This has probably been about ten years in the making. When I was like 1o my cousin got a job working for one of the truck racing series drivers. He started in Michigan and has now made his way to North Carolina. He started with Jon Wood, made his way to the Wisconsin favorites; Paul Menard and Matt Kenseth before Aric Almirola, where he currently settles and has the awesome title of car chief.
At Christmas time, he mentioned trying to be off the road by the time he turns 40. Well that’s two years away. So after that being said, and the fact that I’m over 21 (the old age for being allowed in the pits) we thought we’d try really hard and get down to a race and get the full experience. So that’s what we did. We went to the Go Bowling 400 at the Kansas City Speedway.
We left Friday morning with Uncle Jerry in tow and made the 7 hour trek to the speedway. We got our passes and that’s when shit really got real. We had the pass that basically held the key for us to do anything we wanted to at the track. We had free reign of the garages, the pits and pretty much anywhere else. We got to watch Greg and his team fail and pass inspections and make their qualifying runs for the Saturday night race from atop of the car hauler. We were hoping to grab dinner with Greg after the garage closed, but it was late and he wanted to sleep, which is totally understandable.
Saturday was race day. The race wasn’t until 6:30 and the garage didn’t open til 11:30am and the grandstands didn’t open until 3:00. Jerry wanted to get there early so we didn’t miss anything. Well, it was a bit too early and we ended up sitting around and doing nothing for many hours, but it was still cool to sit around and watch every team do their thing.
While we were sitting around, I had a total fan girl moment when I saw Ashton Bayne, Trevor Bayne’s wife run by. Later on I saw both of them and their cute baby, Ellie Kate. I don’t usually have those moments, but oh my God. I was smitten.
We got to walk out on the track and take pictures with Greg and the car before walking down pit road where we jumped the wall and posted up behind the pit box for the rest of the evening. The few races prior, Aric got wrecked or screwed. Luckily, he didn’t get taken out or anything, but he ended up a few laps down. The race was rather boring in comparison to the last month of races, especially Talledaga. There were a few cautions, mainly for debris and one small collision that only included like 3 cars. It wasn’t as loud as I thought it was going to be, but after 250+ laps, it got to be a bit loud and probably would have damaged the ear drums. You can’t see much from the pits, it was still an awesome experience.