Monday, October 15, 2007

At the Races!

As I mentioned, I was in Charlotte over the weekend for the NASCAR races. As you know by now, I'm a complete NASCAR nut - that's no secret. My friends send me tires, for goodness sake, because they know I'll think it's darn cool.

But, this weekend I was able to see NASCAR through the eyes of some 'rookies' and it was even more fun. Roby and I were able to take some of our customers to the race this weekend - one was a NASCAR fan just like me and we hit it off great. But, I wasn't so sure how Roby and the other three guys were going to fare. Roby has been to one NASCAR race, but that was a few years ago and hasn't really seemed interested to go again. The other guys hadn't been to a race but were game to give it a go and see what it was all about. Turns out they were all fabulous race companions and I think everyone came out of there with an interest in the sport, which is cool to me.

The view from 7 stories above the track

Roby and I went out to Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday morning to get the lay of the land and have a meeting with one of their sales folks, John Cox. We chatted about some programs and then John was nice enough to take some time out of his extremely busy race weekend to give us a tour of the facility via his Club Car. ROCK!

Roby saw things he's never seen before like converted buses and the most loyal fans in sports showing pride in their favorite drivers. When I say to him, "there's nothing like it," he's now a believer.
Our customers arrived Friday afternoon. We were fortunate that Craig and Tom from Western Powersports were able to join us as were Alan and Ed from Tucker Rocky. I met them all for the first time and we boarded the bus out to the track for the Busch series race. A big kudos to Craig who had just arrived back the day before from half way around the world - but after spending a weekend at the track with him, I now know that not much would have kept him from these races! He's a pretty big Greg Biffle fan.

The race on Friday night was good, but I'm not sure good enough to make fans out of the 'rookies'. Saturday, however, was a whole different ballgame.
We were able to take a stroll through the pits, see some cars, converse with some guys on the crews and just generally soak it all in. I think I started to see some NASCAR fans emerge in our was great to see the guys getting excited about where we were and what we were seeing. Made me excited to be there and be one of the people to show it all to them. I wish we'd had a little longer in the pits, but soon it was time to exit and hit the suite to get situated, get some food and watch the race. Apple carmel pie...that's all I'm saying about the food. Yummmm....
Personally, I thought the race was awesome, but then again, I'm a Jeff Gordon fan. I've been to a bunch of races, but never saw him win live before. That was just awesome! I felt badly that Craig's driver didn't have a good night, but not that badly as I watched Jeff do his celebratory burnout.....

Here are photos of the weekend. Enjoy.

The things you see in front of the speedway....

Just about every team hauler had bicycles with them.

Tom and Alan wondered if they should attend the Rookie Meeting.

The view from the suite. It was right between turns 1 and 2.

Tom found Tony Stewart's car heading for inspection. Later Tom was sporting a #20 hat. Shhh...I even saw him wearing it on Sunday morning! Do I sense a new Stewart fan???

Alan seemed to like Denny Hamlin's car.

Ed found the Hendrick gang with the #5 car.

Craig not only inspected Greg Biffle's car before it went out on the track....

..he and Ed also seemed to be getting some race strategy secrets from the crew.

Roby found the stash of spare parts for his favorite car. This isn't unusual since each team has full kits ready to go for every on track possibility.

Craig did an excellent job making sure everything was just right in the 24 car before the race! So good, in fact, that this ended up being the winning car! Thanks, Craig!

These tires went on to win the race!
Notice that the best teams partner with the best companies (see the Club Car logo on the pit box)

Check out the special 'guest' down on pit road!!!

Roby the Race Fan!

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