The weather was cool and pleasant. Most of the fans wore T-shirts, old ones, because a dirt track is not a place for new clothes, especially white ones. Their heroes were not the ones who race on asphalt tracks on TV.

Dirt is for racing. Asphalt is for getting there.

Each year Laurens County Speedway holds a Shrine Race on a Tuesday. This was the 38th dedicated to the Laurens County Shrine Club’s fundraising efforts in behalf of the Shriners’ Hospital for Children in Greenville.

Everyone appeared to be having fun, the younger kids in particular. One mother told her 4-year-old not to go far. She turned to talk to someone for what must have seemed a split-second, and the kid had climbed all the way to the top row, there to wave his checkered flag with glee. She lit out after him and returned with him to her seat, sweat popping out from both exertion and anxiety.

“I heard he was running a Gambler chassis,” one man said.

“Uh, uh, Jerry, that’s a Barry Wright car.”

Something grabbed their attention.

“Hey, Dale Timms! You stink!”

Some comments were mystifying.

“You can’t miss him with that camouflage T-shirt!”

Isn’t the purpose of a camouflage T-shirt to be missed?