This is the Statt Mann Baby!! Time to Scatt a little bit.

I don’t make any apologies for being a sports car fan. The Rolex 24 this weekend in Daytona had all the trappings of an event and not just another car race.

There were people from all over the world speaking to each other in their own languages and nearly all of them, even the legends, didn’t need a platoon of PR people just to talk with you.

That was most refreshing!

The autograph armies were there and getting what they wanted. Some stood in the rain just for a chance to get a signature. Never understood that but it’s their pneumonia!

The best part, though, was seeing the sparkle in Jimmie Johnson’s eye when he talked to me about wanting the win for his personal treasure chest.

This two time defending NASCAR Cup champion was there to win but came in second, two laps down, to a Chip Ganassi all-star show that included Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Montoya and Dario Franchitti.

In fact, Sprint Cup drivers were in each of the first three cars. The third place car was a Penske team that included Kurt Busch.

The race, though, is just part of the Rolex 24 weekend. Seeing the drivers having fun is worth the expense of getting to Florida to buy rooms and food at inflated prices.

I’m old enough to remember when racing was fun for all involved. The show was the thing not publicity and antographs.

But I’m also old enough to remember 15 cent hamburgers at McDonalds and 18 cent gas. That’s a coincidence those two concepts ended up in the same sentence, right?