A trail of pickups winds toward well-groomed Naples. After toweling the mud out of her hair, Betsy Carroll will end her royal reign with a ride back to the golf course community where she lives. Eddie Chesser will return to his subdivision, no doubt contemplating the inaugural races in Fellsmere. Naples will proceed to celebrate the next big event on its social calendar: the Collier County Fair, second week in January.
"Do you know if this is the last race?" asks 23-year-old Katie Alvarez as her shoes sink into a puddle. "We heard that the park has been sold and that they might never race again.
"I hope that isn't the case; I mean that they race again," she adds, extracting one of her feet from the muck. "This is big. This, the swamp buggy races, is, like, Naples' heart and soul.