Behind the Scenes...
Well, the first of our big events at Bristol Motor Speedway is in the record books – and let’s face it, the Food City 500 weekend definitely got 2013 started off on a high note.
It was another amazing trio of races. Couldn’t have asked for much better because the action on the track was definitely top-notch. You guys all saw that so you know what I’m talking about. There are other things, however, that I saw or heard about that you likely did not. So, here are a few behind-the-scene moments:
- Getting to finally see some of the drivers’ kids in action was fun. Keelan Harvick sitting behind the wheel of his dad’s car, hanging onto the steering wheel, was pretty cute…. And visiting with Ryan Newman’s daughters, Brooklyn and Ashlyn, although they weren’t feeling all that well, was great too. Then there’s Wyatt Sadler… that young’un is his definitely his daddy Elliott’s mini-me!
- Jeff Foxworthy and Charlie Daniels couldn’t be more down-to-earth. Both of them are super nice guys – people with whom you’d love to just hang out. Charlie’s Pledge of Allegiance was powerful and moving and it was obvious from his tone that he believed in each word with every ounce of his heart and soul.
- Clint Bowyer has the energy of 12 5-year-olds. During driver introductions he was jumping up and down, talking up a storm. In case you didn’t realize it, he’s more than a little ADD. In a span of five minutes he talked about his car, about how much he wanted to win a Cup race at Bristol, how the spring race should be moved to later in the year so it could be a night race, how the August Night Race needed to be moved so that the starting time would coincide with darkness, how driver intros should be in total darkness with laser lights, how he loved hunting, how he hated to be bored…. I’m not kidding.
- Kasey Kahne likes an alcoholic beverage. Or two. Kahne, who won his very first BMS Cup race here in March, was all excited about taking part in the Winner’s Toast. However, he didn’t love what was in his cup. After the toast, he walked off the stage and said “Pepsi? I figured for sure it was gonna be moonshine. I won the race, I finally won this race…. Sure would be nice to have something a little stronger.” Needless to say, he was given “something stronger” within 30 seconds. “Now that,” he said with a grin, “is how you’re supposed to celebrate, especially after winning at Bristol!”
- Brad Keselowski is one funny dude. While awaiting his walk down the ramp during driver intros, he lamented the fact that so many drivers had their kids walking with them. Brad, ever the quick wit, hatched a plan. “You know what I’m gonna do next time,” he said. “I’m gonna get a doll, wrap it in a blanket, go walking down that ramp and when I get to the bottom – after everybody is all going nuts over me having a baby – I’m just gotta toss it into the crowd. Can you imagine how freaked out everybody would be?” Everybody standing around him just cracked up, including me.
- Discovering that University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones can be a fan too. Jones met Danica Patrick, whose sister is a UT grad, and posed for pictures in front of her hauler. Worried that he wasn’t going to get a copy, he asked multiple folks to make sure he got at least one picture emailed to him.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. truly loves and appreciates his fans. He was scheduled to sign autographs for 45 minutes on Friday evening at Food City Race Night but when that time was up there were lots and lots more fans still in line. So instead of bolting like he could have he continued to sign autographs for a pretty good while after that. He didn’t have to… he just did it. Kasey Kahne did the same thing after his allotted time was up. Gotta love that.
- Jimmie Johnson loves it when he can spend some time with kids on race weekends. For the past couple of years Jimmie has appeared in the BMS Kids Zone and he always goes above and beyond for the kids. He helps them build cars while talking to them and then he signs autographs for them. He’s supposed to stay for 20 minutes and it ends up being closer to 45 minutes.
So there you have it, just a few more memories from the March race weekend. Hope you guys enjoyed being at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile – and that you’re coming back in August. It’s only a little over four months away!