It started out that we were able to wander around in the garage for 1/2 an hour. I finally got to see Richard Petty in person! After about a 1/2 hr we made our way out into the pre-race festivities on the front stretch. The four auction winners who were able to attend stood to the right of the stage where the drivers exited. I got some awesome pics of the drivers. Absolutely wonderful but nothing topped when we loaded into the trucks.
I got to ride with Tony Stewart AND Ryan Newman. How freaking cool is that? I sat behind Tony and one of the other auction winners sat behind Ryan. Ryan loaded first and I was able to shake his hand and ask him if he was feeling better (which he was not) before Tony loaded. I must say, I had zero nervousness. Nothing, it was as if I've known him forever. I just sat there in awe for a few minutes until finally he wouldn't stop talking to Ryan so I interrupted and said hi, sorry, but I would like to shake your hand and introduce myself. I think he was kind of shocked at first but hey, I bought that 5-minutes and dammit, I was going to milk it for all it's worth.
So, to make a super long story short, he ended up sitting down beside me on the back stretch and let's just say, the one thing I did say that had both Tony and Ryan laughing was when I mentioned that the view from back here isn't so bad either... Since i was literally a foot from the man you can figure out what I was referencing. They both laughed at it.
Anyway, it was awesome. I won't have my pic of tony and I until later. Someone took it and is emailing it to me. I did take a couple in the back of the truck but decided I didn't want to spend the entire experience eyeballing them through a lense. The naked eye was so much better!
Oh, and can I just say the highlight for me? As I was getting off the truck, Tony turned around and grabbed my hand and helped me down off the truck. Ok, now, I can say I got to hold Tony Stewarts hand! Now how many can actually say that? ROFLMAO! What a day to remember!!
Yes, this is me in the black shirt. I have a few others with my face in it, but I'll post a few more later.
Well, that was one awesome experience. Actually, awesome is too lame of a word to describe today. The NASCAR Foundation had their ducks in a row and MIS was in on it all so we had one of the best times at that track that I have had in the 15-years I've been going there.