Didn't you get the notice that I was coming to Charlotte? Where are you Dale, Jr.?!
So my colleague and I splurged and went on the NASCAR Valley tour this morning. We boarded the luxury motorcoach that took us from downtown Charlotte over to Concord and the home of the Lowes Motor Speedway.
We started our tour at the Hendrick Motorsports garages. Okay, I'm not a real fan of Jeff or Jimmy, but I can dig me some Dale, Jr. None of the boys were to be seen; however, we did see a good number of cars being worked on in this immaculate garage. Definitely not the backyard garages of back in the day, these multi-million dollar technologically equipped buildings.
The highlight of the tour, other than the incredibly personable and entertaining tour guide who had worked with Harry Gant for 14 years, was an actual lap around the track. no, we weren't at top speeds -- I think we hit about 70 mph in the 15 passenger van -- but you really did get a feel for the banking and possible speeds. Kinda cool! How many people can say they've ridden the track in Charlotte?
An interesting side stop that I hadn't expected was a visit to the Sam Bass Gallery. This is the fellow that designs all the cool paint schemes for the team cars. He has a nice little setup with a gallery and memorabilia on display.
Well, I'm racing off to the general session! Vrrrooooommm!