The Frog
From Steve Gibbs

Not quite nostalgia...but this is from a few years back.

After Gary Ormsby died, the Castrol TF deal was steered towards Pat Austin. Crew chief Lee Beard was involved for awhile, but anyone could see that the chemistry was just not there, and the relationship soon ended on a sour note.

Fast forward to the Memphis race the following season. In the first round of eliminations, Austin was up against the Darrell Gwynn car, and had a hard time staging. The lights were flickering, and seemed to be acting a little weird. Finally when all four lights were on, Buster hit the switch and the Gwynn car won. Seeing the lights act a little strange, Buster started looking around the beam enclosure and came over the radio, "y'all ain't gonna believe this, but there's a damn frog hoppin' around these here lights". At about the same time Walt Austin was storming the tower demanding a re-run. I'll dispense with the details, but I couldn't really prove what had happened and we didn't rerun anything. The Austin's were not happy campers, and they probably had a case. (it's not a perfect world)

There was however, someone who found some humor in the incident. About an hour after it all happened, one of my emergency crew guys brought me a cute little toad to the tower, with this message written neatly on its white belly..."IF FOUND, PLEASE RETURN TO LEE BEARD".


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