With most of the motorsports world on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve decided to highlight some of the sport’s legends on a daily basis. We begin each story within the pages of National Speed Sport News.
Indiana sprint car driver Danny Smith broke on to the national stage in mid-March 1981 by ending Doug Wolfgang’s World of Outlaws winning streak during the Spring Nationals at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas.
Smith earned $3,025 aboard the Kenny Rogers Gambler prepared by Kenny Woodruff.
Now, 39 years later, both Smith and Woodruff have been inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Still racing his familiar No. 4 sprint car, Smith is now 63 years old and enters this season having won at least one feature in 44 consecutive years.
“I keep going because it’s my passion,” Smith told SPEED SPORT last year. “I’ve never had a real job and I can’t see starting one soon. My wife, who’s a nurse, told me that if I kept the race car going, she’d keep the house going. I’m 62 now, so I take it a year at a time, but if I stay healthy who knows how long I’ll keep racing.”