferDaytona Beach Mayor Henry wrote on his Facebook page in a photo opp with County Chair Ed Kelley: "Excited about having this guy as our County Chair! Great things are in store for Volusia County!" 

And while photo opps with colleagues in munivipal and county government has long since become the norm at Daytona International Speedway during the 500, an expected responsibility, the real emotion comes with seeing the military jets of the Thunderbirds fly overhead before the start of the Great American Race.

And Mayor Henry did not hold back his patriotic sentiments as the jets roared overhead, saying, "Great day at the Daytona International Speedway!"

For his part in the photo opp showing the two lead politicians posing Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, Kelley wrote on his own Facebook page: "Enjoyed sharing time with Mayor Henry to welcome race fans at DIS this afternoon."

Kelley told Headline Surfer he was excited about today's big day, saying in part, "A great day for racing and the Daytona 500 ending race weeks with "The Great American Race." 

Kelley continued, "I've been honored to represent Volusia County in welcoming all the race fans to our area. With a special invitation for our out of town visitors to return and make their homes in Volusia County." 

Asked if he is a race fan and if he favors a particular driver, Kelley responded, "Race fan, yes, adding he likes "all the drivers. Kelley said he was in the pits in the 1979 Daytona 500 "waiting for Donnie Allison to win, but we all know what happened."

Volusia County Chair Ed Kelley / Headline SurferKelley told Headline Surfer he was excited about today's big day, saying in part, "A great day for racing and the Daytona 500 ending race weeks with "The Great American Race." 

Kelley continued, "I've been honored to represent Volusia County in welcoming all the race fans to our area. With a special invitation for our out of town visitors to return and make their homes in Volusia County." 

Asked if he is a race fan and if he favors a particular driver, Kelley responded, "Race fan, yes, adding he likes "all the drivers. Kelley said he was in the pits in the 1979 Daytona 500 "waiting for Donnie Allison to win, but we all know what happened."

Yes, diehard racing fans see the 1979 Daytona 500 as one of the greatest ever with Allison and Cale Yarborough fighting for the lead when they made contact and ended up in fisticuffs after their cars came to rest in the infield grass on the final lap only to see Richard Petty go on to take the checkered flag.

Donnie Allison's older brother, Bobby Allison joined in the fisticuffs, too, in what was the first first live broadcast of a NASCAR race, then on CBS.

Multimedia: 1979 Daytona 500 videos: Watch the entire 1979 Daytona 500 and see the reaction of today's drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Jr., to the fisticuffs at the end of that entertaining race.

YouTube download / Doug White video / CBS broadcast of the 1979 Daytona 500.
 
YouTube download / Rick Johnson video / Perfect Storm 1979 Daytona 500.
 
Did You Know? 
Henry Frederick interviewed the CBS broadcaster Ken Squier, who called the 1979 Daytona 500...

Headline Surfer video / Published on Feb 26, 2013 / Ken Squier is interviewed during 2013 Speedweeks outside the media center at Daytona International Speedway.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet in Daytona Beach, Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards.

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