Mike Sykes oral history interview, 2007 October 16
Mike Sykes discusses his experiences working as a NASCAR safety inspector during the 1970s. Mr. Sykes attended many races growing up with his father, who worked with several of the independent racers. Taking after his father, Wade Sykes, who had a strong interest in automobile racing and was a volunteer pit crew member, Mr. Sykes worked in drag racing before accepting the NASCAR inspector job. He recalls what his typical duties were in the inspection of cars, race track facilities, and in monitoring pit stops. After quitting the inspector job in 1977, Mr. Sykes' involvement with NASCAR resumed in the 1990s when he spearheaded the creation of the Old Timers Racing Club. He explains that the purpose of the club was to honor the racers of the past and raise funds for their medical expenses. Mr. Sykes had difficulty with getting support from NASCAR, which did not want to be officially affiliated with the club. Other topics discussed include NASCAR's technological changes and the impact of R.J. Reynolds's involvement in racing.