We just finished our 8th year of the Hot Rods & Reels Charity fishing tournament in Miami/Homestead Speedway.
This event raises money for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation and Speediatrics to help young adults suffering from spinal cord injuries or debilitating diseases. Through the help from all of it’s sponsors the foundation is able to continue to purchase motorized wheelchairs for well desired recipients.
This year we had the help and support of a new sponsor, Rejuvenate Auto a fantastic product owned by a great family. Not to leave out Bass Pro Shops which has supported this effort from day one, along with Sprint, Hook & Tackle shirt company which provides those great looking fishing shirt you see in the pictures.
So this year, right when you thought it could not get any better we top the charts. With help from the “The Outdoor Channel” filming for the second year in a row. We bought in one of the best fishing host TV has ever experience, Fish Fishborne. With the support of the NASCAR drivers and car owners, sponsors and television such as ESPN, Speed TV and Fox, all that was left is to pull off another great fishing tournament.
With boats in the water, Captains rigged up and ready for competition, drivers and car owners on board, the only thing missing were fish. The official start was given by Darrell Waltrip, using the second most famous words in NASCAR. He controlled the moment, as everyone listen to him say, “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity lets go fishing boys,” and with those famous words the anglers and guess wet there lines for the first time.
The event scheduled for 90 minutes, was off to a quick start as it only took a few minutes before Captain Rick Persson with Regan Smith boated their first fish. Almost simultaneously across the lake Bill Elliott hook into his first fish keeping things close. Only minutes later right out in front of the stage Martin Truex battle his first fish and lands it with the help of his team. At this point my head feels like it’s spinning around in circles with the amount of fish being caught. Both ends of the lake and twenty different boats with bent poles!
Several boats seem to huddle to the west end of lake, as with most fishermen I think several of these guides/drivers were on the bent pole pattern. “Find someone with a bent pole and fish there.” In the middle of that crowd was Capt Tony Masiello with driver Jamie McMurray landing his third fish and completing a limit to make them the favorite at this point. Back to the other side of the lake, Kenny Wallace was seen with his shoe in hand and hamming it up to the camera crews, “what’s new.” We watched Bobbby Labonte land his second fish right beside Kenny’s boat, while all the way at the other end of the lake Scott Wimmer, David Gilliland were each working there way in to contention as the time started to whine down.
A last minute glance for Darrell Waltrip’s boat, not even with in sight. But after a quick pause we were able to hear them just fine. Off in the distance, just outside of D.W. was legendary Bobby Allison, and if you know anything about the Allison family you know they can race and fish.
As the tournament concluded, the boats were