Friday, November 13, 2009
Exactly one week ago, last Friday afternoon, I was making my way up to Texas Motor Speedway from my home in North Texas. I was nervously excited for a night at the speedway since I had never been to any kind of race before and I didn't know anyone else that was attending that evening.
I parked my van, looked across the parking lot at the magnificent Texas Motor Speedway, and then spent the next forty-five minutes searching for the Chevy Tent to sign in. Wouldn't you know that I had only passed up the Chevy Tent three times.
Cause that's how I roll.
When I finally found the tent, I signed in, handed over my drivers license, and then proudly put on my VIP Bling. Then I stood like a dork because I didn't know anyone else around me. I hope no one noticed how panicked I felt, and if you did please don't tell me. I really felt like Jenny the Bloggess at that moment and wanted to hide underneath the 2010 Chevy Silverado Texas Edition.
Then finally John White with General Motors gathered us in a big circle and starting speaking. Now tell me this--doesn't John look a lot like Woody Harrelson in King Pin just with more hair? I still can't remember what John does with GM, because the twenty-hundred times he told me all I could think of was, "Dang he looks like Woody Harrelson. I wonder if they're cousins and don't even know it. Maybe I should ask him if he's been Munsoned. Or at least if he likes bowling."
I have no idea what John talked about for the ten minutes or so that he spoke. I introduced myself, the other people in the group introduced themselves, and then I got hooked up to sit next to Tim Herrick in the golf cart on the trip to the Chevy Drive area.
Tim Herrick is the engineer for the crossover vehicles with General Motors and specifically engineered the Chevy Equinox (the same vehicle I reviewed over the summer). He is a gentleman and tried to keep me from falling off the back of the golf cart several times.
He even answered a couple questions I asked about the Chevy Equinox, specifically:
1.) What is your favorite feature of the Equinox?
2.) What feature would you not take away from the Equinox?
I hope you're not looking forward to his answers to these two burning questions, because, again, I was so nervous I totally forgot what he said.
Once we arrived to the Chevy Drive area, I hopped in the 2010 Chevy Malibu and drove around the course scaring the guide next to me as I peeled around the turns. I should let you know right here that if you are looking into getting a car that has great steering and maneuverability, the 2010 Chevy Malibu is for you. I know I could have done some totally rad donuts in that car if I hadn't thought the guide next to would have freaked out. Are you the type of person that gets lost quite a lot? The Chevy Malibu can make perfect U-turns...
As we prepared to enter the Texas Motor Speedway to watch the drivers perform practice laps and to eat our catered light (yah right) dinner, I shot this scene of the sunset reflecting onto the speedway:
Once again, we hopped into the golf carts and began our journey down into the center of the Texas Motor Speedway. We ate catered food and chatted for a little bit. I found Trish (twitter: @BouncingCoCo) and her friend there and proceeded to have a great time as my nervousness wore off. Trish, her friend, and I moved along to the crowd forming where two men gave us instructions for the Driver Introductions. I honest to God thought that Driver Introductions were all about two or three drivers introducing themselves to us. When Chevy told me that I'd be driving one of the racing drivers around the Texas Motor Speedway track, all I could think was, "You've got to be kidding me. You really don't know what you're getting yourself into by asking me to do this."
Oh my sweetness they did not know what they were getting themselves into.
Into the 2010 Chevy Silverado I sat like a scared plucked chicken. Donna with General Motors got into the seat next to me. I was so nervous I couldn't figure out how to turn off the headlights. I was so nervous my hands began to shake. I gave my camera over to Donna and told her she had to take the photographs. She told me she couldn't because her hands shook. I looked at with a so-what expression and told her she still had to take photographs and that I adjusted the settings so she'd have a hard time screwing the photographs up. Then it was time to begin driving.
As I pulled onto the speedway track and turned left towards the stage, I began waving at the crowds. Cheers and whistles blew up from the stands. I was having a nervously grand time! Then the Number 15 gasman came over to us and chatted. He says he's gonna be my Facebook friend, but I have yet to see him on there. Maybe I scared him off.
Then the line began moving.
I watched as the drivers got introduced one by one on the big screen and then jumped into the back of the Silverados. Too quickly, it was my turn to pick up a driver. I pulled up, Number 25 or 29 or some-other-number got into the back of my truck and I carefully proceeded driving away, watching the driver's nice rear in his black and yellow uniform in my rearview mirror. That is why they call it a rearview mirror you know.
Of course, I was so busy carefully glimpsing this driver's rear that I completely forgot that I was supposed to drive all the way around the speedway track. So I turned left back down towards, well I don't know where I was going, then had to turn back right, then slow down to an almost stop, all while the poor, probably embarrassed driver, yelled to me, "Go! Go! Keep straight...Where are you going?!"
Donna, laughing, yelled out the window back to him, "Sorry! She's a rookie!"
To which I yelled, also laughing, "Sorry! I have no idea what in the world I am doing!"
And then Donna and I laughed the entire way around the speedway track. I had never had so much fun in my adult life before. Here I was, meeting the greats of racing, and I will probably always be remembered by this driver as the Chick Who Embarrassed the Hades Out of Me at the 2009 Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350.
If he can get all that out in one breath.